Leadership Profile

What's Happening at Cedar Crest College

Crestiad Writer Earns Statewide Award

Cedar Crest College sophomore communication major Jessica Kuc earned the honor for best review at a four-year college newspaper during the 2011 Keystone Press Awards, presented by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation and Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors during a luncheon in Hershey last month.

Jessica Kuc with mom, Jill, and Tom Barstow, president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors
Jessica Kuc with mom, Jill, and Tom Barstow,
president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors.

The review titled, “Halloween Haunt Special; Fall Frights in Your Area,” appeared in the October, 21, 2010 issue of The Crestiad. It documented the appeal of several local haunted houses/attractions in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding area in anticipation of Halloween. Kuc researched and visited each of the haunted houses and ranked them on such qualities as “Most Likely to Give You Nightmares,” “Most Authentic” and “Best Props.”

“I usually pick topics that are unique and never really explored. I can appreciate a good news story, but I’d rather go out into the world and use my writing as an excuse to have fun and try new things,” said Kuc, who has been largely confined to crutches or a wheelchair during the past year due to leg surgeries. “The leg surgeries have made me give up a lot—such as greater involvement in The Crestiad—so it was really great to be recognized for something I was able to do. Everyone on The Crestiad staff is so welcoming of new ideas. It’s a whole new experience, and without it I never would have had the courage to even voice the idea for this article.”

Elizabeth Ortiz, assistant professor of communication and adviser for The Crestiad, was proud of Kuc’s achievement.

“Jessica has been a vital part of The Crestiad and we were so excited when she was recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association,” said Ortiz. “Our student journalists, like Jessica, have to balance a lot of their plates and her award really motivates the entire staff to continue their hard work and dedication.”

Kuc said she plans to pursue creative writing as a career, most likely as an author of children’s books.