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Kilgore College student publications sweep contests

By Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal.com
April 6, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Kilgore College's student publications have done it again, pulling top honors in state and national competitions.

The Flare, the student-run newspaper, captured sweepstakes during this past week's Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition in Corpus Christi, earning 111 points overall.

Texas A&M Commerce was second with 67 points, and A&M Kingsville came in third with 44 points.

The Flare has earned sweepstakes 22 times in the past 26 years. It competes against one other community college and 11 universities in its division.

The student publication won 23 awards, including first in general excellence and best in show for its spring break edition, and garnered national recognition with a silver crown for its website from the Columbia Scholastic Journalism Association.

The Flare also was named non-daily university/college newspaper of the year in the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors competition for the third consecutive year.

Flare adviser and journalism instructor Bettye Craddock said her "great, wonderful students" make all the difference.

Executive Editor Kasi Dickerson, a sophomore, said she was proud not just of her awards, but also of her fellow students and Craddock.

"It's all of us working together - all of us put in so much," Dickerson said. "We have a great photo department. Mrs. Craddock teaches us like we are working for a city newspaper. She lets us control it, and she steps in when needed."

Dickerson won the top scholarship at TIPA, worth $1,000, and was named reporter of the year for two-year colleges in a tie with a student from Tarrant County Community College.

The students submitted previously published work and competed in live on-site contests.

The Flare's advertising manager, sophomore Betsy Foreman, said competing at TIPA was another learning experience.

She picked up first place in the live advertising competition.

"It keeps you on top of your game , and it gives you an idea of what is required to have a career in journalism other than what we do while going to school," Foreman said. "When you are rewarding for your craft, it is encouraging."

Foreman also is the advertising manager for Kilgore College's yearbook The Ranger and The Flare Magazine.

Flare photographer and sophomore Elizabeth Wisdom also won in the live competition. She grabbed third place in the feature photo contest.

"It helps you be on your toes, and you have to work with whatever prompts they give you and in the area they provide," Wisdom said. "It helps you be spontaneous."

Managing editor and freshman Ashton Johnson said the experience at TIPA was the culmination of a lot of hard work.

"The awards banquet makes all the hours spent in here (the lab) worth it," she said. "It makes you proud to be in journalism."

Ashton's Flare-mate and assistant editor, KC freshman Brittani Pfau, said TIPA is a true competition that "makes you strive to be better."

The Flare photographer Brandy Eubanks was named Photojournalist of the Year for two-year colleges. The judges called the work "outstanding" and said the "student represented a variety of work that illustrates her versatility and creative eye. Regardless of the assignment, the photos were of high quality. Excellent work."

Students also captured awards for work published in The Ranger Yearbook and The Flare Magazine.

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