Joe Wyatt
Published March 26, 2018

Every spring, Amarillo College Student Media returns from the Texas International Press Association (TIPA) convention loaded down with a heap of hard-earned accolades – the high-water mark was 28 awards in 2015.

Well that’s old news.


AC students returned from the TIPA convention, held March 21-24 in Dallas, with a whopping haul of more than 50 statewide honors, a high-water mark that includes first-place awards for overall excellence in radio, television and magazine.


“The students’ performance in these contests validates that they are learning the skills needed to succeed in media careers,” said Jill Gibson, Matney Mass Media Program chair.

AC’s TIPA awards represent the results of both live on-site contests during the convention and work done during the Spring and Fall semesters of 2017.

Among the foremost individual accolades won by AC were: Stevi Breshears, editor of The Ranger, who received an excellence award as Two-Year College Editor of the Year, and Salvador Gutierrez, who won two first-place prizes in live on-site contests – for Spanish news writing and Spanish radio announcing.


TIPA is an association representing the student media at two-year and four-year, public and private colleges and universities in Texas and is the oldest and largest student press association in the nation. About 500 students and advisers attended the convention representing more than 40 colleges and universities.

“Amarillo College students have established a tradition of winning statewide and national journalism and media contests,” said Maddisun Fowler, AC student media coordinator. “While it is great to receive awards, the true benefit is the learning that takes place as a result of participating in this convention.”


Other AC students who received first-place prizes were Lily Gamble for blogging; Ivan del Val for feature radio and video reporting; Micah Smith for general news audio; Claire Ekas for ad design; Salvador Gutierrez for Spanish advertising; Kris Fredrick and Tyler Heddin for video promotion; Savannah Tarbet for online engagement strategy; Jenna Gibson, Claire Ekas, Destiny Kranthoven, Salvador Gutierrez and Michelle Martinez for general magazine overall design; Destiny Kranthoven for editorial cartoon and first place staff awards for audio program production, audio newscast, video newscast, breaking audio news story and website overall design. A complete list of awards is included at the end of this release.


Along with the on-site contests, the students attended workshops, presentations and critiques with media professionals and advisers.

“The convention allows our students to exchange ideas with their peers, network with prospective employers and learn about university transfer options,” Fowler said. “These benefits, along with the hands-on experience using their skills in a competitive environment, makes this convention an invaluable experience.”


Attending the TIPA convention from AC were newspaper editor Stevi Breshears, magazine editor Claire Ekas and student media members Salvador Gutierrez, Carter Hall, Lauren Ebben, Sir Garen Grayson, Jordan Gipson, Brianna Maestas and Keegan Ried, along with advisers Jill Gibson and Maddisun Fowler.

                                                                    AC TIPA 2017/18 Awards                                                   

On-site Live Contests (Open to all TIPA members)

1. Salvador Guiterrez - Amarillo College

1. Salvador Gutierrez 

Honorable Mention (HM). Lauren Ebben - Amarillo College

Two Year Editor of the Year (Open to all two-year TIPA members):
Stevi Breshears

Previously Published Contests Division 4 (Sul Ross University, West Texas A&M University, Texas Wesleyan University, Eastfield College, Brookhaven College, Tyler Junior College, St. Edward’s University, Texas Woman’s University, St. Mary’s, Amarillo College)

Overall Excellence General Magazine
1. Jenna Gibson, Claire Ekas, Destiny Kranthoven, Salvador Gutierrez, Michelle Martinez 

Overall Excellence Radio Program
1. Amarillo College - AC Report


Overall Excellence Television Program
1. AC Report - Amarillo College

Overall Excellence Website
1. Savannah Tarbet - Amarillo College

3. Salvador Gutierrez, Keegan Ried -- Amarillo College La Dosis
2. Bryan Arvello, Salvador Casanova, Sir Garen Grayson -- Amarillo College Free World
1. Lily Gamble -- Mental health

Breaking News Audio Story
3. AC Report Staff - Amarillo College - Bellweather
2. AC Report Staff - Amarillo College - Hiring freeze
1. AC Report Staff - Amarillo College - Campus carry

Feature News Reporting Audio
2. Les Jones - Amarillo College Parking
1. Ivan del Val - Amarillo College Instructor

Feature News Reporting Video
3. Micah Smith - Club Clash
1. Ivan del Val - Hereford Campus

General News Audio Story
3. Liz Moore - Coffee shop
2. Micah Smith - Illness

General News Video Story
2. Sentora Rodriguez - College Regents

In-Depth News Audio
3. AC Report Staff - Campus Carry

In-Depth Multimedia Story
2. Liz Moore, Joseph Hanson - Tuition

Newscast Audio
1. AC Report 

Newscast Video
1. AC Report 

Breaking News
2. Donovan Ortiz - Greenhouse

General Column
3. Micah Smith - Minorities

General News
3.  Liz Moore, Joseph Hansen - Amarillo College - Tuition

In-Depth Reporting
3.  Katie Wylie - Amarillo College - Addiction

Headline Writing
3.  Stevi Breshears - Ace in Hole

Short Feature Story
2. Jordan Gipson - Hedgehog

Ad Design Static
1. Claire Ekas - Shut up

Advertising Campaign
2. Jenna Gibson - Be good

Advertising/PSA/Promo Audio
3. Les Jones - New music
2. Kris Fredrick - Indifference

Advertising/PSA/Promo Spanish
1. Salvador Gutierrez - Amarillo College

Advertising/PSA/Promo Video
1. Kris Fredrick, Tyler Heddin - Amarillo College - What motivates

Best Online Engagement Strategy
1. Savannah Tarbet - Amarillo College Online

Cover Design General Magazine
HM Destiny Kranthoven - AC Current Fall
2. Jenna Gibson, Michelle Martinez - Spring


Cover Design Newspapers
2. Stevi Breshears - Nov. 2

Feature Page/Spread Design Newspaper
2. Claire Ekas, Briana Maestas - Amarillo College Book Spread

Op/Ed Page/Spread Design Newspaper
2. Marissa King - Nov. 2

Overall Design General Magazine
1. Jenna Gibson, Claire Ekas, Destiny Kranthoven, Salvador Gutierrez, Michelle Martinez


Overall Design Newspapers
1. Ranger Staff

Overall Design Website
1. Staff Amarillo College

Program Production Audio
1. Broadcast News Class - AC Report

Program Production Video
3. Kris Fredrick, Tyler Heddin - Mock movie

Special Edition Design Print
2. Ranger Staff - Back to school

Use of Data
2. Destiny Kranthoven - AC Bookstore

Editorial Cartoon
HM. Destiny Kranthoven - Tuition
1. Destiny Kranthoven - Get a Bong

Feature Photo
HM. Claire Ekas - Hoola Hoop
HM. Amarillo College – Hoola Hoop Girl

2. Joab Cochran - Generation

Photo Story
HM. Sal Gutierrez - Leadership

Static Information Graphic
HM. Liz Moore - Tuition
3. Destiny Kranthoven - Addictions