The Miami Hurricane, UM’s student-run newspaper, won first place in two categories at the 21st annual Sunshine State Awards held on Saturday, August 15. Winning the top award for Best Student Publication (High Frequency) and Best Website (High Frequency), The Miami Hurricane staff’s hard work was recognized during the statewide contest sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists Florida Pro Chapter.

Faculty adviser to The Miami Hurricane Ileana Oroza began working with the staff in 2014.

“It’s very nice to have SPJ reward the hard work of our student journalists. Last year, the editors pretty much transformed the Hurricane. Now, in addition to being a twice-a-week print publication, it is a 24/7 online news outlet. So it is particularly rewarding to receive recognition for the Web operation,” says Oroza.

Created in 1995 by the Society of Professional Journalists Florida Pro Chapter, the Sunshine State Awards honor excellence in journalism throughout the state of Florida. Editor-in-Chief of the winning Hurricane staff, Alexander Gonzalez, graduated from the University of Miami May 2015 and was more than proud to have his staff honored with this distinction.

“This award recognizes the staff’s hard work and dedication. It’s not easy to produce both a quality print publication as well as keep up on the Web. SPJ’s honor means that we’ve done well and can continue to raise the bar,” says Gonzalez.

The Miami Hurricane was founded in 1929 and is published semi-weekly on Mondays and Thursdays during the academic semester, distributing 8,000 copies at more than 50 locations on and off-campus. The publication’s online presence is updated daily, increasing readership to more than 30,000 people. Visit to read the online version of The Miami Hurricane.

To read more about the Sunshine State Awards, please visit