The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The Mesquite recognized with regional, state awards

The Mesquite wins 10 awards at 2018 TIPA Conference

The Mesquite, Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s student-produced online digital news source, won 10 awards at the 2018 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Awards, including five first-place awards.

The first-place recognitions were awarded for work The Mesquite produced in the 2017 calendar year. Two of the stories recognized focused on high school football on the South Side of San Antonio.

Editor-in-Chief Jerry Quijano is proud of the work his newsroom has produced, especially the projects which integrated videos, visuals and audio stories.

“We are constantly seeking new ways to tell the story of this emerging university,” Quijano said. “This newsroom is teeming with talented individuals, I’m excited for their futures and the future of this news organization.

Reporter Jose Arredondo won an individual award for photography and contributed reporting on the football stories.

Sofia Medina and Ruben Betancourt both earned third-place awards in the live competition portion of the conference, which took place March 21-24 in Dallas.

2018 TIPA On-Site Contest Results

    Third Place, Sofia Medina
    Third Place, Ruben Betancourt

2017 Previously Published Results

First Place Awards

Third Place Awards

Honorable Mention Awards


Winner, Finalists celebrate journalism awards and teamwork

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awarded Communication senior Jose Arredondo regional winner in the category of Online Feature Reporting for his feature “Bola in the Barrio,” published in Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s student-run new site, The Mesquite. Arredondo and seven of his journalism classmates received awards and recognition at the regional conference March 2-3, 2018 at San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas.

Regional judges wrote Arredondo’s story “showed an eye and ear for detail while also giving a quick explanation for the game of handball. This story was very well done. Bravo.” Read the story:

Arredondo will now compete for a national Mark of Excellence award with other category winners from the twelve SPJ regions across the United States. The awards recognize the finest in student journalism in online, print, radio and television.

In addition, SPJ awarded Arredondo as finalist in the General News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students and Online Feature Reporting categories for his story “Women’s march draws hundreds of people.” The judges wrote that “marches are most often very boring to shoot, but this photo is anything but boring,” complimenting his composition and balance. View the photos:

The association awarded Josiah Cuellar, Aaron Perez, Seth Ruiz and Marcellius Caviness as team finalists in the Online-In-Depth Reporting category for “Small town boy to Texas Senator: a younger brother recalls the legacy of Frank Madla Jr. The judges wrote: “Fascinating profile that makes the most of the online medium.” Read the story:

Communication students Rene Orozco, Brittany Denayer, Jose Arredondo and Victoria Martinez received a finalist award in Online Sports Reporting for their article, “An enduring rivalry with roots in community.”

“If readers didn’t understand the heart and thoughts behind an enduring rivalry – why people without children at the high school still find it important – this article makes it clear. Lots of sources who gave visceral stories that keep readers’ interest from start to finish. Well done,” the judges said. Read the story:

Jenny Moore, director of Student Media and faculty adviser for The Mesquite, said she was proud of the students’ initiative to develop their own story ideas, and the editors’ time to nominate the work of their classmates.

“Much credit goes to the leadership of our 2017 editors and media fellows for providing newsroom leadership and direction, including Jerry Quijano, Kimberly Rivera, Ami Sarabia and James Miller,” she said.

“The opportunity for students to run their own news-site and receive regional recognition is a powerful step in becoming future journalists and communicators. These student leaders will remember the recognition they received, and the stories they produce that positively impact their communities.”

About the Author

Jerry Quijano
Jerry Quijano's enthusiasm for storytelling earned him a spot to attend the 2016 Podcast Movement in Chicago where he received instruction on crafting audio stories. He was selected as an alternate for NPR's Next Generation public radio training. Jerry envisions working in public radio in a large market and would like to become a producer on WBEZ’s This American Life. He serves as assistant editor of The Mesquite and producer for "Magnified," a podcast production.

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