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The Breeze has won 16 VPA awards.

The Breeze has won 16 awards in the Virginia Press Association’s annual statewide contest.

The media group, which competed against commercial newspapers from throughout the state, received seven first-place, three second-place and six third-place awards. Breeze alumna Sabrina Moreno, who now reports for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was also named as the 2020 “Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year.”

First Place

  • Katelyn Waltemyer and Ivan Jackson, data journalism, for a story that explored the JMU community’s opinions about JMU’s handling of COVID-19

  • Staff, multimedia report, for coverage of the 2019 football championship

  • Tristan Lorei, photo slideshows, for his coverage of a protest at the Spirit Rock at JMU

  • Breeze TV Staff, video journalism, for the staff’s live coverage of the 2020 presidential election

  • Tristan Lorei, general news photo, for a photo of the Spirit Rock protest

  • Amy Needham, portrait photography, for a photo at Breaking Free Farm

  • James Faris, business writing, for a portfolio of stories from the Madison Business Review

Second Place

  • Olivia Marino, entertainment ads, for her design of an ad for Artworks Gallery

  • Rita Yoham, member self-promotion, for her design of an ad promoting The Breeze

  • Colby Johnson, feature-story writing, for his story on a music professor whose experiences growing up in Venezuela inform his teaching

Third Place

  • Rita Yoham, entertainment ads, for her design of an ad for Glen’s Fair Price

  • Olivia Marino, food and drug ads, for her design of an ad for Brother's Pizza

  • Julia Rubin, illustrations, for an illustration of the candidates in the 2020 election

  • Staff, special editions, for a back-to-school edition that featured the university’s responses to COVID-19

  • Jake Conley, for a breaking-news photo during an explosion that rocked Harrisonburg in the fall of 2020

  • Brice Estes, for a portfolio of education reporting

Contact the news desk at breezenews@gmail.com. For more coverage of JMU and Harrisonburg news, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.