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A file photo taken outside of The University Star’s newsroom at the Trinity Building on Texas State’s campus.

Dear readers,

A year after COVID-19 altered our operations and challenged our community in ways we never thought possible, we are grateful to announce that our organization won 24 awards and a scholarship at the virtual 2021 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA).

TIPA is the oldest collegiate media organization in the country. It consists of 77 public and private two-year colleges and four-year universities in Texas that teach journalism or have existing or planned student publications. The annual awards honor excellence in student media.

The conference typically features a mix of journalism discussions/sessions and on-site and previously-published contests. However, the pandemic did not allow for the on-site competitions to take place, similar to last year.

Nominations include content published throughout 2020. Here is a list of our winners:

$400 Scholarship (Brianna Benitez)

Second Place, Breaking News - Texas State student-athlete killed in apartment shooting (Staff)

Third Place, Cover Design Newspaper - June 23, 2020, Summer I (Molly Gonzales, Blake Wadley, Jaden Edison, Rebecca Harrell)

Third Place, Documentary Video - Blevins (Haley Brand)

Third Place, Editorial - Texas State needs to stop hiding COVID-19 information (Editorial Board)

First Place, Environmental Portrait - MLK Commemoration (Jaden Edison)

Honorable Mention, Environmental Portrait - Bicycle repair (Douglas Smith)

Third Place, Feature Photo - ‘It is our time to speak’: San Marcos community protests in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor  (Jaden Edison)

Second Place, Feature Reporting (Audio) - Behind the Names: Alkek, Flowers, Sewell and Supple (Hannah Thompson, Michele DuPont)

Third Place, Feature Reporting (Audio) - Necessary now, forever essential (Rebecca Harrell)

Honorable Mention, Feature Story - Raising Declan (Aidan Bea)

Honorable Mention, General News Photo - Community 'devastated' following tragic death of police officer (Jaden Edison)

First Place, General News Video - A Lifeless City (Rebecca Harrell)

Second Place, Headline Writing - Volleyball finds magic broom in Halloween sweep against Mavericks (Staff)

Third Place, In-Depth News Reporting (Audio) - We built this country (Rebecca Harrell)

Third Place, In-Depth News Reporting (Video) - Black history professors reflect on history behind Juneteenth (Daniel Weeks, Rebecca Harrell)

Second Place, Interactive Graphic - The 11% Project, 'I need to be better; I need to be stronger': An exploration of Black history at Texas State (Staff)

Second Place, Multimedia Feature - The 11% Project, 'I need to be better; I need to be stronger': An exploration of Black history at Texas State (Staff)

Third Place, Multimedia Sports Story - Revisiting Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ at Texas State (Aidan Bea)

Honorable Mention, Overall Design - Feb. 18, 2020, Housing Guide (Molly Gonzales)

Second Place, Overall Design (Web) - (Morgan Byers)

Second Place, Photo Story - Community 'devastated' following tragic death of police officer (Jaden Edison, Rebecca Harrell)

Honorable Mention, Sports Action Photo - Behind the lens: My experiences capturing fall sports during COVID-19 (Kate Connors)

Second Place, Sports Column - Opinion: Football is not worth athletes risking long-term COVID-19 complications (Toni Mac Crossan)

Third Place, Sports Feature Photo - Texas State’s missed opportunities lead to heartbreak in I-35 rivalry (Kate Connors)

We do not do what we do for awards. The awards are just a testament to your willingness to allow us in your spaces and get to know you and your stories. 

This last year has challenged us all, but we are so grateful to serve a community as resilient as this one. Thank you.

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

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