By Emily Branson / Staff writer

Over the course of the school year, The Hutchinson Collegian gathers stories and photographs to be submitted into the annual Kansas Collegiate Media contest that takes place each spring. The contest is composed of colleges and universities from across the state, all of whom enter their best work in hopes of winning awards. 

Winners are announced at the annual April convention, but this year was different, as there was no convention due to COVID-19.

Everything was submitted digitally and results were emailed to instructors. The Collegian staff walked away with 19 awards.

Eighteen of these were individual awards, and one was a Silver Medal for overall excellence.

“That means against all other newspapers, ours was the Silver winner,” Collegian Editor in Chief Tabitha Barr said.

“This is exactly what we are excited to see. We are improving and growing, and it shows. This year’s staff has done tremendously well at fighting for good stories. Winning that award showed us that we are learning and getting better all the time.”

The Collegian won four first-place awards this year. Brenna Eller, a HutchCC alumna from Little River, former Collegian Editor in Chief and now at the University of Kansas, won two awards for her page designs and one first-place award for sports news writing. Augusta freshman Bailey Pennycuff also won a first-place award for her sports feature about football player Kirmari Gainous.

As this is her last year on staff, and as Editor in Chief, Barr has high hopes for the future of The Collegian.

“I am so sad that this is the last year that I’m going to be a part of this amazing staff,” Barr said.

“I have made so many amazing friends and to be truly honest, these people have become my family. However, I know that The Collegian will do amazing things going forward. The staff keeps pushing to find new and inventive stories. We challenge hard topics and it will continue next year and hopefully after that as well.”

Barr finishes her year at HutchCC with three second-place awards, for column writing, editorial writing, and front page design.

“I am glad that my two stories about the wrongness of catcalling won awards,” Barr said.

“It is something that hurts women more than people realize so it meant a lot for those to win.”

Looking forward, there is no doubt in her mind that The Collegian staff will continue to tackle tough stories.

“Each year new people join and help create what The Collegian is,” Barr said. “With (Journalism Instructor) Brad (Hallier) leading, and a great staff taking charge, The Collegian will be amazing. I know that current and future staff members will uphold a journalist’s title and be able to make the decisions where needed.”

Kansas Collegiate Media Awards

First place

Second place

Third place

Honorable mention

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