Crusader takes their success nationally

The Crusader staff was able to go sightseeing in between different conference activities. Reporter Ashanti Thompson listed off many national landmarks including the White House, the Senate, and the Washington Memorial. (Photo Courtesy of Roque Reveles-Montelongo)

Last semester, Crusader News was victorious at the Kansas Collegiate Media Awards receiving 72 awards and now their success has spread nationally. Members of Crusader staff were given the opportunity to attend the College Media Association’s MediaFest2022 in Washington D.C. from Oct. 27-29. 

Laura Gillespie, a former editor, was awarded first place at the convention for her online infographic that was included in the “Taco Truck Tour” story. She describes that when she first heard the news about her nomination, Gillespie hadn’t realized how drastic it was. 

“I’m very excited and privileged that I got to go and that I won but I did not realize how big of a deal it was until everyone else seemed to be so excited about it,” Gillespie said with a laugh. 

During the announcement of the awards though, Gillespie realized just how much she was actually looking forward to it. Due to a misunderstanding, Gillespie had thought she hadn’t won anything but her submission had been categorized as an online infographic instead of just an infographic. 

“I was recording and I was so excited because I knew that I was on the list. I knew I had to get at least an honorable mention but they got through the five and nothing… I was so sad. I didn’t realize how excited I was until I did not get anything… I had already felt like I had lost, so I think it was even more exciting once it was announced, “ Gillespie explained. 

The infographic was published in the fall of 2021 and Gillespie said she remembered it being very difficult to make. Her instructor at the time, Sue Sprenkle, encouraged her to do it for work-study and it took her quite a while due to coding and glitches. At the time she didn’t want to do it but in the end, she was very proud of her work.

Reveles-Montelongo poses in front of the White House. Though they saw many famous buildings, Reveles-Montelongo said his favorite place they visited was the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo Courtesy of Roque Reveles-Montelongo)

Gillespie credited her instructor for her success saying, “I owe it all to Sue for pushing me to do it.” 

Darin Workman, who was the Crusader News instructor last semester, wasn’t surprised Crusader was able to win an award nationally. After their success at state, he said the staff had high potential to be able to go further especially since Crusader had won in nationals before.

Reporters Ashanti Thompson and Roque Reveles Montelongo were also given the opportunity to attend the trip. Even though the conference was their main agenda, Thompson described some of the national sights they were able to see including the White House. 

“On the second day, we decided to out at night. We got to see the White House all lit up, the Lincoln Memorial and the George Washington memorial. It was pretty cool to go see it at night with all the lights,” Thompson said.

The Lincoln Memorial was Reveles-Montelongo’s favorite part of the trip which was because of his fascination with the president. He said that Lincoln was always someone he had wanted to meet in real life and was his favorite president. Gillespie and Thompson’s favorite part though was not any of the sightseeing, but instead a person they saw. Gillespie credited the meeting of John Quinones due to Reveles-Montelongo’s ability (Photo Courtesy of Roque Reveles-Montelongo)to find famous people. 

“That was probably one of my favorite things on the trip. On the last day of the conference, Ashanti and I just followed Roque around because we were going to meet John Quinones which worked out because we all got a photo with him,” Gillespie said. 

The Crusader Staff would like to express their gratitude to Seward County Community College for giving them the opportunity to attend the conference by sponsoring this trip.