Staff photographer is named Two-Year Photojournalist of the Year.
By Kimberly Caballero
The Ranger took home 21 awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention March 21-25 in downtown Dallas.
TIPA is “one of the largest and most respected collegiate groups in the country” and has more than 25 on-site competitions during its annual conventions, according to the organization’s website.
Six journalism sophomores from this college attended the event. They are staff reporters Maya R. Williams and Sergio Medina; staff photographers Brianna Rodrigue and Lorena Torres Romero; managing editor Kimberly Caballero; and sports editor Dillon Holloway.
Among the 60-plus 50 minute workshops was “Eye on the Ball: What a Reporter Does During a Game,” presented by Drew Davidson, Cowboys beat writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Davidson presented types of stories a sports reporter covers, from features to hard news. He also discussed how to develop a strong dynamic with sources without overstepping ethical boundaries.
Another workshop, “Bad Ledes,” presented by Chris Whitley, director of student publications at Tarrant County College, offered tips on how to begin stories with a strong lead and common errors to avoid in leads.
Students attended workshops between entering live contests in writing, editing, design, broadcast, photojournalism, advertising and public relations.
For example, editorial writing required entrants to create an editorial on the controversial topic of gun control, and sports writing was on a scrimmage played by the basketball team Lady Movin’ Mavs’.
The Ranger placed in two of the 33 on-site contests.
Rodrigue and Romero won third place in the two-person photo essay.
The photo essay required them to capture moments of Dallas at sundown and submit their best photos with cutlines and create a layout in the software InDesign before the allotted 3 ½ hours ran out.
Rodrigue said she was excited about the opportunity to compete against universities and win an award with a teammate by her side.
“I was very excited and happy. It is exciting that a two-year college could go up against universities,” she said. “It was great to experience a two-person contest with Lorena, a fellow photographer who is great.”
Torres, who competed in four on-site contests, also acknowledged her teammate and the earnestness she felt to win an award for Rodrigue.
“It was probably one of my least stressful competitions because I had my teammate with me. I thought, ‘We got this in the bag,’” she said.
Torres also shared her enthusiasm for the networking opportunities the convention offered.
She met a lot of fellow student journalists and is now connected with them through social media outlets such as Instagram.
Rodrigue also placed third in sports action photo.
Deandra Gonzalez, journalism sophomore and staff photographer, was awarded the Individual Overall Excellence 2017 award as Two-Year Photojournalist of the Year.
“All my hard work I’ve done was noticed,” she said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Awards were also given in work published in 2016-17. The ranger competes with larger two- and four-year colleges in Division 2.
The Ranger’s awards for previously unpublished work include five first place awards.
Nicole M. Bautista, journalism sophomore and multimedia editor, placed first in in-depth reporting video and first in multimedia sports story; Gonzalez placed first in general news photo; and James Dusek, former student and former features editor, placed first in sports feature story and first in editorial.
J. Del Valle, journalism sophomore and former sports editor, placed second in multimedia sports story; and Dusek placed second in static information graphic.
Rodrigue placed third in sports feature photo; Gonzalez placed third in feature photo and third in cartoon; Zachary-Taylor Wright, journalism sophomore and former editor, placed third in breaking news; Del Valle placed third in feature Story; Wally Perez, former student and editor, placed third in iIllustration; and Dusek placed third in inside news page design newspaper.
Alison Graef, journalism sophomore and editor, won honorable mention in cartoon; Dusek won honorable mention in feature page design newspaper; and Emily Garcia, former student and news editor, won honorable mention in in-depth reporting.
The Ranger staff won honorable mention in overall design newspaper.