Crusader wins All-Kansas award

or the third year in a row, Crusader has won the All- Kansas award as the best two-year news team in the state. 

The Kansas Collegiate Media Awards announced the annual awards Friday via a zoom conference. The Crusader staff made their mark in the competition winning 28 individual awards. They also place second, behind Wichita State University, in a new overall category for Social Media Presence. 

The fall of 2020 saw the Crusader Staff bring in new members. Most of the members did not have any experience with journalism and were learning the ropes. (Crusader Staff)

This contest has a variety of categories ranging from photography, column writing and headline writing. Media students across the state compete using projects from the spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters. Sophomore Josh Swanson is a veteran staffer and has competed in this contest in the past.

“Individually winning [an award] feels motivating and it makes me want to push myself to do better” Swanson has been on the Crusader staff since the fall of 2019. Swanson was awarded third place in the category of Profile writing for his story The Bird Whisperer.

Denise Perez won a total of six awards including Sexual assault can happen anywhere. Brooklynn Bauer received second place for sport action in photography for her shot of a baseball game last fall. Destiny Vasquez brought home two awards for social media and put together the multimedia news story Bring on the Heat against four-year school.

Crusader photographer, Brooklynn Bauer won second place in sports action photography with a shot of a baseball game in the fall. (Brooklynn Bauer)


The spring 2020 staff struggled to come up with stories from their homes as the campus was locked down for Covid. The fall of 2020 also brought on a new set of challenges, the entire staff was brand new and with no experience in journalism whatsoever. But that was not the only thing that was a challenge. 

Mary Ramirez explained that with the pandemic in full swing and the normal, active campus was like a ghost town. This had the new journalist feeling like the work that they were doing was not the best. 

“To be honest, I was surprised [we won] because last semester we [the staff] were all brand new and it was harder for us to do any stories because of all of the restrictions that were in place so it was hard for us to grip” Ramirez, a staff reporter and sophomore reflected on the challenges that the crew faced.

Crusader works in room AA131 to put together the student media website. The club has been the voice of SCCC students since 1969. They have won a total of six All-Kansas awards, three coming in the last three years.


A list of all awards earned by the Crusader staff are as follows: 

Kansas Collegiate Media Awards

Overall Two-Year News

All-Kansas and Gold Medal – Crusader News

Overall Social Media Presence (all colleges and universities)

Silver Medal – Crusader News

Two Year Colleges Categories

Audio Feature 

First Place – Elvis Polvon and Rebecca Irby – Saints Stories: Advice to Younger Self

Breaking News 

First Place – Calen Moore – Students witness panic during a crisis

Honorable Mention – Preston Burrows – Seward gets a D for social Distancing

Column Writing 

Third Place – Victoria Martins – International students feel the pandemic

Feature Writing 

First Place – Denise Perez and Maggie Ibbara – Sexual assault can happen anywhere

Honorable Mention – Denise Perez and Rebecca Irby – Ballroom dancing waltzes into SCCC

Headline writing 

First Place – Denise. Perez – Ballroom dancing waltzes into SCCC

Second Place – Denise Perez – It’s a Ruff life

Third Place – Mary Ramirez and Krisi Anderson – Bring on the Heat

Honorable Mention – Destiny Vazquez – No application? No graduation!

Honorable Mention -Preston Burrows – Seward Gets a ‘D’ for s social distancing

Profile Writing 

First Place – Annette Meza – Hickman appointed dean of technical school

Third place – William Swanson – The Bird Whisperer


Honorable Mention – Denise Perez – Review: The invisible man lacks answers

Sports Feature writing 

Honorable Mention – Amberley Vervalin – SCCC students dive deep

Sports News/Game Day 

Honorable Mention – Amberley Vervalin – COVID-19 cancels spring sports

Sports Action Photography 

Second Place – Brooklynn Bauer – Baseball plays Dodge City

All Colleges and Universities Categories

Multimedia Feature story 

First Place – Denise Perez, Maggie Ibarra, Preston Burrows, and Rebecca Irby – Sexual assault can happen anywhere

Second place – Calen Moore, Denise Perez, and Rebecca Irby – Ballroom dancing waltzes into SCCC

Multimedia News story 

First Place – Preston Burrows – “Seward gets a D for social distancing”

Second place – Preston Burrows, Annette Meza – “Students react to taking classes online”

Honorable Mention – Crusader Staff – “Bring on the Heat!”

Portrait Photography

Honorable Mention – Adilene Escobar – “Spooky Halloween”

Social media reporting series 

Second place – Victoria Martins and Rebecca Irby – SCCC #newnormal and #alwaysathome

Social Media single post

First Place – Destiny Vazquez – Daily covid emails

Third place – Destiny Vazquez – “Welcome back”

Honorable Mention – Annette Meza – Valentine’s Day

Honorable Mention – Rebecca Irby – Spring finals parody