They were created for in-class assignments, student newspapers, and online viewing.
They covered issues ranging from comprehensive mental health services to healthier school cafeteria food to rebuilding Detroit.
They came from five different universities and included two sophomores, a junior and two seniors.
While diverse on some levels, they also shared a commitment to telling important stories about what people across the Big Ten are doing to make the world a better place.
Today, we are pleased to announce, our five winners of the first BTN LiveBIG Student Solutions Journalism Awards.
- Sophia Bollag, a sophomore at Northwestern University, for In Focus: Improving mental health resources at Northwestern
- Jenna Jaynes, a senior at the University of Nebraska, for Native family works to keep its language and culture alive
- Dan Kilkenny, a junior at Rutgers University, for Rutgers Future Scholars
- Nicholas Munson, a senior at the University of Maryland, for Fresh, Locally Grown Food the Goal of New University Initiative
- Amrutha Sivakumar, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, for Detroit Future City: A 50-year experiment in urban planning
During the past school year, BTN challenged students from 12 Big Ten universities, along with soon-to-join University of Maryland and Rutgers University, to tell compelling and important stories through the BTN LiveBIG Share a Solution program. Students submitted 57 stories featuring people who were creating credible, documented solutions to social problems and making a positive impact in their communities. Stories were shared here as well as through BTN LiveBIG social media channels.
David Bornstein, co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and one of our judges remarked in today’s announcement: “These young students show great promise, and their stories show the appeal of solutions journalism. They are telling compelling stories and as they advance in their careers, we hope they will become even more rigorous in their analysis of the solutions they cover.”
As the network of the Big Ten Conference, BTN is committed to showcasing and supporting the best of each Big Ten university. For four years, BTN LiveBIG has shared stories about the community of Big Ten students, faculty, staff and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service.
The BTN LiveBIG Student Solution Journalism Awards program builds on a growing movement called Solutions Journalism, in which reporters investigate efforts to solve some of the world’s most vexing social problems and detail how or why an approach is working.
The stories were evaluated by judges including New York Times journalists Tina Rosenberg and David Bornstein, pioneers in solutions journalism. Together, Bornstein and Rosenberg co-author the “Fixes” column in The New York Times “Opinionator” section.
Other judges included Charlyne Berens, associate dean and professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications; Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland; Steve Miller, professor of television and media at Rutgers University; and Jake Wood, University of Wisconsin alum and Badger football player who has been featured on BTN LiveBIG.
We’d like to thank all of the students who submitted stories and to our partners on all 14 campuses who helped to spread the word about BTN LiveBIG Share a Solution.
Join us in congratulating these five outstanding students by reading their stories and sharing them with your friends. After all, the program is called Share a Solution!