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Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 1:15pm

For the second consecutive year, The Impact, the Mercy College student newspaper, has won five journalism awards from the New York Press Association (NYPA). Mercy student reporters have won a total of 30 NYPA awards since The Impact first entered the competition in 2007.

The newspaper’s faculty advisor, Michael Perrota, associate professor of media studies and chair of the Communication and the Arts Department, said, “This is a true badge of honor. Our students are competing against their peers at the best colleges in New York. It’s like winning a state athletic championship.”

NYPA, a statewide professional group for journalists, hosts the annual competition for collegiate newspapers across the state. Judges review thousands of stories filed by student journalists throughout the calendar year and award prizes based on journalistic integrity and merit.

Mercy College’s 2019 NYPA Awards include:

Valerie Lopez: Second Place Feature Writing -  "A Mother's Keeper"
Amber Perez: Second Place Column Writing - "The Mind of Amber"
Nicole Acosta: Third Place Editorial Writing - Commentary on the safety of women riding in Ubers, the college admission scandal and MTA fare hikes. 
Francesca Simone: Honorable Mention Column Writing - "To Be Perfectly Frank"
Jared Naut: Honorable Mention News Reporting 
Valerie Lopez: Honorable Mention News Reporting

Sophomore Amber Perez said that both her confidence and her writing improved after joining the staff of the Mercy College paper. Perez’s award-winning column deals with painful subjects from her past, including living with her family in a shelter and being the victim of sexual assault. Her stories moved others to share similar experiences of their own. “[I learned that] other people need to know they’re not the only ones this happened to. Your story can help them,” she said.

Perrota added, “Even though classes have been online since March and the academic year has ended, The Impact staff are still meeting weekly and reporting actively. They remain on the job, keeping the Mercy community informed.”