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Communication & Media

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Journalism student and online newspaper bring home national awards


NEW PALTZ -- Andrew Hackmack, a senior journalism student at the State University of New York at New Paltz, has been awarded the Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) Student Journalist of the Year Award. This national award honors an SCJ student chapter member who has represented the spirit of the First Amendment by making an outstanding contribution to student journalism.

Hackmack has contributed much of his college career to the campus newspaper, The Oracle. He began contributing as a staff writer in the fall of 1999, and has since served as copy editor, opinions editor, news editor, assistant managing editor and editor-in-chief. Currently, Hackmack serves as the online editor for the Web version of The Oracle, a position he has held since its inception in September, 2002.

The SCJ also awarded The Oracle's online edition,, third place in their annual collegiate newspaper Web site contest. The Office of Web Management at SUNY New Paltz and student Web Programmer Assistant Tim Roberson, a senior computer science major, designed and developed the online newspaper. Hackmack said that the online edition of the The Oracle has expanded audiences, given more people access to see the work being done by New Paltz students and encourages interested students to participate.

"I couldn t have done it without the help of the experienced journalism faculty who have taught me so much, and pushed me to do my best," said Hackmack. "The talented group of student journalists I have worked with at The Oracle for the past four years have also taught me so much as both a journalist and as a person."

Shelly Wright, a professor in the Communication and Media Department at SUNY New Paltz, said, "Andrew has clearly left his mark on The Oracle and on the campus through his involvement with, and leadership of, the campus newspaper over the past four years. He is also the kind of journalism student who will leave here and regret that he wasn't able to fit every journalism course into his schedule. His curiosity and his commitment have helped him take full advantage of his college education, both inside and outside the classroom."

The SCJ also awarded The Oracle with first place for its editorial page and third place for front page layout. This year, the SCJ will award two Student Journalist of the Year Awards; in addition to Hackmack, Jerry Moore from North Carolina State University at Raleigh will also be honored. The Student Journalist of the Year Award is supported with a $500 scholarship funded by the National Dean's List.

Hackmack is a resident of Hicksville, NY, and the current President of the SUNY New Paltz chapter of the SCJ.

Note to editors: A photograph of Andrew Hackmack may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at