Joe Wyatt
Published March 28, 2022


Amarillo College Student Media brought home 24 awards, including four first-place prizes, from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) convention March 23-26 in Fort Worth.

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Approximately 300 students and advisers from 35 Texas colleges and universities spent three days competing in live contests, attending workshops and networking with colleagues and media professionals at the convention.
AC captured first-place prizes for previously published work by Shawn McCrea, a photography and graphic design major; Lance Hooper, a mass media major; and Cailey Dinga, a mass media major. Additionally, the entire staff of the AC student newspaper, "The Ranger," won a first-place award for in-depth reporting.
"It was so interesting and amazing to witness so much creativity in one room," said Raygan Lopez, a mass media major and editor-in-chief of the "The Ranger."

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first TIPA convention that has been held in more than two years, and therefore it was the first time many students had ever attended this type of event.

"Being around so many like-minded people with such different personalities was a fun way to create connections and friendships," Rylee Moore, a psychology major and "The Ranger" page editor, said.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the live journalism contests in topics ranging from television announcing to photography and news writing. "To compete was nerve-wracking at first, but I knew I had the support from my advisers and staff," Lopez said.

Moore agreed, saying, "We got to grow as individuals through our competitions and grow as a staff by supporting each other through the process. Its a great opportunity provided to students, and Im grateful for the experience."

Daniel Antillon, a general studies major, won honorable mention in both the live video news and radio announcing contests. The other awards were given for work produced during the previous school year.

Attending the convention from AC, along with Antillon, Lopez and Moore, were fellow students Shawn McCrea and Jordan Nuner. They were accompanied by Maddisun Fowler, student media coordinator, and Jill Gibson, media, arts and communication department chair. Gibson also serves as the vice president of TIPA and Fowler serves as president of the companion organization, the Texas Community College Journalism Association (TCCJA). Both TIPA and TCCJA held annual business meetings during the convention.

Along with workshops presented by media professionals, for the first time ever, this years convention featured a job fair for students and one-on-one critiques with working journalists. "The overall trip was an unforgettable learning experience," Lopez said.

During the convention, TIPA honored longtime executive director Fred Stewart, who retired in 2020, and inducted him into the TIPA Hall of Fame. The annual adviser of the year award went posthumously to Kelly Lash, from Rice University. Lashs recent sudden and unexpected death left students and fellow advisers shaken.

"Seeing Kelly recognized brought tears to my eyes," Gibson said. "Kelly trained me to be a student media adviser, and she was an amazing example of the kind of person every adviser should be."
To learn more about AC Student Media and the students work, visit "The Ranger" online at To learn more about TIPA, the nations oldest and largest college media organization, go to
The complete list of AC awards:

  • In-depth Reporting, Ranger Staff - 1st place
  • Advertising/PSA/Promo, Lance Hooper - 1st place
  • Editorial page/spread design, Cailey Dinga - 1st place
  • Feature photo, Shawn McCrea - 1st place
  • Multimedia Feature, Ranger staff - 2nd place
  • General news video story, Daniel Antillon - 2nd place
  • Overall design web, Ranger staff - 2nd place
  • Cover design general magazine, Taylor Burton and Eden Roberts - 2nd place
  • Advertising/PSA/promo, Cooper Barnett - 2nd place
  • General news story, Jo Early - 2nd place
  • Breaking news, Rylee Moore - 3rd place
  • Overall Excellence Newspaper, Ranger staff - 3rd place
  • Cover design newspaper, Shawn McCrea - 3rd place
  • Static information graphic, Shawn McCrea - 3rd place
  • Photo illustration, Arine Garin - 3rd place
  • Overall design general magazine, Taylor Burton and Eden Roberts - 3rd place
  • Editorial, Nicholas Bandy - 3rd place
  • Feature story, Jo Early - 3rd place
  • General news multimedia story, Ranger Staff - 3rd place
  • Editorial page/spread design, Cailey Dinga - Honorable Mention
  • Editorial, Caylee Hanna - Honorable Mention
  • Illustration, Isaac Galan - Honorable Mention
  • Live contest Radio announcing, Daniel Antillon Honorable Mention
  • Live contest Radio announcing, Daniel Antillon Honorable Mention

For more information, please contact: Jill Gibson,, (806) 433-1001.