Student Media brings home awards


Amarillo College’s Student Media has been recognized with more than 22 awards over a three-day conference in San Marcos, Texas hosted by the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. 

TIPA, one of the largest collegiate journalistic organizations in the country, draws its roots from nine students who came together at Baylor University to advocate for student press leadership. 

“This year marks the 115-year anniversary of TIPA and I’m so proud to be part of the executive board of the oldest Student Media Organization in the nation,” Maddisun Fowler, Student Media adviser and mass media instructor, said. “We got together as a board in San Marcos this last summer to plan and organize one of the best conferences we’ve had since before COVID. We had a wonderful line-up of guest speakers, sessions and workshops for our students to attend.”

Since its inception, the convention has seen students from two- and four-year schools travel from all parts of Texas to participate in hopes of raising the standard of college publications, exchange ideas with their peers, network with prospective employers and learn about different media techniques.

“It is fun to mix with four-year colleges and see where you might want to go to school,” Lance Hooper, a mass media major, said. “It’s just an all-round fun, grow-your-perspective kind of week.”

The live competitions, which ranged from PR release writing to TV announcing to magazine design, allowed students to showcase their specialties from the world of media that they are most passionate about. 

“I think it’s a really good opportunity to connect and network with fellow students and professionals,” Hayden Splawn, a graphic design major, said. “These events give me hope that there are people in the industry ready to support and encourage our successes in the future.”

In addition, TIPA hosted guest speakers from a diverse range of professions within media to encourage collaboration and ideas. 

Kym Klass, director of communications at Frazer Church, hosted “Women in Journalism: The World is at your Fingertips.” 

Klass, an alumna at Texas State, said she saw this as an incredible opportunity to share her 20-plus years of journalism experience with students in the field throughout the state.

“Returning to Texas State, where I will always attribute my start in journalism, was just a bonus,” Klass said. “I wanted to share my work as a storyteller/feature writer, and how my path offered me the opportunity to not just share incredible stories, but how they helped shape me into the writer I became. I was eager to share in my presentation a piece of advice given to me as a young reporter, when an editor told me while covering a heart transplant story to basically ‘do better.’ He said: ‘I could have sent anyone to cover this story. I need you to show me what’s happening.’ It changed the trajectory of my career and I wished to pass that on to our up-and-coming journalists. And to share how storytelling is possible through compassion, listening and talking less,” Klass said. 

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