Feb. 10, 2004

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Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-7644.

3 KU journalism students win places in national Hearst competition

LAWRENCE --Three University of Kansas journalism seniors have placed in two competition categories of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program, with two students receiving cash awards.

Vonna Keomanyvong, Kansas City, Kan., and Joe Hartigan, Glen Ellyn, Ill., won in the feature writing competition, and Abby Mills, Overland Park, won in the in-depth news writing competition. The in-depth news writing contest attracted 81 entries from 47 journalism schools, and the feature writing competition, 113 entries from 63 schools.

More than 100 undergraduate accredited schools of journalism are participating in the 44th annual Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program, which consists of six monthly writing contests, including the categories of feature writing and in-depth news writing.

KU is in sixth place in overall points accumulated throughout the Intercollegiate Writing Competition, sponsored annually by the Hearst Foundation.

Keomanyvong, a journalism major with a news and information emphasis, won $600 for finishing fifth in the feature writing competition. Keomanyvong submitted "Imperfect Proportions: KU Women Seek Breast Plastic Surgery to Correct Health Problems, Body Image," an article published in the Feb. 18, 2003, University Daily Kansan. Her story profiled two KU students who underwent plastic surgery, the physical and financial pains, and how media and society played a role in the women's decisions. Keomanyvong is the daughter of Hongkham and Bounliang Keomanyvong of Kansas City, Kan.

Hartigan, a journalism major with a news and information emphasis, received a certificate of merit for placing 20th in the feature writing competition. His Oct. 6, 2003, article, "Memory Lingers for Peers, Family," in The University Daily Kansan was a story about an 18-year-old freshman who fell off a ledge outside his seventh-floor residence hall room and died. Hartigan said he aimed to make the student into a person and not just a number, detailing his life and the effect his death had on friends and family. Hartigan is the son of Mike Hartigan of Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Mills, majoring in journalism, news and information emphasis, and in Slavic languages and literatures, won $500 for finishing fifth in the in-depth news writing competition. Her article "After the Fall: University Studies Residence Hall Safety" compared KU's residence hall safety record to those of the other Big 12 universities. Mills is the daughter of Mary Abbott and Chuck Mills of Overland Park.

The Journalism Awards Program is sponsored by accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications and is funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The foundation's program awards more than $400,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

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