AC again captures highest national accolade for magazine 'The Current'

by Joe Wyatt
Published October 29, 2018

For the third year in a row, Amarillo College Student Media has captured a prestigious national award for its student-produced magazine The Current.

The Spring 2018 edition of The Current received a Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press. The ACP announced the winners of the Pacemaker on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the National College Media Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.


The Pacemaker is considered the highest honor in collegiate journalism and is commonly called college journalism’s Pulitzer Prize. 


The Spring 2018 edition of The Current won in the feature/general interest magazine category, which included 75 entries, 21 finalists and 10 winners. Magazines produced at both four-year and two-year institutions competed. A team of four judges, with extensive magazine editing experience, chose the winners. 


“I'm excited and grateful that everyone who spent their semester working tirelessly on this edition had the opportunity to see it pay off in such a big way,” said Claire Ekas, editor of the Spring 2018 The Current.

Other staff members included assistant editors Salvador Gutierrez and Lauren Ebben, graphic designer Jake Wagner-Russell, and page editors Mackenzie Farmer and Stevi Breshears. AC Student Media advisers are Maddisun Fowler, student media coordinator, and Jill Gibson, Matney Mass Media Program chair. Derek Weathersbee, graphic design instructor, also provided advice and guidance to the student team. 

“Winning this award demonstrates that AC students receive some of the best training in journalism, graphic design and photography in the nation,” Gibson said. “I am so proud of these students and extremely pleased to see that they can compete against two- and four-year schools, including private universities and large institutions.”


AC’s The Current is joined in the 2018 Pacemaker winner’s circle by magazines produced at Kent State University, University of Oregon, Drake University and six others. Among the finalists that did not emerge from the convention with Pacemakers were Baylor University, Marquette University, Syracuse University and more.

In an ACP news release, Laura Widmer, ACP executive director, said, “The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award. ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”


AC Student Media previously captured Pacemakers for The Current in Fall 2015 (awarded in 2016), edited by Denisha Kranthoven, and Spring 2017, for which Jenna Gibson served as editor.


The Associated Collegiate Press is a non-profit educational association that provides journalism education services to students, teachers, media advisers and others throughout the United States and in other countries in order to advance journalism and media.