The Pioneer newspaper took home a record-breaking 21 awards at the annual Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association conference in Stillwater March 31.
Many two-year and four-year college newspaper and yearbook staffs from around the state attended the conference, held at Oklahoma State University.
This conference marked the 32nd year the Pioneer staff has attended.
The Pioneer staff brought home a 21 awards including six first-place awards in overall two-year newspaper for the eighth consecutive year, front-page design, news writing, editorial writing, feature writing, and sports writing under the 2-year school category and feature photography under the 2-and 4-year category.
Staff writer Morgan Beard, who won first place in feature writing, said placing in the conference was a great honor.
“To win first place for a couple of my stories was really surprising,” Beard said.
“It makes a guy feel good, you know, to be recognized for your work at that level.”
Beard also won second place for sports writing.
Online Editor Whitney Knight said she did not expect to win three awards.
“It was a huge shock to me,” Knight said.
“I was literally standing there in front of a room full of people with my mouth hanging open.”
Christy Johnson, staff writer, said she was thrilled to win two awards.
“I was surprised I won an award for photography because I am not a photographer,” she said. “I was very excited though.”
Editor Joey Stipek, who took second place in Investigative Reporting, said he is pleased with the results of the contest.
“I think overall the record breaking number of awards we won was a positive reflection of our journalism program, professors, and lab assistants,” Stipek said.
“I am very proud of all the people who won awards.”
Stipek and Knight, along OCCC graduate and former Pioneer lab assistant Chris Lusk, were also appointed to OCMA’s Student Advisory Board.