Student Journalists Win Big at Milner, TIPA, TAME, Hearst awards

Two people speak in front of a small audience in a newsroom.

Jean Marie Brown, director of student media, introduces journalism alumna Elizabeth Campbell ’18 as the featured speaker at the annual Student Media Awards presentation on Friday, April 28, 2023, in the student newsroom.

Student Media staff and contributors were honored at the Jay & Gail Milner Distinguished Student Journalism Awards.

Director of Student Media Jean Marie Brown presented, with help from alumni Elizabeth Campbell ‘18, a field producer for CBS News; Cristian AruetaSoto ‘21, a reporter at Fort Worth Report; and Shane Battis ‘18, a communications representative for Lockheed Martin.

The Milner awards are an internal contest, with one requirement: the work must have been published on a Student Media platform.

“The Milners is a celebration of Student Media,” Brown said.

The Jay and Gail Milner awards are judged by alumni along with industry professionals. This year’s judges were Jeanette Quezada, a bilingual reporter with San Diego’s NBC7; Evan Watson, an investigative reporter with KGW 8 in Oregon; Susan Leath, board chair of the Ida B. Wells Society; and Norma Martin, a former editor of TCU Magazine, who is now a managing editor with Industry Dive.

At the spring award ceremony, seven students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism and mass communication honor society. Students were also presented with awards from Hearst Journalism Awards Program, Texas Association of Managing Editors, Texas Intercollegiate Press Association annual competitions.

Two people pose for a photo while holding an award.

Jean Marie Brown poses with Micah Pearce, who won the Celeste Williams Star Sportswriter of the Year award for 2022.

In the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association awards, students’ work is judged against other student journalists across Texas. While the Texas Managing Editors contest allows students to compete against full-time professionals at small publications.

“In many ways the awards are an affirmation of the quality of the student’s work,” Brown said. “Many of the entries were class assignments.”

Micah Pearce is the first TCU student to be awarded the Celeste Williams Sportswriter of the Year award, which recognizes the best professional sportswriters in Texas. The judge noted the depth of Pearce’s coverage which ranged from track to football.  Pearce, who is interning at the Star-Telegram this summer, will be executive editor of TCU 360 in fall 2023. Williams, was the managing editor for sports and features at the Star-Telegram before her death in 2017.

The team award from TAME recognizes the group work done by reporting students, who examined various aspects of policing and its place in the city’s budget.

Horned Frogs from any major are invited to work on TCU 360, a student-produced news website and home to The Skiff newspaper’s digital archives, Image magazine, TCU News Now, The Leap, Unscripted and numerous podcasts. This year’s staff included students from nearly every college or school at TCU.

A group of students and faculty pose for a photo in a newsroom.

New Kappa Tau Alpha inductees pose with faculty and alumni members at the Student Media awards presentation on April 28, 2023, in the student newsroom. From left: Dean Kristi Bunton, Micah Pearce, Sally Verrando, Professor Chip Stewart, alumna Elizabeth Campbell ’18, alumnus Shane Bettis ’18, Sasha Chapman and Emma Watson.

Kappa Tau Alpha inductees

Sasha Chapman

Haylee Chiariello

Ella Gibson ’23

Micah Pearce

Kyla Vogel ’23

Sally Verrando

Emma Watson ’23

Winning entries

Milner Awards

Two people pose with an award.

Director of Student Media Jean Marie Brown and Reporter of the Year Sally Verrando.

Feature story: “Swinging for the Fences” by Ian Napetian

Television news feature: “Dance TCU Showcase” by Amelia Crowley

Interactive: “Education in immense poverty” by Hope Crockett

Enterprise reporting: “Inside TCU’s housing crunch” by Haeven Gibbons ‘22

Sports writing: “Who is TCU basketball’s Big Sou?” by Matt Salotti ‘23

Enterprise multimedia reporting: “Creating to cope” by Haeven Gibbons ‘22

Story of the year – text: “More than a diagnosis” by Sarah Walter ‘23

Reporter of the year: Sally Verrando

Editor of the year: Haeven Gibbons ‘22

Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Awards

General News Multimedia – 1st Place: “Creating to cope” by Haeven Gibbons ‘22

General News Multimedia – 2nd Place: “The zoo in TCU’s backyard goes from humble beginnings to the No. 1 zoo in America” by Isabelle Acheson

Two people pose with an award.

Director of Student Media Jean Marie Brown and first-place winner Camilla Price

In-Depth Reporting – 1st Place: “Riff-Ram-Bah-Zoo: TCU joins fight to save horned lizards” by Camilla Price ‘23

In-Depth Reporting – 2nd Place: “HoloAnatomy: A virtual view of the human body” by Ella Gibson

Feature Reporting – Video – 2nd Place: “Unifying campus: Special Olympics basketball teamprepares for Orlando” by Katharine Vaughn & Kyla Vogel

Feature Reporting – Video – 2nd Place: “Students react to first campus snow day of 2022” by Tristan Smith ‘23 and Mike Niezgodzki

Feature Story – 3rd Place: “The Saarloos mentality: The long road from player to newest coach for TCU baseball” by Brooke Gianopulos

Newscast Video – 3rd Place: “TCU News Now: SPECIAL EDITION” by Edgar Saenz ‘23 & Madyson Buchanan ‘23

Sports Game Story – Honorable Mention: “A game of inches: TCU falls 31-28 to Kansas State in OT of Big 12 Championships” by Micah Pearce

Blog – Honorable Mention: Fall 2022 “What we are reading” series edited by Alexis Berry ‘23

Texas Managing Editors Awards

Team Effort – 1st Place: “The City Beat” by Reporting Class – Fall 2021

Infographics – 2nd Place: “TCU Baseball Team ERA” in “The Saarloos mentality” by Brooke Gianopulos

Two people pose with an award.

Director of Student Media Jean Marie Brown and winner Tristen Smith

Infographics – 2nd Place: “Attendance at Schollmaier Arena in 2022” in “Ten Years later, basketball attendance surges from rewards to records” by Micah Pearce

Video – 1st Place: “Esports skillet” by Tristen Smith ‘23

Video – 3rd Place: “CFP announcement” by Micah Pearce

Sports Feature – Honorable Mention: Micah Pearce

Star Online Package of the Year – 3rd Place: “Live Blog: Texas midterm election day 2022” by TCU360 Staff

Star Reporter of the Year – Honorable Mention: Haeven Gibbons ‘22

Celeste Williams Star Sports Reporter of the Year: Micah Pearce

University and College Newspapers – 3rd Place: The Skiff

Hearst Journalism Awards

Multimedia II (Top 20): “The toad to LA” by Tristen Smith ‘23

Explanatory Reporting (Top 20): “HoloAnatomy: A virtual view of the human body” by Ella Gibson ‘23