HAYS, KS -- Publishing two papers a week, working long nights and meeting their deadlines helped the Fort Hays State University student publication staff of 1999-2000 win a distinguished national award.
The University Leader won a National Newspaper Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.
Also at the national competition, two cartoonists from Fort Hays State University won awards. Brad Winter, Great Bend senior, received second place in best cartoon strip and third place in best stand-alone cartoon. Miles Stearns, Courtland senior, received third place in best cartoon strip.
Members of FHSU student publications attended the Associated Collegiate Press convention in Washington, DC, from Nov. 8-12. Attending the event were Leonard Allen, Reveille Yearbook advisor; Rebecca Blocksome, Hays senior; Mark Bowers, Topeka graduate student; Latisha Dodson, Pratt graduate student; Brandie Elliott, Phillipsburg senior; and Penny Lamb, Wichita senior.
According to Lori Keekley, director of National Contests and Critiques for ACP, "From almost 200 newspapers that entered the Pacemaker competition, only 49 earned National Pacemaker finalist honors. The judges were from The Washington Post."
"Unlike critiques where a newspaper can send in the issues of its choice, ACP is specific about the publication dates for Pacemaker entries," said Linn Ann Huntington, associate professor of communication.
For the 2000 Pacemaker entries, newspapers had to enter two consecutive issues published between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 1999; one issue published between April 1 and April 30, 2000, and one issue of choice excluding special edition issues such as Homecoming or an issue with a special supplement.
The judges selected the top six newspapers as Pacemaker winners in each of three categories: four-year colleges and universities with daily papers, four-year schools with non-daily papers and community college newspapers.
The University Leader won in the four-year non-daily category. Stephanie Allen, Hays graduate, was editor-in-chief of the Fall 1999 Leader and Devin Strecker, Natoma graduate, was the editor-in-chief of the Spring 2000 Leader.
"When you think about all the newspapers that entered, for the Leader to win a prestigious national award like this says an awful lot about the quality of our campus newspaper and our journalism program in general," said Huntington.
The Leader and Reveille have both won Pacemakers in the past and both publications compete in the state competition (Kansas Associated Collegiate Press) and the regional competition (Rocky Mountain College Media Association) each year.
"We were judged by the journalists at The Washington Post. They are saying not just that we have achieved excellence, but that we are on the cutting edge, we are setting the pace, literally, for others. I am awfully proud of our students," said Huntington.
Students that attended the event are listed below by hometown.
HAYS: Leonard Allen, Reveille Yearbook Advisor; Rebecca Blocksome, senior.
PHILLIPSBURG: Brandie Elliott, senior.
PRATT: Latisha Dodson, graduate student.
TOPEKA: Mark Bower, graduate student, 4011 Topeka Blvd.
WICHITA: Penny Lamb, senior, 4860 North Oliver.