Tyler Junior College student media earns multiple journalism awards

May 4—Tyler Junior College's student media, The DrumBeat, has proved to be a competitive force in journalism after earning more than 30 awards at the 2024 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference.

The DrumBeat received top honors for their digital and print work during the spring and fall 2023 semesters, bringing home first place in overall excellence for its newspaper and third place in overall excellence for its news video production.

Two students were also recognized for their leadership efforts. Leigh Meyers placed second for Editor/News Director of the Year for two-year colleges, and Santiago Nunez placed third for Designer of the Year for two-year colleges.

"We are so proud of our students for their work as multimedia journalists and student leaders across the state," said Kasi Dickerson, TJC mass communication professor and student media co-advisor. "Winning these top honors is rewarding and shows the importance of college media."

Students who attended the conference in San Marcos also participated in live events where they competed against approximately 300 student journalists from two-year and four-year colleges in Texas. The DrumBeat staff members walked away with six live contest awards. TIPA is the oldest state collegiate press association in the nation.

Students also excelled in electronic and visual reporting, bringing home awards in various categories such as in-depth video news reporting, podcasting, photography and more.

"The students in the DrumBeat work harder than any club I have ever seen. It takes a lot of dedication to keep the campus informed through a broadcast, website, app, social media and newspaper," said Adrienne Hampton, mass communication professor and student media co-advisor.

Several students were also recognized for their narrative work such as in-depth reporting, headline writing and design. Their award-winning coverage featured topics including the active shooter hoax in Spring 2023, sexual assault, climate change and more.

The DrumBeat student media comprises a printed newspaper, an online edition with multimedia content, a news broadcast, an app and social media management. It is one of the oldest student organizations at TJC and is open to all majors.

Previously submitted contest entries (Division 3):

Overall Excellence

—First place, newspaper — DrumBeat Staff

—Second place, editor/news director of the year for two-year colleges — Leigh Meyers

—Third place, designer of the year for two-year colleges — Santiago Nunez

—Third place, news video production — DrumBeat Staff

Electronic Reporting

—Second place, multimedia feature — Krilon Marsh

—Second place, general news video story — Garrett Snyder

—Second place, multimedia sports story — Kevin Jabo

—Second place, social media breaking news — Brooklyn Gundling, Garrison Nichols

—Third place, podcast — Isabela Martinez

—Third place, general news video story — Garrison Nichols

—Third place, general news audio story — Jude Ratcliff

—Third place, video feature reporting — Marissa Krnavek

—Honorable mention, video sports reporting — Garrett Snyder, Santiago Nunez

Narrative Reporting

—First place, in-depth reporting — Abigail Smith, Grace Giles

—First place, in-depth reporting — Brooklyn Gundling, Abigail Smith, Grace Giles

—Second place, headline writing — Baleigh Davis, Marissa Krnavek

Visual Reporting

—First place, editorial cartoon — Al Davila

—First place, breaking news photo — Garrison Nichols

—Second place, sports action photo — Garrison Nichols

—Second place, sports feature photo — Lillian Hulme

—Third place, photo story — Garrison Nichols, Will Kaiser

—Third place, environmental portrait — Savanna Benner

—Third place, breaking news photo — Baleigh Davis


—First place, op/editorial design — Abigail Smith and Grace Giles

—Second place, newspaper cover design — Cashlin Dwyer

—Second place, live newscast — DrumBeat Staff

—Second place, newspaper sports design — Grace Stone

—Second place, op/editorial design — Al Davila

—Third place, static ad design — Leigh Meyers

—Honorable mention, video program production — DrumBeat Staff

Live on-site contest awards

—First place, newspaper design — Taylor Thompson

—Honorable mention, PR release writing — Catalaya Demarco

—Third place, yearbook design — Taylor Thompson

—Third place, TV announcing — Baleigh Davis

—Third place, magazine design — Taylor Thompson

—Honorable mention, print news writing — Marissa Krnavek

Students, listed by hometown, include:

Arlington: Reyona Turner Arkadelphia, Arkansas: Ashton Gatson

Athens: Grace Giles

Bullard: Taylor Thompson, Garrison Nichols, Leigh Meyers, Abigail Smith

Friendswood: Brooklyn Gundling

Caracas, Venezuela: Isabela Martinez

Chapel Hill: Catalaya Demarco

Kigali, Rwanda: Kevin Jabo

Kilgore: Bethany McWilliams

Lindale: Jude Ratcliff, Krilon Marsh

Mesquite: Baleigh Davis

Mexico City, Mexico: Santiago Nunez

Troup: Grace Stone

Tyler: Al Davila, Savanna Benner

Valley Mills: Marissa Krnavek

Van: Cashlin Dwyer

Waco: Will Kaiser

Whitehouse: Lillian Hulme

For information on the Mass Communications program at TJC, visit TJC.edu/MassCom.