12/18/20 Jordan Smith

Exponent Managing Editor Jordan Smith won first place in the election category of the Keating Competition, it was announced today.

Smith, 21, of Cedar Lake, Indiana, is a senior in Purdue's business school.

The winning entry, which also earns Smith a $1,000 prize, focused on the divisiveness of the November election through the eyes of neighbors.

Neighbors talk politics during a polarized presidential election

Of the story, the judges wrote:

"We loved the piece about the neighbors in Lafayette with different political views. We could tell that Jordan helped the characters in the story feel comfortable sharing personal perspectives on the election. Jordan used great photos and picked up on small details that added a lot of visual elements to the story. It was a very relatable piece and we loved the creativity of just going out into a neighborhood to talk to real people."

The Keating Competition pays homage to the late Indy Star journalist Tom Keating, a beloved columnist and Lilly Endowment executive who was especially good at telling the stories of everyday people.

The group's 2020 competition was different because it is typically an in-person contest over the course of two days. This year's competition asked Indiana's college students to submit their best published writing on the past year’s most pressing topics: the pandemic, social justice, the election or campus news (news, features or sports).

Since its inception in 1986, the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation's Keating program has awarded more than $163,000 to Indiana college and university students. The Lilly Endowment underwrites a portion of the Competition each year.​

Smith's stories this year include these, in case you missed them:

A new path: Purdue student vows to find meaning in wake of sister's unsolved slaying

The lone gardener: "A gardener comes back and takes care of his plants. A landscaper, they set it and forget it. They don't care."

Puerto Ricans can replace a toppled governor or pick a president, but not both

Student farm continues to grow greens, despite losing money

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