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

Collegian editor-in-chief gets state honor

By Martin Ramirez/ south news editor

Collegian editor-in-chief Jamil Oakford celebrates her statewide award with student publications director and adviser Eddye Gallagher in Dallas April 2.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Collegian editor-in-chief Jamil Oakford celebrates her statewide award with student publications director and adviser Eddye Gallagher in Dallas April 2.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

The Collegian editor-in-chief Jamil Oakford was awarded the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s highest honor: Journalist of the Year.

The newspaper also won 20 awards overall from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competitions.

“I’m pretty excited,” Oakford said. “I did not think I’d get it since it’s a statewide award.”

Oakford’s honor also comes with a 10-week internship with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, a position that makes her excited and scared. She almost missed the deadline for the award.

“It was a slim chance. I got it in at the last second with the extended deadline,” she said. “It was a strange feeling to have my name announced and go up there to receive the plaque. I’m hoping the Caller can teach me to be more professional. The Collegian gives a simulated idea of being in a newsroom, but the Caller produces content on a daily basis.”

Journalism instructor and Collegian adviser Chris Whitley said Oakford deserves the award after all the work she’s done.

“I never know what’s going to happen there [the competitions],” he said. “When something like Jamil’s award does happen, it’s pretty special.”

Student publications director and adviser Eddye Gallagher said she was as surprised as Oakford with the outcome of the competition since she usually knows the results ahead of time.

“We think she’s deserving of the award, but it was a surprise because she is the fifth TCC student to win this award out of 11 years,” she said. “We are so proud of her.”

The Collegian staff won six TIPA awards including third place for best breaking news package and best online community engagement.

TIPA also awarded four individual first-place awards to the staff in different categories: editorial to Hope Sandusky, feature story to Victoria Almond, feature page design to Amanda Boyd and information graphic to Suzann Clay.

Collegian layout/design member Boyd won a first-place newspaper award for feature page design in addition to her first-place magazine design in the on-site contest.

Boyd said she was surprised by her win.

“I’ve never won anything like that before,” she said. “It was my first TIPA, and I didn’t know what to expect.”

Clay won first place in information graphic and four other newspaper awards.

Photo editor Bogdan Sierra Miranda won honorable mention for his feature photo in on-site competition.

“When they announced my name [which was mispronounced], all I remember was that instead of clapping I heard laughter,” he said, joking at the way his co-workers celebrated his win. “I mean I didn’t know what to expect. It was my first time at TIPA.”

Whitley said he is proud of The Collegian and thrilled that Oakford won the internship.

“Jamil has done a great job for us,” he said. “To see her get the statewide recognition and life-changing experience over the summer, it’s really great to see that, especially for someone like Jamil who is such a great person. She deserves this.”

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