MCCC’s student reporters win 27 state and national awards

Mercer County Community College VOICE staff members who attended the College Media Association conference in New York in March are, from left: Co-Editor-in-Chief Elijah Parkman-Williams, Co-Editor-in-Chief Ashley Jackson, Senior Reporter Ashley Peng, News Editor Ben Levitt, Social Media Editor Bruna Camara, Senior Reporter Kyle Goldware, Senior Reporter Ken Fantry, and Managing Editor Madhavi Steinert. 

Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) student newspaper, The College VOICE, has continued its award-winning tradition this year, earning top honors in multiple state and national competitions.

The combination of wins cements the VOICE’s reputation as the top two-year newspaper in the state and one of the highest-ranking and most award-winning in the nation, according to information provided by MCCC.


The VOICE earned 19 New Jersey Press Foundation awards, two College Media Association Apple awards, and a record five Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence (MOE) awards this year.


The MOEs, which are judged at the regional and then national level, are considered the Oscars of college journalism, according to the statement. Two-year colleges compete head-to-head with their four-year counterparts. This year one of the winners, Kayla Janetti, beat out The Harvard Crimson to win in the Cultural Criticism category. Other wins came in Editorial Cartooning, Sports Photography, and Column writing.


In the New Jersey competition, The VOICE won in 19 categories across the spectrum from news reporting to online video. They took the overall highest honor of First Place in General Excellence.


The VOICE’s staff of roughly 7-15 students reflects the diversity of the college, according to the statement. According to VOICE co-adviser, Professor Holly Johnson, this year’s team includes students of color, international students, non-traditional students, career prep students, students with physical and developmental disabilities, students on the autism spectrum, Honors college students, and first-generation students, according to the statement.

Johnson shares advising duties with Associate Professor Matthew Kochis. Both teach English and Journalism at MCCC.


“Most VOICE staffers carry a full college course load, and many work up to 25 hours per week at off-campus jobs,” Johnson said in the statement. “The recognition they have received this awards season is a testament to their tremendous work ethic, grit, enthusiasm and dedication.”