Crusader excels at state competition
April 10, 2018
The Crusader News staff made their mark at the Kansas College Media Conference, earning a total of 24 awards at the annual contest for student media. The staff competed in a variety of categories for media, even entering some contests that found them placing higher than some four-year universities.
On Sunday, April 8 and Monday, April 9, the staff traveled to Wichita to participate in the annual conference with all the state’s college journalists. The competition included journalists from private universities, public universities and two-year colleges. Crusader won two awards as a team for their publications, crusadernews.com and The Crusader, a newspaper published in the spring of 2017.
Crusader staff members also earned 22 individual awards in photography, writing, social media and digital journalism. The contest included only projects that had been published in the year 2017.
The biggest win of the weekend was a silver medal in the Overall website division. SCCC was the only community college to receive an award. Crusader was edged out for the top spot by the University of Kansas.
Crusader News reporter, Michelle Mattich, sophomore English major, was excited by how well the staff did at competition.
“When I found out that KU only beat us by five points, I was like ‘Woah, we’re just thaaaaat good,” Mattich said, then laughed at her small bragging. “The truth is that we didn’t even realize we beat other four year schools until much later. Then we got really excited.”
Crusader advisor Sue Sprenkle added that for only being a community college, the staff did some great things in the all-colleges competitions.
“We’re one of the smallest community colleges in the state and we competed against all of the four year schools — public and private. We got the second highest score for our website, Crusader News,” Sprenkle said. “We also represented well in the two-year college category where we showcased skills in photography, writing and page design.”
The conference also consisted of different breakout sessions where students could go and learn new journalism skills each day. Student journalists could attend workshops related to social media, media laws and ethics, writing different stories and even photography.
Crusader photographers, Yesenia Soto, Rubi Gallegos and Angel Meza attended a Photo Shoot-Out where they were assigned to take photos, edit, write cutlines and then turn it in within six hours of the assignment. Their work was reviewed by professional photojournalists.
Soto and Gallegos agreed that the competition was fun because they had the chance to “learn from others.”
“I liked how seeing how other people took pictures and what they came up with,” Soto said.
Not only did Crusader earn multiple awards and learn new journalism techniques, but they also enjoyed some staff bonding time at an Escape Room.
The Escape Room was a hour long escape mission called, “Licastro’s Lair.” Crusader had to solve many different mind tricks to get out, and escaped with just 40 seconds left. It was a chance to work as a team and bond.
“My favorite part of the trip was the escape house because it was my first time at something like that. The adrenaline rush and the mind challenge of solving all the puzzles to escape as a group was really cool,” Mattich said.
The conference was a chance for Crusader to not only learn new skills but to reinforce the ones they’ve been learning all year long. Sprenkle said her favorite part was hearing students share what they learned at the workshops.
“I especially enjoyed it when Crusader came out and said it was a review or something we had touched on in class,” Sprenkle said. “It was an affirmation of, ‘hey we are learning the right things.’ I think it gave them a confidence boost.”
Crusader 2017 (Spring ’17 and Fall ’17) awards:
Overall online: (against all colleges and universities in the state)
Overall two-year newspaper:
The Crusader: Bronze
Digital Journalism: (all colleges and universities)
Social Media Single Post:
- Amberley Taylor, third place (Patriot’s Day)
- Amberley Taylor and Angelica Alfaro; honorable mention (student discounts)
Social media series:
- Amberley Taylor, first place (This Week in Photos)
- Angelica Alfaro and Amberley Taylor; second place (Halloween Costume Contest)
- Brynn Grieshaber, honorable mention (Up Close – instagram)
- Angelica Alfaro and Odalys Avalos; honorable mention (Graduates plan their futures)
- Angelica Alfaro and Michelle Mattich; honorable mention (End of DACA)
Online photo essay:
- Keynitra Houston; first place (Students train to be artisans)
Two-year newspaper: (only community colleges)
Front page design:
- Angelica Alfaro and Brynn Grieshaber; third place (March 2017, We Are America!)
Newspaper page design:
- Angelica Alfaro and Odalys Avalos; first place (May 2017: Saints continue their careers after Seward)
- Brynn Grieshaber and Angelica Alfaro, third place (March 2017: We Are America! Friends and family show support for SCCC’s immigrant community)
- Jessica Aldave-Ramos; honorable mention (February 2017: Big city vs. Small town)
Sports feature writing:
- Amberley Taylor; honorable mention (SCCC hosts hurricane relief efforts)
- Andrea Sanchez, third place (Turn off your cell phone)
- Jessica Aldave-Ramos, honorable mention (February 2017: Big City vs. Small Town)
Sports news writing:
- Angel Meza, first place (Lady Saints sweep Garden City)
- Amberley Taylor, third place (Second half comeback isn’t enough for Saints)
- An Ngo; first place (Turn off your cell phone)
- Keynitra Houston; third place (April 2017: Sister Act)
- Angel Meza, first place (Clean your car with SCCC)
- Angel Meza, honorable mention (Trick or Treat a spooky good time)
Sports action photography:
- David Quiroz; third place (Lady Saints Sweep Garden City)