Journalism, PR students, faculty at FHSU win awards at Kansas Professional Communication Conference

Fifteen Fort Hays State University journalism and public relations students and three communication studies faculty members earned top awards at the annual Kansas Professional Communicators Conference April 8 in Emporia.

All three faculty members placed in the top two in their respective categories. Linn Ann Huntington, associate professor, took first in the General Personal Columns category for columns published in "The Hays Daily News."

Jennie Straight, assistant professor, and Andy Stanton, assistant professor, both competed for the first time at the conference. Straight walked away with two first-place awards in News or Feature Release and in Achievement/Research while Stanton took second in Four-Color Magazine.

Heather Wilson, New Cambria senior, was FHSU’s nominee for the $1,500 KPC scholarship awarded to an outstanding senior planning a career in mass media who attends a Regents institution. Other students nominated represented Wichita State University, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. Ryan Rubi of WSU received the scholarship.

“I loved talking with the people at the conference. They gave such great advice and gave me something to strive towards,” said Wilson, who is majoring in communications studies with an emphasis in journalism.

Heather J. McDonald, Brewster senior, took two individual awards, placing first in Collegiate Sports Writing in a newspaper and second in Collegiate News Writing in a newspaper.

Chris McKenna, Jennings senior, placed first in Collegiate News Writing in a newspaper. Sheri Dowis, former student from Sterling, CO, took first in Collegiate Feature Writing in a newspaper.

Crystal Redger, Ellis junior, placed second in Collegiate Feature Writing in a newspaper. Kathryn Mayes, Abilene senior, placed third in Collegiate Feature Writing in a newspaper, and Jessica Speer, Viola junior, placed third in Collegiate News Writing in a newspaper.

Two public relations teams received group awards. The team that took first in the Public Relations Campaign for a Non-Profit or Educational Institution was comprised of Katie Beamer, Kansas City, MO, alumna; Chris Hoss, Beaverton, OR, alumnus; Amy (Griffin) McKinney, Lincoln alumnus; and Mayumi Tanaka, Gumma, Japan, former student. The campaign was for the FHSU Department of Communication Studies.

The team that placed second in the Public Relations Campaign for Company or For-profit Business was comprised of Matthew Carver, Hays alumnus; Stephanie Felder, Hays senior; Jessica (Smart) Goodale, Abilene senior; Linda O’Neal, Hays senior; and Rebecca Wark, Hays junior. They designed a campaign for Park Avenue Salon in Hays.

All first-place winners are eligible to go on to the national competition sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women. Winners will be announced at the national conference Sept. 7-9 in Denver, CO.

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