Student Media Earn Record Number of Awards at Intercollegiate Press Association Convention

The Mercury staff members

Staff members of The Mercury celebrate with other student media staff at the recent Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference. Front row, from left: Elizabeth Kensinger (A Modest Proposal), Nieves Reyes (UTD TV), Anwesha Bhattacharjee, Lauren Featherstone, Lina Moon and Cathryn Ploehn. Back row, from left: Miguel Perez, Sheila Dang, Esteban Bustillos, Connie Cheng, Parth Sampat, Jessica Higgins (UTD TV), Christopher Wang and Pablo Arauz.

UT Dallas student media staff took home 34 awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention April 10-12 in San Antonio.

The University’s student newspaper, The Mercury, dominated the awards, winning the sweepstakes category for most awards in Division 2 and first place for Best of Show. Staff members also earned first place for news story, news photo, news feature story, editorial cartoon, sports feature story and feature page design. During on-site competitions, students also won first place in critical review and yearbook design.

UTD TV took third place in production, and the student magazine A Modest Proposal earned first place for cover design.

Sheila Dang, managing editor of The Mercury, was recognized as the Editor/Director of the Year in her division.

“Sheila is one of the most impressive student success stories I’ve seen,” said Chad Thomas, director of student media. "Over her three years at The Mercury, I’ve watched her go from a soft-spoken freshman writer to a news-savvy editor who helps lead a staff of more than 30 students. Her academic focus is economics, but she has a bright future in any field thanks to her exceptional writing and communication skills.”

This year’s awards were the most The Mercury has received since it moved in 2012 into Division 2, for non-daily newspapers from four-year institutions. Other division participants included UT El Paso and UT Pan American.

“We were excited about all of the awards and that our hard work paid off, but I was particularly glad to see next year’s leaders do so well,” said Lauren Featherstone, editor in chief. “It leaves me confident that there are many great successes for The Mercury still to come.”

Thomas said UT Dallas student media staff tried new approaches this year in presentation and reporting.

“I’m happy for our students and glad to see that the journalistic risks they took this year were worthwhile in the eyes of people both on and off campus,” Thomas said.

More than 450 students from nearly 50 schools attended the convention. A record 141 students competed in on-site contests.

2014 TIPA Awards

The MercuryFirst Place

Best of ShowNews Story – Sheila DangNews Photo – Yang XiNews Feature Story – Anwesha BhattacharjeeEditorial Cartoon – Cathryn PloehnSports Feature Story – Shawn ChoFeature Page Design – Cathryn PloehnEditor/Director of the Year – Sheila Dang

Second Place

Opinion/Editorial Page Design – Sheila DangSports Action Photo – Shawn ChoFeature Page Design – Alison KwongSingle Subject Design – Cathryn PloehnBest Use of Mapping (Website) – Staff

Third Place

News Feature Story – Miguel PerezSpecial Section/Edition – StaffBest Interactivity (Website) – StaffFeature Photo – Yang Xi

Honorable Mention

Page One Design – Cathryn PloehnPage One Design – Christopher Wang, Lauren Featherstone, Lina MoonPicture Story – Arghya Chatterjee, Connie Cheng, Yubin Wang, Yang Xi and Christopher WangSports Column – Parth SampatSports News Story – Parth SampatAd Design – Lina MoonFeature Story – John ThottungalBest Web Site Navigation – Staff


Third Place

Production – Stanley Joseph, Rafi Ayub, Octavio Samano, Noel Villarruel

Honorable Mention

Public Affairs Reporting – Joseph Anthony, Nieves Reyes, Albert Chang, Eddie Yzaguirre

A Modest Proposal

First Place

Cover Design – K.C. Schanbaum, Ian Cook, Garrett Weaver, Jatin Julakanti

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].