USAO’s Student Newspaper Staff Makes National ‘Trend’ with Award
CHICKASHA – Eleven students at the University of Science and Arts received national attention when their student newspaper, “The Trend,” took third place at the National College Media Convention. USAO was the only Oklahoma college besides the University of Oklahoma to take home a prize at the annual nationwide convention in October.
Dr. J.C. Casey, professor of communication and advisor to “The Trend,” said she and the staff of student writers, designers and editors, were excited to receive state and national acclaim.
“We were giddy when we found out we had won recognition on a national level,” Casey said. “’The Trend’ is totally run by students, many of whom are planning to pursue careers in journalism. Winning this award means they know how to do what they will be expected to know when they get into the workplace.”
The annual convention is co-hosted by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and the College Media Advisors. According to Sarah Rice, spokesperson for ACP, approximately 2,500 students and advisors from across the nation attended the convention, held in St. Louis. Rice said publication entries were judged by “professional journalists and award-winning advisors.”
Students representing six Oklahoma universities attended the event; USAO and the University of Oklahoma went home with awards. In the four-year, non-weekly newspaper category, USAO won third place for best issue. OU’s “Sower” magazine placed third place in the magazine feature, special issue category.
Now in her seventh year of attending the media convention, Casey said the event always fuels the “Trend” think tank with ideas for improvements, troubleshooting and examples of what others in the field are doing.
“The great thing about conventions is that you have the opportunity to meet and talk with people from all over the country who do what you do,” Casey said. “When you see how other people solved a problem, it gives you hope. We come back renewed, full of optimism, ready to try a new approach that we heard about at the convention. And it works.”
Eleven students and “Trend” staff members joined Casey for the St. Louis convention:
Blakely Adams, Nowata psychology senior and Viewpoint editor/columnist; Elliott Ballman, St. Louis business senior and advertising manager; Karen Brady, Minco communication senior and reporter/copy editor; Bethany Covey, Nowata communication senior and editor in chief; Tonya Dymond, Oilton art senior and graphic designer/features editor; Matt Honeyman, Purcell communication senior and reporter/news editor.
Laron Short, Midwest City communication freshman and reporter; Paris Templeton, Wichita, Kan., communication sophomore and office manager; Morgan Thompson, Anadarko communication senior and reporter; Josh Vaughn, Maysville communication junior and sports editor/reporter; and Chris Willard, Marlow communication senior and assistant editor/entertainment editor.
Casey said the newspaper’s award proves that the students’ hard work is paying off.
“It’s validation for all of us,” she said. “It’s proof that [the students] can put out a damn good newspaper.”