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Dean Announces Alumni Winners of 2022 Awards for Excellence

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

Three graduates from the Class of 2021 and one from 2018 will be honored with 2022 Awards for Excellence during a virtual panel discussion on Tuesday, May 17 from 1-2 p.m.

Dean Sarah Bartlett announced that Mary Steffenhagen ’21 would receive the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting; Alexandra White ’21 is the winner of the Frederic Wiegold Prize for Business Journalism; Emani “King” Mack ’21 will be given the Newsweek Magazine Alumni Prize; and Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky ’18 will be honored with the Stephen B. Shepard Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Register here for the panel discussion and awards ceremony.

Mary Steffenhagen ’21 is being honored with the Hillman Award for her excellence in covering social justice issues. In the Urban Reporting concentration, she produced award-winning work that ran on the NYCity News Service site and elsewhere. One story she submitted to the Hillman judges was about Trader Joe’s employees facing retaliation over working conditions during the pandemic; another focused on ex-evangelicals finding each other on TikTok. A Milwaukee native, Mary graduated in 2014 from Concordia University Wisconsin with a major in English and business studies minor. She is a contributing reporter for Newsguard Technologies and Clear Health Costs.

Alexandra White ’21 is receiving the Wiegold Prize in recognition of her talent for covering business topics. The prize honors the late Bloomberg Markets senior editor and 18-year veteran of The Wall Street Journal. Alexandra hails from Long Island, and after graduating from Wesleyan in 2016, she moved to LA to work in local news, film production, and at a literary agency. While in J-School, she interned last summer at The Real Deal and last fall at Crain’s New York Business. Since graduating, she has been working full-time on the breaking news desk of the Financial Times.

Emani “King” Mack ’21 is the winner of the Newsweek Prize, created by alumni of the magazine to honor a graduate who best exemplifies the values, spirit, and excellence of Newsweek. King attended Hollywood High School in LA and Marymount Manhattan College, where he earned a B.A. in Digital Journalism, Dance and Media. While in college, he ran his own dance company. He honed his broadcast skills at the J-School and was featured in our NY1 special last year. King consistently demonstrated leadership qualities during his time at the school. One of the many awards he won at Marymount now seems prescient: In 2019 he was deemed “Most Likely to Run the World.”

The Shepard Prize given to Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky ’18 celebrates Founding Dean Emeritus Shepard, who served as dean for eight years, as well as the J-School’s commitment to investigative reporting. Jaclyn produces data-driven health and science stories for Gothamist and WNYC. She also runs Gothamist’s COVID data dashboard. The stories for which she is being honored focused on ventilation issues facing NYC public schools during the pandemic. At the J-School, she studied data journalism and was in the Health and Science concentration. Her work has appeared in NBC News, the autism news site Spectrum, the Daily Beast, and other outlets.