Heights Observer journalists win awards

Simone Quartell, photo by Patrick Mullen.

Simone Quartell, a senior at Cleveland Heights High School and a regular reporter for the Heights Observer, is the recipient of this year’s Philip W. Porter Scholarship from the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The chapter also selected Heights Observer advisory board member Dr. Richard Hendrickson for its Distinguished Service Award. Hendrickson is a long-time SPJ member and former chapter president who is an associate professor at John Carroll University.

An awards luncheon will be held May 7 at the City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave. beginning at 11:45 a.m. For more information, contact Tom Moore at tmoore56@msn.com or 440-454-3282. Prices are $15 for students, $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. 

Each year the chapter acknowledges the contributions of a journalist and/or journalism educator to the SPJ. And each year the chapter awards a $4,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from the Cleveland area. Students from six counties can apply and are required to submit six clippings of articles and a letter of recommendation. 

Quartell was one of three finalists to be interviewed by the scholarship committee. She was the first student from Heights High to win since the 1960s.

Quartell said she plans to attend Kent State University to study journalism this fall. She has served as editor of the school’s newspaper the Black and Gold, where she has covered school district issues intensively. She has written numerous stories for the Heights Observer since its inception in 2008. She is interested in hard news coverage, that is, stories that cover breaking news about crime, politics and other subjects. 

Hendrickson has had a distinguished career in journalism. He began his career in the U.S. Navy and later was a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Syracuse Post Standard, and a newsman for the Associated Press in Buffalo. He spent more than 35 years at the Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio, where he was editorial page editor and special projects director for the last nine years.

He is currently an associate professor at John Carroll University in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts and advises the student chapter of SPJ. He is an expert on First Amendment law and serves as the Ohio First Amendment co-chair for the SPJ. For the past several years he has been responsible for the publication of Writer’s Week, the society’s newsletter. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism, master’s in political science and Ph.D. in communication studies from Bowling Green State University.

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Volume 2, Issue 5, Posted 10:06 AM, 05.04.2009