Monday, March 25, 2019

By Victoria Brito

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Student Media was victorious during the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competitions, held March 13-16 in Corpus Christi.    

The student group, made up of 26 student media employees and two students from Gallery magazine, garnered a total of 58 awards. Additionally, for the first time in university history, UTRGV Student Media took home the Director’s Trophy, which is awarded to the university with the most points gathered in the on-site contests.

The Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) convention brings student media groups from across the state to compete in on-site competitions in news writing for print, broadcast, radio and sports, and other branches of journalism such as photography and page design.

On-site competitions give students the opportunity to show their skills in action with simulated press conferences and give the student journalists a set amount of time to create a multimedia package. The package consists of news, photos, TV and radio segments to illustrate the press conference for news publication.

“All schools gather at the convention and there are 30 on-site contests at each TIPA convention and each of our students competed in at least one of them,” said Jesus Sanchez, UTRGV student program adviser.

In those 30 on-site competitions, UTRGV students earned eight first-place wins, three second-place, one third-place and one honorable mention.

In addition to the Director’s Trophy for on-site excellence, The Rider student newspaper placed third in Best of Show, based on overall content for the year.

“Since we placed in 13 competitions with eight first-place wins, those points accumulated,” Sanchez said. “The Director's Trophy was implemented into TIPA in 2013. We are among the few who have won this trophy, so that is a big deal for us. It means that our students competed. They were the best of the best.”

Azenett Cornejo, UTRGV director of Student Media, thanked faculty advisers for the guidance they provide.

The advisers are:

  • Michell Godinez, lecturer II of communication, newspaper adviser, The Rider.
  • Dina Vera, lecturer I of communication, radio adviser, UTRGV Radio.
  • Dr. Nick Taylor, lecturer II of communication, TV adviser, UTRGV TV.
  • Dr. Aje-Ori Agbese, associate professor of communication, magazine adviser, Pulse Magazine.
  • Dr. Britt Haraway, assistant professor of creative writing, Gallery magazine adviser.
“I am so proud of our students,” Cornejo said. “They were excited, and nervous, about competing in the TIPA Convention on-site contests. The awards they earned show the talent and skills our students possess.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.