Michele Herman '85, Columnist for 'The Villager,' Honored in NYPA Competition

May 8, 2018

Alumna Michele Herman '85 has received two honors – she won in the Best Columns category of the New York Press Association's 2017 Better Newspaper Contest, and, in a more unexpected recognition, she has been named poet laureate of tex-mex restaurant Tortilla Flats NYC.


Herman's three winning columns for local news outlet The Villager snagged her the first-place prize in the contest, which measures newspapers of similar size against one another in categories such as news, photography and advertising. The association receives approximately 4,000 entries every year.


The competition is judged by members of another state press association, with this years judges from the Michigan Press Association. The awards were presented at the annual spring convention and trade show in April.


Herman was recognized for her columns about villagers who were displaced by fires, soccer players in East River Park who tried to save the life of a heart attack victim, and an in-depth look at the retail plight on Christopher and Bleeker Sts.


The category's judges praised Herman's pieces for being "firmly rooted in local interest."


"The columns displayed the sense that the writer was willing to dive into the community, talk with anyone and everyone and distill [it all] into something with meaning — delightfully local, thoughtful collecting of expertise," the judges said. "Great writing, great voice with high impact.”