Amarillo College students capture 13 statewide media awards

by Joe Wyatt Published December 18, 2020

Amarillo College Student Media received an early holiday gift this week when the Texas Community College Journalism Association announced that AC has won 13 awards in this year’s competition.

Success Is AC News

The awards were based on work completed during the 2019-2020 school year, including pieces produced during the Coronavirus quarantine. Students competed in 55 different categories and the contest featured 459 entries. The judging team was comprised of 37 media professionals and advisers from around the United States.

The AC Student Media staff received a first-place award for their multimedia coverage of cheating. The judge described this piece as “Above and beyond the standout here. A really great mix of text, illustration and video. Really great team effort here. And an interesting story, too.” The piece can be seen at

Students received several awards for work on the fall 2019 issue of the student magazine, “The Current,” which comes out once a semester. These included a first-place prize for editor Lauren Ebben’s magazine cover design, which the judges described by writing, “An excellent use of light and shading, tint and story.” The Fall 2019 “Current” also received two awards for magazine story packages.

A first prize went to Kaden Bryant for his audio news piece on the AC jazz club. The judge wrote, “The on-air presentation, audio quality and editing are impressive.” In other broadcast awards, AC took home an honorable mention for audio news and third place and an honorable mention in video sports coverage.

The AC student newspaper “The Ranger” received third place for overall excellence in newspaper, as well as several individual student awards. A complete list of prizes and winners is below.

Jill Gibson and Maddisun Fowler are the advisers for AC Student Media. Gibson is also the Matney Mass Media Program coordinator and chair of the Media, Arts and Communication Department. Fowler is the student media coordinator and instructor.

Gibson noted that she is extremely proud of the way the students overcame the unique challenges of the pandemic. “Our students have proven they can continue to publish award-winning work even when quarantined,” Gibson said.

Student Media is currently recruiting new staff members for the spring 2021 semester.

For information about those staff positions or the media program, contact Fowler at or Gibson at

  • Overall Excellence Magazine 

Third place - The Current, Fall 2019, editor, Lauren Ebben


  • Multimedia Package

First place - Cheating, The Ranger staff


  • Audio News 

First place - Jazz club, Kaden Bryant


  • Audio News 

Honorable Mention - Palace closing, Lauren Ebben


  • Video Sports

Third place - Staying Fit during Covid, Colton Schwalk

Honorable mention - Badger esports, Jordan Otte


  • Magazine Story Package

Third place - The west is not white, Caylee Hann

Honorable Mention - Cadillac graveyard, Shawn McCrea 


  • Magazine Cover Design

First place - The Current Fall 2019, Lauren Ebben


  • Overall Excellence Newspaper

Third place - The Ranger, The Ranger staff, editors - Lauren Ebben and Stormie Sanchez, design manager – Shawn McCrea


  • Non Photographic Illustration 

Honorable Mention - Look of a cheater, Shawn McCrea


  • Editorial Cartoon

Honorable Mention - Sexist Costume, Bailea Dooley


  • Third place Column Writing 

Honorable Mention - Body Positivity, Jessika Fulton