Student Radio Station, Newspaper Take Home National Awards
Nov. 5, 2013
Radio UTD staff and an alumnus display an award the student radio station earned at the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon convention in New York City. They are (back row, from left) James Pacifico, programming director; Eric Martinez, music director; and Shil Patel, one of the station’s co-founders; and (front row, from left) Yassira Martinez, promotions manager; and Trang Nguyen, station manager.
UT Dallas’ student-run radio station and newspaper garnered national recognition in October from college media organizations.
Meanwhile, The Mercury newspaper won First Place Best of Show for four-year, non-weekly broadsheet at the 2013 Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) College Media Association (CMA) National College Media Convention in New Orleans. Two former staffers also picked up awards in cartoon, advertising and design categories.
Radio UTD’s win came during the CMJ event’s Annual College Radio Day. Votes were cast by members of various stations and promoters affiliated with CMJ Holdings, a music event/publishing company.
“It’s a very rewarding feeling to see others recognize the great talent at Radio UTD,” said Misty Hawley, assistant director of student media. “Their creativity and love for music is evident, from the DJs’ shows to the events they host. I’m happy that they won the first of what’s sure to be many awards.”
Trang Nguyen, station manager and marketing senior, said Radio UTD had been nominated several times in its 10 years of existence. The staff was pleasantly surprised to win the awards.
Staff members of The Mercury student newspaper accepted the First Place Best of Show award in their division at the 2013 Associated Collegiate Press College Media Association National College Media Convention in New Orleans.
“It speaks volumes about the growth and journey that Radio UTD has experienced in the relatively short time that we’ve been a station,” Nguyen said. “I’ve seen the organization grow and develop immensely since I first joined, and being nationally recognized is a good indicator that we’re on the right track.”
Shil Patel, a founding member of Radio UTD who is now a director at the radio promotion company Team Clermont, was a panelist at the convention and spoke about the challenges student staff members face in starting a college radio station. He praised Radio UTD’s team.
“I knew this would happen. I know how dedicated everyone at the station is,” Patel said. “Although there is still a lot of hard work to be done, this is awesome that CMJ recognized them.”
The Mercury’s win made the staff confident that students can be proud of the publication, said editor Lauren Featherstone.
“Receiving Best of Show was a great reward for all of the staff who came together and delivered important news to our readers at a high-quality level as they have been doing all year,” Featherstone said. “Our students have showed that they will work hard to make The Mercury a publication to be proud of.”
“All the planning, late nights and stress that come with putting out a paper or getting shows on the air seem justified when your work resonates with the campus community.”
Individual staff members at The Mercury also picked up awards. Cathryn Ploehn, a former graphics editor, won fifth place in the editorial cartoon category and an honorable mention for a newspaper spread design for a story about Radio UTD. Former UT Dallas student Matthew Adamez placed third in the comic panel category and fifth in advertising for a house ad.
Chad Thomas, director of student media at UT Dallas, said it was gratifying to see students’ efforts rewarded on the national stage.
“All the planning, late nights and stress that come with putting out a paper or getting shows on the air seem justified when your work resonates with the campus community,” Thomas said. “But it’s that much more fulfilling when others from around the country look at your organization’s work and say, ‘Great job!’ I’m proud of all of our students.”
CMJ began in 1978 as the College Media Journal, a bi-weekly trade magazine aimed at college radio programmers. Today, CMJ Holdings hosts the annual CMJ Music Marathon and publishes a weekly magazine for the music industry and college radio stations in North America. CMJ also publishes top 30 lists provided by station members.
The ACP is the oldest and largest national membership organization for college student journalists. Founded in 1921, the organization’s member publications have more than 20,000 students on staff. The CMA, founded in 1954, helps student media and their advisors improve their operations.