Crusader News wins All-Kansas, gains insight


Sue Sprenkle

The Crusader staff won a total of 33 awards including the All-Kansas award for best website in the state. The last time Crusader won such award it was 2014.

The Seward County Community College Crusader news staff ventured out to Wichita on an overnight trip on April 7-8 for the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference.

While attending, the 2018 news staff, which consists of Michelle Mattich, Annette Meza, Rubi Gallegos, Monica Gonzalez, Calen Moore, Daniella Carmona, Anastasia Smalldridge, Amberley Taylor, Alondra Botello, Angel Meza, and Yesenia Soto, won the All-Kansas Website Division award.

This means that the website was ranked the best in all of Kansas, not just over two-year colleges, but all the colleges in the state of Kansas.

I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it.”

— Sue Sprenkle

“When they announced our name for All-Kansas, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. They had waited until the very last moment to announce this award category, so I thought maybe we hadn’t won anything,” Sue Sprenkle, mass communications instructor, said. “THEN, we won the big prize.”

The last time Crusader News won an All-Kansas award was in 2014 for the two year newspaper division. In total, they’ve won three of those in the years 2001, 2013 and 2014.

“I feel like all of our hard work has been validated and all the effort we put into the stories and photos and the website has been recognized,” Cheyenne Miller, freshman education major, said.

Along with that, as a collective, the group won 33 awards in total, but that was not the only take away from the conference. The conference helped and enabled young journalists through sessions to see what they could improve on in the field of journalism.

“During the conference, I learned that you need to be versatile in this field to succeed and to be able to get a job, so you need to be good at writing, photography and filming at least,” Calen Moore, freshman journalism major, said. “I enjoyed the competitive nature of the conference, like wanting to be successful in this field.”

Rubi Gallegos
The staff was invited to the optional free entrance to a traveling exhibit called “Top Secret: License to Spy.” The exhibit required you to use your investigative skills to solve the mystery behind the important stolen computer.

The sessions helped photographers as well, with a session called Photo Shoot Out.

“The Photo Shoot Out was basically a critique and experience for us to improve. We had to go out and find things to take pictures of and they could be any type of pictures like features and portraits,” Rubi Gallegos, sophomore mass communications major, said. “This session was a challenge for me, which is what I enjoyed.”  

The conference sessions seemed to emphasize the fact that in order to be a successful journalist, you need to be able to brand yourself and a way of doing that is through social media.

The conference also hosted two keynote speakers, the first once being Chet Kuplin, who reports over sports in Kansas all over the state. He talked about building yourself as a media outlet as a journalist and his journey to becoming the journalist he is today. The second speaker was Trooper Ben, who is well known for the Tweeting Troopers in Kansas.

“Trooper Ben was my favorite speaker because he was able to humanize himself as a Kansas state trooper and he uses social media to do a better job while also having fun,” Mattich said.

Of course, you can’t just do all work and no play. The conference also hosted fun activities for the young journalists after the conference, having a free entrance to the traveling exhibit “Top Secret: License to Spy” at the Exploration Place.  

“I just liked that it gave us something to do,” Moore said.

“My favorite part about that was that we could walk along the river and got to be in nature and look at the pretty views,” Mattich added.

Something that stuck with Mattich from the conference was to not focus on nationwide journalism but to try to go to small-town journalism because it “starts a ripple effect, you can make a greater impact with small-town journalism.”


All School Division: (against all Kansas colleges and universities):

All Kansas Website

Overall Website – Gold Medal

Social Media Campaign-
1st place – Amberley Taylor and Michelle Mattich, DACA student detained        
3rd place – Amberley Taylor and Alondra Trevizo, Countdown to spring break
Honorable mention – Alondra Botello, Face slimmer review 

Social Media Single Post –
Honorable Mention – Michelle Mattich, Snapchat Story: Pottery Passion

Online photo essay/ Gallery –
1st place – Rubi Gallegos, Flaming Art
Honorable Mention – Daniela Carmona, Hernandez shares passion for ceramics

Interactive Storytelling –
1st Place – Annette Meza and Rubi Gallegos, Flaming Art
2nd Place – Crusader Staff, Taco Truck Tour
3rd Place – Amberley Taylor and Rubi Gallegos, What’s your jam?
Honorable Mention – Amberley Taylor, Students send texts for virtual Bible study

Two-year College Division:

Copy Editing –
1st place – Annette Meza
Honorable Mention – Cheyenne Miller

Headlines Writing –
2nd place – Michelle Mattich, coach-sautter-is-benched-for-the-week
3rd place – Angel Meza, Amberley Taylor, Fortnite takes over campus, even life for some students
Honorable Mention – Alondra Botello, gonzalez-educates-on-ice-preparations

News/ Event Photography –
1st place – Rubi Gallegos, Cinco de Mayo dancers

Sports/ Action Photography –
2nd place – Amberley Taylor, Out at second

Feature Photography –
1st place – Daniela Carmona, Hernandez shares passion for ceramics
2nd place – Monica Gonzalez, Vaping is a trend among college students
3rd place – Michelle Mattich, Taking care of mother nature starts now
Honorable Mention – Ruby Gallegos, Flaming Art

News/ Event writing –
First place – Michelle Mattich, Student among 87 detained at DACA rally

Column writing –
3rd place – Michelle Mattich, Moving onward and forward

Sports feature writing –
First place – Monica Gonzalez, Tapigliani starts small and dreams of going big

Sports news writing –
2nd place – Michelle Mattich and Annette Meza, Coach Sautter benched for the week

Feature Writing –
1st place – Alondra Trevizo, Paletero brings Mexican summer classics to Liberal
Honorable mention – Annette Meza, Flaming art

Editorial writing –
Second place – Daniela Carmona, Have you been tested?
Honorable mention – Annette Meza, Taking care of mother nature starts now

Review Writing –
First place – Crusader staff (Alondra Botello, Annette Meza, Amberley Taylor, Anastasia Smalldridge, Ruby Gallegos, Monica Gonzalez, Michelle Mattich), Taco Truck tour
Second place – Alondra Botello and Michelle Mattich, Facelift is a letdown
Honorable mention – Amberley Taylor, Novio boy steals hearts