Florida International University students, faculty and alumni took home the hardware from the 2018 Sunshine State awards, held Saturday evening in Coral Gables, including a first-place award for South Florida News Service photographer Elizabeth Soza for her series focused on homeless in downtown Miami.
Carolina Morales Chataing and Monica Gomez Batista also received second and third place, respectively, for their Spanish language work.
From FIU Student Media, Nazareth Izada and Harold Daniel, won second place for coverage of LGBT issues for their “Out & Proud Series,” while Nicole Malanga received third place for her news photography.
Associate Professor Dan Evans, who also serves as SFNS’ news director, won second place for his Miami Herald profile of Ronnie Hurwitz, who has served as an unpaid caretaker of veterans’ graves at the Miami City Cemetery for more than three decades.
FIU alumni Matias J. Ocner and Katie Lepri, who work for the Herald and WLRN, respectively, also had a big night, bringing home numerous honors. Ocner was part of a team that won second place for an online video titled “Big Pine Key Rebuilds.” Lepri was part of a team that won first and second place, respectively, for social media work and online coverage of Hurricane Irma.