The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editor-in-chief wins Journalist of the Year award

Editor-in-chief Karen Gavis proofreads The Collegian. Gavis won top honors among two-year college journalists in Texas. Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Editor-in-chief Karen Gavis proofreads The Collegian. Gavis won top honors among two-year college journalists in Texas. Photo by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

By Anderson Colemon/south news editor

Karen Gavis, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, was named the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s Journalist of the Year, the top honor among two-year college journalists statewide.

The newspaper also won 26 awards overall from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and the regional society of Professional Journalists competitions, which were released April 6.

Gavis is the fourth Collegian staffer to win the Journalist of the Year Award in its nine-year history. As part of the award, Gavis will undergo a 10-week internship with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

“I was honored they chose me,” she said. “I’ve dreamed of writing and being on a beach. TCC has allowed a lot of my dreams to come true, and I am thankful for that.”

Student publications director Eddye Gallagher said she was thrilled with the results of the competition, particularly since former Collegian editor Bethany Peterson won the award last year.

“Karen is our fourth TCC student to get that honor, and it is unreal for us to have two in a row from TCC to be chosen by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times,” she said. “It says a lot for our program and Karen because it’s stiff competition.”

TIPA gave The Collegian its sweepstakes award in its online division as well as first-place honors for web site excellence, best interactivity, best blog and best use of multimedia.

Collegian entertainment editor Taylor Jensen won first place in feature writing for a story of a student who survived domestic abuse. She said it was an honor to win against tough competitors.

“It was hard, and you expect it to be difficult because the level of talent is high,” Jensen said. “It’s all about thinking on your feet.”

Former sports editor Eric Poe also won first place in sports news for a story on how TCC funds its intramural sports.

Designer Tamara Martinez won third in feature page design and said she did not think she would win.

“I was going against people that have been doing it for longer than I have,” she said. “But TIPA was a huge confidence booster, and I’m happy for the opportunity.”

Collegian staffers also won three awards in on-site contests that took place during TIPA’s convention in Fort Worth.

“It was an award-winning experience for all of us,” said managing editor Kenney Kost, who placed second in the on-site sports writing contest. “I’m glad we did so well because it boosted up everyone’s confidence because some people did things they weren’t yet exposed to. It showed our diversity and our ability to adapt.”

Multimedia editor Mario Montalvo, who won both first and second place in the best use of multimedia package category, said he wasn’t expecting to win an award and was proud of everyone.

“It’s a nice surprise,” he said. “Everyone deserved to win, and Karen deserved to win also. We all work hard, but she works really hard, so it’s well-deserved.”

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