Once again, Monroe County Community College’s student newspaper, Agora, has been recognized as one of the state’s best collegiate publications.Agora, under the guidance of MCCC faculty member Matthew Bird-Meyer, and the newspaper’s editorial and reporting staff won nine awards in the annual Michigan Community College Press Association’s annual competition, including third place General Excellence in the Division 2 category.

Also highlighting this year’s awards, the newspaper’s editor, Todd Salisbury of Monroe, MI, took third place in the Journalist of the Year competition. This is a highly competitive category where student journalists compete against all community college schools regardless of size.

The judge for this category praised Salisbury’s skills and leadership. “When you are editor, your success or failure depends on your staff believing in, and buying into, your vision for the publication and the standards you set,” the judge wrote. “Todd is a solid writer and reporter, but I’m guessing his legacy is present throughout the entirety of the excellent Agora. The paper is following more basic design rules than many of the ‘flashier’ looking publications and I appreciate that. Todd and the staff are consistently delivering a high-quality journalism product online and in print.”

Other awards in the MCCPA’s competition included Claire Bechard, first place, Headline Writing;  Jerry Meade, second place, News Writing; Abby Nisely, second place, Feature Writing; Todd Salisbury, second place, Sports Feature Photo; Noah Black, honorable mention, Photo Essay/Digital Sideshow; Abbie Lancaster, honorable mention, Illustration.

In addition to the awards in the MCCPA competition, Agora staff did very well in the College Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Michigan Press Association and the Michigan Collegiate Press Association. Vanessa Ray won first place in the Best Photographer category and third place in News category; Todd Salisbury received Honorable Mention in the Feature Story category along with Honorable Mention with fellow reporters Courtney Dunbar and Evan Franzel in the News Story category.

Bird-Meyer is in his first year as adviser to the Agora and said he was proud of the hard work the staff has put into the paper and website. “This is an incredibly dedicated staff, and it’s been great to see how far they have come in just a short amount of time,” Bird-Meyer said. “Awards are nice, but journalism is about serving the community. I think our campus community is well served by some very intelligent, thoughtful and creative students.”

The online version of Agora can be accessed via the MCCC website at and selecting the "Visit the Agora Website" button.

About Monroe County Community College

Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.  

The college’s mission is to enrich and transform lives by providing opportunities and excellence in higher education.  The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit.  The Whitman Center is located at 7777 Lewis Ave.,Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border.  Detailed information about MCCC is available at

Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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