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

The Collegian editor-in-chief wins top statewide honor

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

The Collegian’s editor-in-chief Bethany Peterson was named the state’s community college journalist of the year, one of a number of awards the newspaper won during conferences last month.

Peterson’s award comes with a 10-week paid summer internship with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She received the honor during the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention in Corpus Christi March 30. Peterson also took home TIPA’s reporter of the year award, which she shared with Kasi Dickerson of Kilgore College.

A week earlier, Peterson won first place in online news reporting, first place in editorial writing (shared with former editor-in-chief Shelly Williams and former South Campus news editor Mona Lisa Tucker) and first and second place in news reporting at the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional conference. First-place winners in the region, which includes colleges in Texas and Oklahoma, are automatically entered into SPJ’s national competition.

Peterson is the third Collegian editor to win the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s Journalist of the Year honor despite the award itself being only seven years old. She said she was in awe of her company.

“After knowing and being around all the amazing editors we’ve had in the past, some of whom had this opportunity and got this internship, it’s validating to know that both Eddye [Gallagher, Collegian adviser] and Chris [Whitley, Collegian adviser] and the staff of the Caller-Times considered me to be of the same quality as the people I’ve looked up to as I worked at The Collegian,” she said. “I’m also extremely proud of all our campus editors, designers and photographers, both past and present, for their hard work that earned them their awards.”

Williams, now a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, is one of the other Collegian members to win the Journalist of the Year award, winning it in 2010. She was Peterson’s first boss at the paper and was at the conference to celebrate.

“I wanted to scream for joy,” Williams said. “I was just extremely proud to see her go from someone who didn’t know this was the right place for her to someone who shined in everything she does.”

Others who took home multiple individual awards were SE Campus news editor Karen Gavis, former reporter Amy Estrada and former designer Keisha McDuffie. Gavis won first place in feature writing from both TIPA and SPJ for a story on Matt Lundy, a SE student paralyzed by a drunken driver. McDuffie and photographer Georgia Phillips also won first-place awards for their contributions to the feature.

“He [Lundy] is the real winner of that story,” Gavis said. “Some stories are hard to write, but that one wasn’t. He’s an inspiration.”

Estrada won third place in SPJ’s feature writing contest and second place in TIPA’s. She also received an honorable mention in in-depth reporting from TIPA.

McDuffie was everywhere in TIPA’s design awards, earning honorable mentions in headline writing, sports page design and page one design, first place in feature page design and both in information graphics.

“Keisha is one of the most creative minds I’ve ever run into,” Gallagher said of McDuffie. “She can see the news that’s in an event … and then she can put a spin on it that just makes the page pop out. She makes the writers’ work better.”

Gallagher expressed pride in all of her students.

“They’re very serious about their work,” she said. “They’re very serious about getting things done and doing things correctly. They take pride in what they do.”

The paper itself won first place in opinion/editorial page design from TIPA and first place for best website and second place for best non-daily newspaper from SPJ.

The Collegian also received honorable mention by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors’ college newspaper of the year contest.

“It sounds like there’s something in the water at The Collegian,” Williams joked.

 

Society of Professional Journalists 


First-place awards:

Best website

Staff

Editorial writing 

Bethany Peterson, Shelly Williams and Mona Lisa Tucker

Feature photography 

Georgia Phillips

Feature writing 

Karen Gavis

News writing

Bethany Peterson

Online feature 

Martina Treviño and D’Andre Hillman

Online news 

Bethany Peterson

Photo illustration

Casey Holder

Sports column 

Drew Williams, Eric Poe and Marley Malenfant

Sports photography

David Reid

 Second place:

Best non-daily newspaper

Staff

News writing

Bethany Peterson

 Third place: 

Feature writing

Amy Estrada

Online feature

Leah Bosworth and Tristian Evans

Reporter of the Year

Bethany Peterson

 

Previously published

First place:

Opinion/editorial page design

Staff

Feature writing

Karen Gavis

Feature photo

Casey Holder

Information graphic, feature page design 

Keisha McDuffie

Editorial cartoon

Kevin Smith

 Second place:

Column writing

Shelly Williams

 News featureAmy Estrada

Honorable mention:

Editorial writing

Bethany Peterson, Mona Lisa Tucker

In-depth reporting

Amy Estrada

Sports feature

Eric Poe

Page 1 design, sports design, headline writing, infographic

Keisha McDuffie

 On-site competition

Third place: 

Front page design

Eric Rebosio

 Copy editing

Joshua Knopp
Texas Community College Journalism Association 

Journalist of the Year: Bethany Peterson

Associated Press Managing Editors

College Newspaper of the Year: Honorable Mention

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