During her first year with Times/Review Newsgroup, staff writer Jennifer Gustavson wrote enterprising stories on topics ranging from animal abuse to water quality concerns, all while routinely covering schools, civic groups and Brookhaven Town government.
Her efforts were recognized last Thursday night at the Woodbury Country Club, where the Press Club of Long Island, the local Society of Professional Journalists chapter, announced the winners of its 2011 Media Awards contest.
Ms. Gustavson was named 2011’s James L. Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year.
In entering the contest, Ms. Gustavson submitted several stories on three topics: one having to do with a family trying to piece its life back together after a house fire, another on a troubled Doberman pinscher breeder, and a single spot-news story on the delivery of a beam from the World Trade Center for use in the Rocky Point Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial.
More than 90 winners were named in 55 categories, with the Cub Reporter of the Year award being one of the most coveted.
“It was such an honor to receive this award alongside Long Island’s top reporters,” Ms. Gustavson said after the three-hour event. “I couldn’t have done any of this without all of the support I’ve received from the Time/Review staff.”
She also thanked Times/Review web editor Grant Parpan for “taking a chance with me.”
Mr. Parpan hired Ms. Gustavson to work primarily for The North Shore Sun in January 2010, just one month after she graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
“Jen is among the hardest-working and most dedicated reporters out there,” Mr. Parpan said. “I’m so excited the Press Club has recognized her talent and it was so much fun seeing her receive this very deserving honor.”
Ms. Gustavson had previously interned at Newsday, WSHU Public Radio Group, News 12 Long Island and the New York Daily News. She lives in Stony Brook with her husband, Shawn. The Sun newspaper, which covers northeast Brookhaven, has since gone online-only at NorthShoreSun.com.
Ms. Gustavson’s stories also appear in The Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review.