The Melcher Family Award for Excellence in Journalism annually recognizes an undergraduate writer at Duke University for the best journalistic piece produced in the previous year. A cash award of $1,000 is presented at an awards dinner held in conjunction with the Futrell Award, which honors a Duke alum in the field of media and communications.

Richard Melcher (Duke, T’74) is co-founder and principal of Melcher + Tucker Consultants, a strategic consulting firm based in Chicago. Prior to founding the firm, he was a writer and chief of the London and Chicago bureaus of Business Week. He has maintained close ties to the Sanford School and the DeWitt Wallace Center, and fondly recalls his years working on The Chronicle. This award represents his commitment to student journalism that is thoughtful, well documented and well presented.

How to apply:

  • Eligibility: Any journalistic piece published by an undergraduate Duke student during the previous year (January 1 to December 31)
  • Submissions may be sent by e-mail to Shelley Stonecipher. Please include a link to your piece, and in the text of the email message include current contact information (email, address) and the title, source and date of publication.
  • You may also (but are not required to) send a hard copy if you would like, to: Shelley Stonecipher, Sanford School of Public Policy, Box 90241, Room 141.
  • The deadline for submissions is January 31, although candidates are encouraged to send their pieces at any time before that date.

For questions about the award, please contact: Shelley Stonecipher.

Answers to FAQ:

Eligibility
All forms of journalistic media are eligible and encouraged, including blogs and broadcast news.
All focus areas are eligible, including Arts, Sports, OpEd, etc.
Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are all eligible.

Selection
The Melcher Awards committee is comprised of faculty members. Professor Bill Adair heads the committee.

Awards Event
The Melcher Award is presented at an awards dinner in the spring, together with the Futrell Award. The awards dinner includes student journalists and alumni in the fields of media and communications. The Melcher Award recipient may invite close family members to the event. If the award recipient has graduated at the time of the awards dinner, we will cover travel expenses for the award winner to return to campus.

Melcher Award Recipients

 

2017

Andrew Tan-Delli-Cicchi, Supermanwoman, The Standard, October 16, 2017

Honorable Mention:

Julia Donheiser, Choice for most: In nation’s largest voucher program, $16 million went to schools with anti-LGBT policies, Chalkbeat, August 10, 2017

Riley Griffin, When Trump talks about ‘fake news,’ he probably means Russia coverage, Poynter, April 12, 2017

Sam Turken, Why doesn’t the men’s basketball program have female managers?, The Chronicle, December 8, 2017

 

2016

Amrith Ramkumar and Rachel Chason

2-part series in The Chronicle, February 29 and 30, 2016

  1. EVP Tallman Trask hit parking attendant with car accused of using racial slur;
  2. Employees describe hostile, discriminatory environment in PTS department

Honorable Mention:

Rajiv Golla, A Mosque, a Fire, and a Lesson, Roads & Kingdoms, July 12, 2016

Carly Stern, Twelve dollars, Chronicle, April 7, 2016

 

2015

Andrew Kragie, A second best decision, The Chronicle, February 25, 2015

Honorable mention:

Mumbi Kanyogo , Coming to America, The Standard, November 5th, 2015

 

2013-2014

Emily Feng, The Occupiers: Out of the Classrooms and Into the Streets, China Hands Magazine on December 5, 2014

 

2012-2013

Andrew Beaton, The Oral History of Tailgate, The Duke Chronicle on November 08, 2013

 

2011-2012

Sanette (Tanaka) Sloan, 3-part series on The Rebounding Workforce, The Chronicle on April 23-25, 2012

2010-2011

Lauren Carroll, Kunshan Campus Takes Shape Amid Doubts, The Chronicle on April 6, 2011

 

2009-2010

Rachna Reddy, Questions linger about Hellinga case, The Chronicle on April 20, 2010

Special Recognition:

Ryan L. Brown and Naureen F. Khan, Ladies First: Does Sexism Exist at Duke?, Towerview, April 2010

 

2008-2009

Jessica Lichter, 3-part series in The Chronicle, March 17 – 19, 2009, entitled “Making the Grade”

Part 1:GPAs have steadily risen over decades since 1960: Average Duke GPA has increased 1 point

Part 2: Grading on a curve: Several causes underlie grade inflation, which affects majors differently

Part 3: No easy solution for grade inflation exists, some say

 

2007-2008

Ben Cohen, Leveling the Playing Field:  The Impact of Race on the Search for Duke’s Next Head Football Coach, The Chronicle, December 6, 2007

Special Recognition:

Robert L. Copeland, 3-part series DUPD Plagued by Attrition, The Chronicle,

 

2006-2007

Kristin Butler, Soaking the Poor: With All Deliberate Speed, The Chronicle

 

2005-2006

Jeffrey Stern, Family Man: The Story of Three Men Who Share a Tent by the Tracks Just Off Main Street,  The Independent

Special Recognition:

Seyward Darby, Mission in Mississippi: North Carolina Medical Volunteers Bring Hope, Aid to Katrina Victims, The Chronicle, September 13, 2005.

 

2004-2005

Andrew Gerst,  for his article Building Comunidad, Towerview.

An Honorable Mention for Investigative Reporting goes to

Jake Poses and Matt Sullivan for their series of articles on possible steroid use by some Duke baseball team players, published in Duke’s student newspaper the Chronicle in April 2005.

 

2003-2004

Philip Kurian, Journeys in South Africa

Honorable Mention:

Emily Rotberg, N.C. Textile Towns Struggle with Massive Layoffs

 

2002-2003

Tyler Rosen Assessing Intellectualism, The Chronicle

 

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