Joe Wyatt
Published October 2, 2018

The Matney Mass Media Program at Amarillo College continues to demonstrate that it has few peers nationally in the highly competitive arena of student-produced collegiate magazines – among two- and four-year schools, alike.

For the third time in the past four years, an issue of AC’s student magazine,
AC Current, has made the list of finalists for a National Magazine Pacemaker Award, referred to by many as the “Pulitzer Prize of student journalism.”

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On both previous occasions as a finalist, AC Current went on to capture the prestigious national distinction – for its issues in Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2017.


This time it is the 2018 Spring issue of AC Current that has attracted the spotlight, and its selection for a Pacemaker Award would give AC three such preeminent accolades in just a four-year span.


AC, one of 34 Pacemaker finalists, is joined on this year’s short list by both two-year and four-year schools, including such prominent institutions as Baylor University, University of Wisconsin, Marquette University and more.


Pacemaker Awards are administered by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). This year’s winners will be announced Oct. 27 at the ACP National College Media Convention in Louisville, Ky.


“This nomination is a testament to our students’ hard work on what is an entirely student-produced publication, from start to finish,” Jill Gibson, Matney Mass Media Program chair, said. “It also further confirms that Amarillo College can compete on a national stage with two- and four-year colleges and universities.


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“Our recent run of success, rather than make our students complacent, has challenged them,” Gibson said. “Fair or not, our students feel pressure to raise the bar, to make each issue of AC Current better than the last one, so they will not be the ones to break the winning tradition.” 


AC Current involves an intense collaboration of students from several programs – mass media, graphic design, fine art, photography, and even students majoring in subjects other than mass media.


“No matter a student’s major or career pathway, AC Current is an amazing opportunity to get published in an award-winning magazine,” Gibson said.


“The opportunity it presents to learn about all aspects of communication in an independent environment is unique and clearly competitive with the best the nation has to offer.”


Gibson and Maddisun Fowler, student media coordinator, serve as advisors for AC Current.


The editorial staff of the 2018 Spring issue of AC Current includes the editor, Claire Ekas; assistant editors Lauren Ebben and Salvador Gutierrez; page editors Stevie Breshears and Mackenzie Farmer; and graphic artist Jake Wagner-Russell.


Students from the Media Writing class contributed many of the stories in the magazine.


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