‘The Mercury’ Earns Top Honor for U.S. College Newspapers
UT Dallas student media staff members attended the recent National College Media Convention in Austin. From left: Linda Nguyen, Harris Chowdhary, Cara Santucci, Miriam Percival, Nidhi Gotgi, Elyse Mack, Sravya Boppuri, Andrew Gallegos, Pablo Juarez, Chris Lin, Bharat Arimilli, Esteban Bustillos, Chad Austin and Hamid Shah.
The UT Dallas student newspaper, The Mercury, received college journalism’s highest honor, the Pacemaker Award, at the recent National College Media Convention.
The Mercury has been a finalist for the award in back-to-back years. This marks the second Pacemaker for the newspaper, which won its first in 2005.
The convention, held Oct. 28-Nov. 1 in Austin, was co-hosted by the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association. Fifteen students from The Mercury, AMP and UTD TV attended the event.
Chad Thomas, director of student media, said The Mercury faced strong national competition for the top award.
“When you look at the high quality of journalism among the Pacemaker finalists, it’s a major affirmation for our students, knowing they are considered among the country’s best at their craft,” Thomas said.
Thomas credited past editors for their contributions to The Mercury, including Miguel Perez, Lauren Featherstone, Bobby Karalla, Shane Damico and Jessica Melton.
“When you look at the high quality of journalism among the Pacemaker finalists, it’s a major affirmation for our students, knowing they are considered among the country’s best at their craft”
Thomas said the diversity of The Mercury’s staff sets it apart from other college publications.
“These alumni represent the best of UT Dallas: passion, dedication and innovation,” Thomas said. “Students from so many different backgrounds and nationalities come together to create a culture of inclusivity in the newsroom.”
The Mercury also received several organizational and individual recognitions from the Associated Collegiate Press, including a third-place finish in the best of show contest for four-year, less-than-weekly newspapers.
Individual winners were Ian LaMarsh and Hamid Shah, fourth place for special section cover; and Miguel Perez, fifth place for infographic. Honorable mentions went to Anwesha Bhattacharjee for feature story of the year and Emily Grams for cartooning.
In the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards, The Mercury placed second in the four-year, less-than-weekly newspaper of the year category.
Individual winners were Andrew Gallegos, second place for best house ad and best advertisement; and Emily Grams, third place for best comic strip.
Esteban Bustillos, The Mercury’s editor-in-chief, said the entire staff was “very excited” to win the Pacemaker.
“For me personally, it’s proof that we have one of the best staffs, if not the best, in the nation. I couldn’t be more humbled to work with such a great group,” Bustillos said.
“It’s also a testament to the work of our former editor-in-chief, Miguel Perez. He set the standard for the work we produced last year, and we look to continue to improve.”
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].