Fourth-year biology student Clay Steell, who was the Argosy’s science editor for the 2015-16 publishing year, will cap off his final year at Mount Allison by winning the Crake-Sawdon award for his contributions to student journalism.
Steell’s many investigations led to our publishing some of the most in-depth work by a single reporter over the last year, as well as a recent look into the non-prescribed usage of study drugs among Mt. A students.
Beginning as a contributor when he found out any student was welcome to write for us at the close of his first year, Steell went on to report for the Argosy in all four of his years of study.
Steell said that working at the Argosy exposed him to societal issues in higher education. The care for these issues Steell has cultivated over the years has “become central to [his] identity.” He says working at the paper challenged him to “consider the story behind pretty much everything.”
Despite holding the position of science and technology editor, Steell’s journalistic interests ranged widely beyond these areas. He wrote or contributed in some way to all of the Argosy’s sections this year, but his reporting had a clear focus. “I was particularly fond of exploring issues relevant or tangential to science but not explicitly related to it,” he said, which he believes led to less common perspectives being considered.
Specifically, some of Steell’s investigations used data journalism to explore local climate and gendered implications of Mt. A’s student demography. Local science reporting can seem scarce in the face of Mt. A’s robust sports culture and Sackville’s arts scene, but regardless of whether it was finding an on-campus angle to a more abstract story, or simply seeking out the local beat, Clay’s reporting illuminated a multitude of goings-on in the local science community.
Clay will continue his studies this fall, when he will begin a master’s at Carleton University in Ottawa.
The Crake-Sawdon award is annually awarded to a Mount Allison student who has made a substantial contribution to print journalism. It is named for William Boyle Sawdon, who died in 2001 and was an editor of the Argosy as well as the Sackville Tribune Post’s publisher.
After Sawdon passed away, his family and the Crake Foundation established the award in his honour.