Mount Vernon native Abbey Nickel, journalism major and editor of The University of Findlay’s student newspaper The Pulse, recently was awarded 3rd place at the Ohio Newspaper Association’s Osman C. Hooper and Ohio Collegiate Newspaper and Best Website Awards competition.
The award category was In-Depth Reporting, and according to the judge’s report, “This is in-depth reporting compelling enough that it made a difference. Stories commanded authorities’ attention and sprang them into action …”
Nickel earned this award for a two-part series, which appeared in The Pulse in the spring of 2013, calling attention to the Cryptosporidium parvum (Crypto) cases at the University’s animal care facilities and what was being done to stop the spread of the disease, which can happen when proper hygiene practices are not followed.
“I accessed and used public records from the Findlay City Health Department and conducted interviews with sources from both the health department and the University, as well as students, to aid in my reporting,” said Nickel. “These stories taught me a lot about the importance and significance of in-depth reporting and the impact that it can have.”
According to Nickel, a follow-up article written by fellow student journalist Jordyn Willis appeared in The Pulse this month with details about how the University has changed some of the hygiene protocols at the facilities, including requiring students to wear coveralls when they handle young calves. The University also is requiring students to purchase and wear pull-on rubber boots that are left at the animal care facility to prevent spreading of the disease to other buildings. There have been no reported cases of Crypto this academic year.