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The Society of Professional Journalists hosted its Region 1 SPJ Spring Conference on April 9. During that time, the Region 1 Mark of Excellence Award winners for the 2010 calendar year were announced, and Point Park University student Faith Cotter and recent graduate Lucy Leitner claimed first place for their Justice magazine piece, "No Remorse," in the Non-Fiction Magazine Article category (read their article).

The publication, an annual magazine created by The Innocence Institute of Point Park University, also took third place in the Best Student Magazine category.

Leitner, who received her Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication in 2009, and Cotter, a journalism and mass communication senior, advanced to the national round of judging, where they won the National Mark of Excellence Award in the Non-Fiction Magazine Article category.

This year, the Mark of Excellence Awards received almost 4,000 entries across SPJ's 12 regions. SPJ Region 1 includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Central/Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.