Lamp wins 14 awards, including 3 first-place prizes


Emily Leers

Lamp Photographer Emily Leers of Taylorville won first place for News Photo for this picture of Lincoln Land students gathering to eat food from food trucks on campus for the popular Multicultural Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

Lamp staff

The Lamp, the student newspaper at Lincoln Land Community College, won 14 awards, including three first-place honors, at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual contest.

The Lamp, which also publishes online at, received the honors at the spring conference on Friday, April 8, 2022, at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

“This has been a tough year with many students still choosing to take classes online and limited events on campus,” said Tim McKenzie, professor of journalism and humanities and adviser of The Lamp. “Despite the limitations, we did our best publishing two print papers in the fall and creating a lot of work that appeared only at I’m very proud of what this small group of students accomplished.”

Sara Mullen of Nokomis won first place for Feature Writing for her story on farmers growing hemp. Mullen also won third pace for Headline Writing (“When the helpers need helping”).

Addison Keeley of Springfield won first place for News Column about a national study on students lying to receive scholarships. He also took home third place for Sports Column about boxing, Page Design and Reporter of the Year, which honors overall quality of writing by one reporter.

Emily Leers of Taylorville won first place for News Photo for her photo of students eating at the fall 2021 Multicultural Festival.

Evan Langellier of Virden won second place for News Story about lack of student involvement in extracurriculars at Lincoln Land.

Maddy Wycoff of Springfield won third place for Feature Writing about the return of the return of the Route 66 Mother Road car show.

Honorable-mention awards went to Chris Koorzen for Headline Writing (“Kitten still counts nine lives”) and Kalei Ramirez of Springfield for News Photo of Kyle Roughan working in his office as part of a story about the recently hired student engagement coordinator.

The whole staff won third place for Best Student Media, which is calculated based on the awards won in the contest; and the Mike Foster General Excellence, which is awarded for overall quality of print and online publications. The staff also received an honorable mention for News Story of the Year for a project to write about how life might look after the pandemic, such as the effects on religion and church attendance, political involvement, travel and many other topics.

Lamp Photographer Kalei Ramirez of Springfield won an honorable mention for News Photo for this picture of new Student Engagement Coordinator Kyle Roughan working in his office in October 2021. (Kalei Ramirez)