A Utah State University graduate and the university's student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) received top awards at the society's national convention.

Bryan Earl, a 1989 graduate of USU's communications program, won first place for television feature stories in the national SPJ "Mark of Excellence" contest.Earl's story about a commemorative trip through Utah on a steam passenger train took first place last spring in Region Nine SPJ competition before advancing to the national level.

The USU student chapter of SPJ will also be honored as outstanding chapter in the Rocky Mountain Region, placing it among the top 12 in the nation.

Fifteen students majoring in print and broadcast journalism belong to the USU chapter. At least 300 colleges and universities nationwide have these chapters, which give students opportunities to interact with professional journalists.