By Emily Rodriguez
The Mesquite staff walked away with 13 awards, including three first-places, from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association during the group’s annual conference Saturday at the El Tropicano Hotel in San Antonio.
TIPA’s annual spring conference allowed students Texas’ two- and four-year schools to submit previously published work and to test their skills in on-site competitions. The convention also included workshops by journalism professionals on reporting tips and tools.
Communications-journalism senior Lucia Espino took first place in On-Site Television Announcing in Spanish and third place in On-Site Radio Announcing in Spanish.
Communications-journalism senior Alison Wadley and photo editor Monica Lamadrid teamed up to win honorable mention for On-Site Two-Person Photo Essay.
“It’s nice to be recognized for the work that I’ve done,” Wadley said. “I’m not the type of person that goes in thinking I’m going to win.”
Staff writer Michael Peters earned honorable mention in On-Site Print Sports Reporting.
For previously published work, The Mesquite staff earned honorable mention for Best Interactivity online.
Espino took home first place in Spanish Writing for a personal viewpoint on the importance of Día de los Muertos. She received honorable mention in the same category for a story about A&M-San Antonio’s teacher certification in the bilingual education program.
Espino attributes her success to her undergraduate courses and several internships at local media outlets, including Univision 41.
“Appreciate what you are being taught and what you learn from your internships. Most people don’t take their internships seriously. They just take it as another part-time job,” she said. “Internships are really a big compliment to your education.”
Wadley and online editor Andrew Kirkpatrick took first place for Best Use of Data online for a graphic detailing career resources.
Wadley won second place for Best Use of Mapping for her diagram of potential motorcycle parking spots and honorable mention for her Newspaper Feature Photo, which showed a child playing an interactive game at BiblioTech, the city’s all digital library.
Communications-journalism senior Jason Hogan won second place for Newspaper In-Depth Reporting for his story “Looking ahead: Campus funding.”
Comunidad/cultura editor Rebecca Salinas received third place in Newspaper News Story for “Panelists support state water plan,” a piece covering a Proposition 6 forum.
Graduate Joe Camacho and public editor Jacob Beltran received honorable mention in the Newspaper Photo Illustration their graphic of the university’s search for a student affairs vice president.
In other competitions, The Mesquite won Best Digital-Only Student Publication and first place in Online Opinion and Commentary for Region 8 from the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s top professional journalism organization. Region 8 includes Texas and Oklahoma.
Mesquite editor-in-chief Alma Linda Manzanares praised the staff’s accomplishments.
“I’m really proud of everyone. Things get really stressful around here and to have 13 awards given to us shows that our hard work is being recognized,” she said. “It shows people that even though we’re only three years old, we’re being noticed for putting out good work.”