The Society of Professional Journalists has awarded 11 prizes to San Antonio-area university students for outstanding collegiate journalism.

The awards were announced at the SPJ Region 8 Spring Conference at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

First-place winners are entered into national competition with other Mark of Excellence (MOE) winners from the 12 SPJ regions. National winners will be notified in late spring and will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, California, in September.

MOE entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. Judges were directed to choose entries they felt were among the best in student journalism. If no entry rose to the level of excellence, no award was given.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate. Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.

SPJ Region 8 covers Texas and Oklahoma. The San Antonio Pro Chapter supports SPJ’s mission to promote ethics, diversity and freedom of information for the area’s journalistic community. Our annual Gridiron show raises thousands of dollars for scholarships for the area’s best student journalists.

Region 8 MOE winners and finalists for 2017 from the San Antonio area are:

Best Digital-Only Student Publication
Winner: The Mesquite – by The Mesquite Staff, Texas A&M University – San Antonio:

Finalist: The Hub@TTU – by The Hub @TTU Staff, Texas Tech University

Photo Illustration (Small)

Winner: Tiger Pride – by Claudia Garcia, Trinity University

Breaking News Reporting (Small)
Winner: Hand, Foot Mouth – by Alex Uri, Trinity University

General Column Writing (Large)

Winner: Status of the Union – by Bioreoluswaseto Odimayo, University of Texas Arlington

Finalist: Bricks, Voices and Sexism – by Helena Hunt, Jonathon Platt and McKenna Middleton, Baylor University

Finalist: University Star-Columns – by Jakob Rodriguez, Katie Burrell and Bridget Renau, Texas State University:

Feature Writing (Small)

Winner: You Belong Here – by Grace Frye and Jeff Sullivan, Trinity University

Sports Writing (Small)

Winner: Sunshine Twins – by Elise Hester, Trinity University

Finalist: Cubs finally break century-long curse – by Justin Guglielmetti, The University of Tulsa

Finalist: Tulsa defeats Tulane 50-27 in Homecoming game, snapping three year losing streak – by Matt Rechtien, The University of Tulsa

Best Use of Multimedia

Winner: Living ‘Temptations’ – by Trevier Gonzalez and London Martin, Lamar University

Finalist: Harlandale High School Class of 1966 Celebrates 50th Reunion – by Juliet Mendoza, Texas A&M University – San Antonio:

Online Sports Reporting

Winner: Friendly with the Floor: Inside Roller Derby – by Karenna Reyna, Texas A&M University – San Antonio:

Finalist: Tech Students Making Massive Gains – by Billy Ingle and Justin Rex, Texas Tech University

Finalist: Men’s basketball club making strides – by Leah Riley, Texas A&M University – San Antonio:

Television Broadcast
Best All-Around Television Newscast

Winner: OU Nightly – by Courtney Boggs and Maddi Ward, University of Oklahoma

Finalist: The Lake Front – by Celeste Delagarza, J.C. Wollslager, P.J. Fields and Chan ‘Cellore, Our Lady of the Lake University:

Finalist: Connection News. Episode 4 – by Zach Redwood and Sonora Meadows, Tulsa Community College

Television Feature Reporting

Winner: Lake Front Entertainment – by J.C. Wollslager, Our Lady of the Lake University:

Finalist: No Limitations – by Jessica Babb, Baylor University

Finalist: Moore Undefeated – by Logan Burleson, University of Oklahoma

For additional information, please contact Michael Drudge, President, San Antonio Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, at (210) 464-6198 or

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.