2022 Features (Midsize Newsroom) Winner

Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education

About the Winner:

How far can determination and resilience take students who lack financial resources and college know-how? 

That question guided the reporting of Eric Hoover, a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, as he produced vivid feature stories that captured students’ lived experiences — and illuminated the systemic obstacles in their way. In three separate articles, Hoover describes the depth of students’ ambitions and the forces working against them.

Comments From the Judges:

“The Redemption” is a beautiful, deeply reported piece of storytelling. Hoover picks just the right detail to give depth and movement to every paragraph, incorporates just the right research at the moment the reader needs it, structures the whole tale like a pro without indulging in sentimentality. Small thing, but I loved, for instance, that he waited to introduce that Shegog had bipolar disorder much later in the story, rather than suggesting it was one of the more defining aspects of his life (given that he was taking daily medication for it.)”

“Eric Hoover is such a consistently fantastic feature writer. I felt like I got to know so many of the complexities and challenges and strengths and layers of Frederick Sherog throughout, and equally important, got to learn more about the kind of college student that rarely gets covered. Love the examination of grit here and the reveal that more than anything, it’s the connection students make with the people on campus, their professors, classmates, etc. that help people along the journey and keep them going. Loved the line: ‘He was there because he had fought through what many scholars had merely studied.’”