Bringing home 28 awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) conference in Forth Worth, students from the Department of Communications at The University of Texas-Pan American are attracting the attention of employers from across the United States with their skills.
"Seeing UTPA mentioned 28 times along with other large schools puts us on the map," said Dr. Timothy Mottet, professor and Henry W. and Margaret Hauser Endowed Chair in Communication. "Our students have two qualities that employers need: 21st century media skills, plus cultural competencies. Latino markets are exploding and our students are the market and the professionals who will work with these markets."
A select number of communication students active in The Pan American newspaper, The Panorama magazine, Bronc Radio and TV, and the Gallery, attended the TIPA Conference March 31 - April 2 competing against other students from top colleges and universities across Texas. Many submitted work before the convention for judging in several categories such as TV single public affairs program, general news photo, feature photo, news feature story, best multimedia package, and overall magazine and cover design, among other areas.
"TIPA is a conference that allows our students to test the marketplace with their work," Mottet said. "They get another person's perspective on the quality of their work. Many students learn, for the first time, how well prepared they are to compete in this competition."
Students who attend TIPA also have the opportunity of competing in on-site contests under deadline. Areas of competition include: television anchoring, editorial writing, public relations release writing, newspaper and magazine design, feature writing, radio and television commercial, sports writing, headline writing and many others.
Mottet said he hopes TIPA serves as a motivational catalyst for students who had a strong showing at TIPA to continue developing their craft and for those who did not place to engage in self-reflection, identify needed changes and then step it up. He also said he wants students to learn that the marketplace is incredibly competitive and they need to compete.
The Pan American newspaper and Panorama magazine have received additional recognitions since TIPA. The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 8, which covers 12 areas in Texas and Oklahoma, named The Panorama "Best Student Magazine" and The Pan American garnered two first place wins in editorial cartooning and online feature reporting. They also received second place in breaking news photography and third place in feature writing. All first place winners will advance to the national competition in May.
"I'm not surprised by the students' success because I know the quality of the faculty members who are developing and preparing them," Mottet said. "Many of our faculty come from professional ranks and know what our students need to be competitive in the marketplace. Mediocrity is no longer an option and I'm incredibly proud of our students and I have a deep respect and admiration for the number of hours our faculty invests in our students."
When UTPA's faculty demands excellence, students produce excellent work, Mottet said. The standings for TIPA and the SPJ Region 8 conference are:
Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Results:
• Honorable Mention - Overall Excellence
• Third Place - Cover Design
• Third Place - Illustration: Delvis Cortez
• Second Place - Poem: Jennifer Mendoza
• Honorable Mention - TV Single Public Affairs Program: Oscar Margain, Daniel Ledezma and Andrew Sanchez
• Honorable Mention - TV Audition Tape: Lilliana Lopez
• Honorable Mention - General News Photo: Daniel Flores
• Honorable Mention - Feature Photo: Daniel Flores
• First Place - Feature Photo: Joshua Garza
• Third Place - Overall Design
• Third Place - Overall Excellence
The Pan American
• Honorable Mention - General Column: Sara Hernandez
• Honorable Mention - Feature Page: Alexis Carranza
• Third Place - News Feature Story: Kristen Cabrera
• Third Place - Critical Review: Nadia Tamez-Robledo
• Third Place - Single Subject Presentation: Jennifer Tate, Sara Hernandez and Delvis Cortez
• Second Place - Overall Excellence
• Second Place - Online; Best Interactive Graphics: Jose Villarreal, Joao Calhandro, and Kristen Cabrera
• Second Place - Online; Best Multimedia Package: Sara Hernandez, Alma E. Hernandez, Kristen Cabrera, Pamela Morales and Heather Arevalo
• First Place - Online; Best Multimedia Package: Jose Villarreal, Joao Calhandro and Kristen Cabrera
• First Place - Online; Best Use of Data: Jose Villarreal, Joao Calhandro and Kristen Cabrera
• First Place - Information Graphic: Jennifer Tate
• First Place - Picture Story: Alma E. Hernandez, Freddie Martinez, Tammy Ayala and Mayra Godinez
The Society of Professional Journalists Region 8 The Pan American
• First Place - Editorial Cartooning: Anthony Salinas and Elias Moran
• First Place - Online Feature Reporting; SGA Elections 2010: Jose Villarreal, Joao Calhandro and Kristen Cabrera
• Second Place - Breaking News Photography; Dream Act: Alma E. Hernandez
• Third Place - Feature Writing; Author finds valley inspiration: Benny Salinas Panorama
• First Place - Best Student Magazine