The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Torch receives national recognition


The Torch on Tuesday received first-place classification from the American Scholastic Press Association’s annual newspaper review for the first time since 2009.

The paper was judged on criteria such as: page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, cover design, advertising placement and photography.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our staff,” Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Ciechalski said. “And it isn’t just the staff—it’s every person that contributed to this paper since our editorial board began its tenure. Our editors, adviser and contributors all played a major part in helping the Torch grow, and so did every person who picked up the Torch on campus or read our website.”

The Torch entered several stories and designs for the competition, whose deadline was in March.

Former News Editor Angelica Acevedo’s story on former administrator Natalie Munoz’s departure from the University, and the effect it had on the R.I.S.E. Network was among the stories entered.

In the sports category, outgoing Sports Editors Troy Mauriello and Carmine Carcieri’s piece “Don’t Panik, Joe’s Home,” an interview with SJU baseball alumnus and San Francisco Giants’ second basemen, was entered.

Other stories entered include Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Ciechalski’s story on a 2016 petition regarding a canceled physician assistant ceremony at SJU and Design Editor Steven Verdile’s story from the November election issue on the top 10 comedy bits from the election season.

“Each of the staffers whose pieces were entered in the contest not only went above and beyond their expectations as student journalists, but they also exhibited a passion for reporting the news at SJU in a way that I haven’t seen since joining the Torch three years ago,” Ciechalski added.

In the design category, Verdile’s map spread for Ciechalski’s story on places for students to check out in Queens was entered.

The Torch also entered outgoing Managing Editor Gina Palermo’s photograph of the “Trump windows” from December. The Torch’s editorial on the role of student newspapers on campus was entered as well. For best issue, the Torch entered the edition on Desiigner’s tip-off performance.

In the adviser statement submitted to the contest, Torch adviser Jim Baumbach wrote, “Lastly, please also consider that the students do not receive any pay or college credit for their work; they do it for the experience and also the fulfillment that comes with being a journalist.”

“The only support they receive from the university is their office space, electricity and heat,” Baumbach said. “And, perhaps most impressively, they would have it no other way.”

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