The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awarded three Texas A&M University-San Antonio Communication students with Region 8 Mark of Excellence awards March 19 at the Region 8 Spring Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
Judges awarded Alejandra Casas the winning entry in the category of feature photography for a photograph taken at the 66th Annual San Antonio Stock and Rodeo. Competing in the same category, Ami Sarabia received recognition as a finalist for her photo of the Zombie Walk, an annual event held in San Antonio each fall.
“I’m proud of myself,” said Alejandra Casas, senior photojournalism major at A&M-San Antonio and visual editor for the university’s online newspaper, The Mesquite. “The best advice I can give to student photographers is to keep shooting photos.”
SPJ awarded communication major Ingrid Wilgen finalist for her photo illustration of Jaguar Style: Spring Commencement 2015. The illustration highlighted the graduates in a unique way by featuring a variety of graduation caps and shoes as they crossed the stage.
SPJ’s Region 8 comprises Oklahoma and Texas. First-place winners will move on to the national MOE competition among category winners from the 12 SPJ regions. The Mark of Excellence award recognizes the finest in student journalism. Entries in print, radio, television, and online collegiate journalism are eligible for submission by students enrolled in a U.S. or international university.
Entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries they felt were outstanding work worthy of such an honor. If the judges determined that none of the entries rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.
First-place winners will move on to the national MOE competition among category winners from the 12 SPJ regions. National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at Excellence in Journalism 2016 (EIJ16) in New Orleans, Sept. 18-20.