Three Students Recognized at The Forum's First-Ever Awards Ceremony


by Tejas Vadali

The Pulitzer Prize is regarded as the foremost accolade in professional journalism. This year, Latin founded its own equivalent: the Forum Awards. Sponsored by Latin alumnus Charles S. Gofen ’83, awards were given in three categories: Best News or Feature Story Focused on Latin; Best News or Feature Focused on a Local, National, or International Topic; and Best Essay or Commentary.

In addition to reaching out to the current Forum editors to organize the first Latin Forum Awards, Mr. Gofen donated a $250 cash prize for each award. 

Four judges comprised the panel that reviewed the thirty-four nominated pieces. Gofen, a principal of the investment firm Gofen and Glossberg and member of Latin’s class of 1983, drew on his time working as a reporter for such publications as the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post while judging the pieces. Ji-Yeon Yuh ’83, a professor of history at Northwestern University, utilized her experience working for the San Diego Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer to scrutinize the submitted works. The third judge was David Wishnick ’03, an Academic Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, who clerked for two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals. The fourth judge, Jennifer Nabers, teaches English in the Middle School and reviews books for Kirkus. After a month of deliberation, the judges had reached a consensus on the award winners.

For his work covering Latin’s action against sexual assault as well as the school’s efforts to include non-binary students, sophomore Robert Igbokwe received the award for the Best News or Feature Focused on Latin. The panel commented that Robert’s pieces, packed with voices from around the school, offered countless insights from every perspective.

Junior I’deyah Ricketts received the award for the Best News or Feature Focused on a Local, National, or International Topic for “This Is the Remix to Conviction: the R-Kelly Documentary (#MuteRKelly).” The judging panel, Professor Yuh, in particular, commended I’deyah on her unique voice and fearlessness with respect to shining light on issues of social justice.

My Summer Home,” junior Lindley McCutcheon’s personal essay about her own struggle with wealth-based biases, won Lindley the award for the best essay or commentary. The judges lauded Lindley’s commentary on classism for bringing much-needed attention to the issue at a school as affluent as Latin.

All of the award-winning articles are republished in this final issue of the Forum.