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 wins statewide journalism award

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

The Collegian editor-in-chief Shelly Williams accepts the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s Journalist of the Year award from Del Mar College’s Robert Muilenburg March 27.Casey Holder/The Collegian
The Collegian editor-in-chief Shelly Williams accepts the Texas Community College Journalism Association’s Journalist of the Year award from Del Mar College’s Robert Muilenburg March 27.Casey Holder/The Collegian

Shelly Williams, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, was named the 2010 Journalist of the Year by the Texas Community College Journalism Association.

The announcement was made at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention March 25-27 in Kerrville. Journalism students from across Texas competed in on-site contests, attended workshops and received recognition for their 2009 publications work.

The Collegian’s print edition and Web site received several awards.

The Collegian received first in General Web Site Excellence for its division, and Steve Knight, former editor-in-chief, won first in online Best Breaking News.

The Collegian print edition won Division II Sweepstakes, the conference’s high-point award, for the 2009 calendar year and received honorable mention in Division II Best of Show on-site competition.

In a separate competition Saturday night, the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors ranked The Collegian second among Texas college non-daily newspapers.

Williams’ Journalist of the Year award comes with a two-month paid internship with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Williams was told the Caller-Times staff responsible for choosing the winner is excited to meet her. The editorial staff selected Williams based on samples of her work, a personal letter describing her goals for a career in journalism and recommendation letters from her advisers.

The announcement came as a complete surprise, she said.

“When the announcer said [the winner] is someone who has done opinions and some photos, the thought ran through my head that it could not be me at all,” Williams said. “Then he said my name, and I went into complete shock.”

Williams had coached herself the night before that if she won, she would not cry. It did not work, and her reaction made The Collegian faculty advisers Eddye Gallagher and Chris Whitley cry with her.

“There are very few paid internships now,” Gallagher said. “For someone from a community college to get one at a well-respected daily newspaper is an accomplishment, an honor and a tremendous opportunity.”

Williams also received one of nine scholarships awarded to students of member colleges based on articles and recommendations. Hers was for $400.

Staff members Colt Langley, Casey Holder, Bethany Peterson and Williams competed in on-site competitions for feature writing and photography, sports writing and photography, news writing and photography, opinion writing and headlines.

Williams and several former Collegian staff members won 22 individual awards for previously published articles, photos, opinion pieces and design.

“Winning sweepstakes is a validating feeling,” Holder said. “All your hard work you just put into your paper, not knowing where you rank amongst the others. It’s scary.”

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