Communication Studies

Department Spotlight

Whitworthian Photographer Lands Top-Three Honor in National Competition

Nathan Chute, a 2008 Whitworth University alumnus, was named a national finalist in the Society of Professional Journalists' 2007 Mark of Excellence Awards. This year, collegiate journalists submitted more than 3,400 entries in 39 categories. Chute, who last year was the photo editor for The Whitworthian, placed in the top three of the sports category for his photo, "Blocked." Chute is joined by a second finalist from The Pennsylvania State University; the winning photo in the sports category was submitted by students from Indiana University at Bloomington.

"I encourage media executives who are looking for the next wave of high-quality journalists to pay attention to the winners of SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards," said Neil Ralston, SPJ's vice president for Campus Chapter Affairs. "These young men and women represent some of the best that journalism programs have to offer, and we're proud to be able to honor them at the national level."

The national winners and finalists previously won first place in one of SPJ's 12 regional competitions. While an undergraduate, Chute won first place in Region 10, which comprises colleges and universities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. National-award recipients will be recognized Friday, Sept. 5, at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon, which will occur during the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference at the Hyatt Regency, in Atlanta, Ga. For information on the upcoming convention, visit

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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