The Agora, Monroe County Community College's student newspaper, won several awards once again at the state level in the recent Michigan Press Association’s College Better Newspaper Contest and the Michigan Community College Press Association Contest.
The Agora earned second place in the “College Newspaper of the Year” category from the MPA. The “College Newspaper of the Year” award is presented to the top college newspapers in three divisions based on points accumulated in all editorial contest categories for issues published between August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021. MCCC competed in MPA’s Michigan Collegiate Press Association’s Division 3 against other two-year college publications or newspapers publishing less than weekly in Michigan.
The Agora and its editors and writers also won seven additional awards from the MPA, including sweeping all three awards in the “Non-Front Page Design” category where Jerry Meade, of Monroe, won first place; Lauren Werlinger, of Monroe, received second place honors and Noah Black, of Carleton, placed third.
The staff of The Agora also received second place in "Front Page Design."
Meade also won first place in the "News Story" category and honorable mention in "Investigative Reporting" and "Best News-Only Photo."
Werlinger won third place in "Investigative Reporting" and "News Story" categories and honorable mention in "Column - Review or Blog" and for "Best Writer."
Delaney Vanover, of Monroe, earned honorable mention in the "Feature Story" category.
Several current and former MCCC students also won awards for their work on The Agora in the Michigan Community College Press Association's annual contest where entries from March 1, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022 were judged.
Marie Underwood, of Dundee, received first place in the “Sports Feature Photo” category.
Werlinger, earned first place in “Illustration,” and second place in “Critical Review.” The judge spoke highly of Werlinger’s writing style in her video game review. “Some excellent prose here that really captures the heart of the game. Werlinger did a great job explaining what the game is, how it plays, and what they like/don’t like about it. In terms of capturing the game as an experience, this piece does a great job, and I can tell Werlinger is a talented writer.”
Claire Bacarella, of Monroe, took first place for headline writing and second place for news photo.
Agora freelancer Ethan Kuhl, of Monroe, earned second place for original comic. The judge was impressed with Kuhl’s technique. “It made me think of an old comic. And that’s good. A nice technique that reminded me of classic cartoons. And that tells me that Ethan has been influenced, if not studied, the history of comics and animation. This four-panel is a little Winsor McCay and a little ‘Gerald McBoing-Boing’ and a lot of Ethan Kuhl. I look forward to seeing more. Much more!”
Noah Black, of Carleton, earned third place in “Column – Humorous” for his Cryptid Corner column on Bigfoot. The judge said they liked the column’s fun mix of humor and information. “A charming column that turns a monster into an unthreatening cartoon which, oddly, makes me want to know more about Bigfoot (odd because ‘scary’ often conjures mystery and intrigue). The column also made me want to read more Cryptid Corner entries. The column takes itself just serious enough to make me feel like I’m learning something rather than just waiting for a punchline. Clever balance.”
Lexi Greenwood, of Monroe, earned an honorable mention in “Feature Story” on how the Michigan Reconnect program has affected enrollment, and the staff earned honorable mention in the front page design category.
The 2021-22 staff of The Agora include editors Werlinger and Bacarella and staff members Greenwood, Underwood, Emma Marion and Michael Moser. The 2020-21 staff included Black and Meade as editors and staff members Werlinger, Cole Younglove and Kaylena Wilson. Dr. Matthew Bird-Meyer, professor of humanites, serves as the advisor to the students who participate in the publication of The Agora and teaches the Introduction to Journalism, Journalism Workshops I and II, and Photojournalism courses among others at MCCC. Past issues of The Agora can be found at mcccagora.com