Mayborn Tribe’s Annual Ritual Honors Members

The Mayborn is an academic community rich in tradition that is growing by leaps and bounds in new directions as we strive for top accreditations and embrace the challenges of a changing media landscape.

As the only nationally-accredited journalism school in the great state of Texas, we are proud of our students and work hard to provide them with financial support, exposure to networks, experience in the field and feedback from professionals, judges and those who know.

In the 2013-2014 school year students and faculty have engaged in research, conference presentations, competitions, competitive internships, professional collaborations and have worked in large ways and small to show the world what Mayborn stands for.

The round-up of awards, honors and publications from Mayborn students, faculty and staff and alumni is no small list, and we are looking at a bright future that shines the green light of UNT across the nation and around the world through supporting UNT’s Four Bold Goals.

In honor of the hard-working members of our tribe, here’s a summary of honors and events:

Celebrate Mayborn Scholarship Banquet – click to read the full story.

 Wide shot of Celebrate Mayborn event with Professor Neil Foote at the podium.



Mayborn Ad Team Gravitas Sweeps National Advertising Competition - click to read the full story.  



Photojournalism Awards


Heart of Mexico Photographers win National Press Photographers & Cayamak Awards - click to read the full story.



Photographer Places in Hearst Foundation Competition

Student photographer Jun Ma received an eighth place certificate in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation's Journalism Awards Program, in which 105 undergraduate journalism programs at universities across the nation are eligible to participate in the Multimedia Enterprise Reporting category.


Student Photography on Display

The Mayborn Photojournalism Gallery installed in the Mayborn conference room and the dean’s suite features 26 prints from student photographers and alums. “We’re all about highlighting great student work, and what beautiful work it is!” Dean Bland said. The exhibit was curated by assistant professor Thorne Anderson and the prints were produced by photography consultant Junebug Clark. Student volunteers Maggie Saucedo and Christina Ulsh assisted with installation of the exhibit. The selected photographs were also used in a lively class discussion in Anderson’s photography class.


Student work included in the exhibition include Ryan Bibb, Christena Dowsett, Danny Fulgencio, Mikel Galicia, Spike Johnson, Stephen Masker, Mike Mezeul, Morty Ortega, Kyle Phillips, Roberto Rodriguez, Chip Somodevilla and Brandon Thibodeaux.



Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards

Several Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism students were recognized for their 2013 work during the Society of Professional Journalists Region 8 (Texas and Oklahoma) Conference held March 28 in League City, Texas. Each spring, SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best student work done the previous year in print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.


Mayborn magazine was honored with the first place award of Best Student Magazine, its first-ever win in the category. The magazine now advances to the national competition, which will announce its winners from among the 12 regional competitors in May.


Mayborn magazine staff individual awards include:


Graduate student G. Morty Ortega (’13) took first place honors in the Nonfiction Magazine Article category for his work, “The Dreamer,” which tells the story of a medical student who dreams – and despairs – of becoming legal more than a decade after his arrival in the United States. Ortega’s work also advances to the national competition.


Graduate student Christian McPhate (’14) was named a finalist in the Nonfiction Magazine Article category for his piece, “The Home Front,” which tells the story of a military veteran suffering from PTSD.


In its first six years, Mayborn magazine and its student journalists have won 34 awards and honors for writing and design in several competitions; these awards include two national SPJ honors (2012 and 2011).


Also honored during the SPJ conference:


• Graduate student Adrian O’Hanlon, who won the Newspaper Sports Writing (Large Publication) for his article, “Gatesville Messenger All Century Team,” as published by the Gatesville Messenger and Star-Forum.

• Television Breaking News Reporting – Winner: “UNT Gas Leak” by Blane Skiles, North Texas Television

• Television Sports Reporting – Finalist: “UNT Sailing Team” by Taylor Lindholm, North Texas Television

• Best All-Around Television Newscast – Winners: Aaron Greene, Blane Skiles, Brianna Whaley and Katelyn Murray, North Texas Television.



Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Competition Awards

Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) is a college press association that holds annual competitions for collegiate press members. Mayborn students placing included 11 first place, 7 second place, 5 third place, and 3 honorable mentions.

The 2013 Mayborn magazine and its team took the Sweepstakes Award for best magazine at this year’s Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA). The award is the result of receiving more wins in individual categories than any other college in Texas.

TIPA honors for Mayborn magazine included:

• Sweepstakes Award

• First Place – Overall Excellence

• First Place – News Feature Story – “The Dreamer” – G. Morty Ortega

• First Place – Feature Photo – “The Dreamer” – G. Morty Ortega

• First Place – Picture Story – “The Dreamer” – G. Morty Ortega

• First Place – Story Package – “The Dreamer” – G. Morty Ortega

• Second Place – Story Package – “Curious Susan?” – Annette Nevins, writer; G. Morty Ortega, photographer

• Second Place – Feature Story – “The Home Front” – Christian McPhate

• Second Place – Essay – “Caroline’s Odyssey” – Jason Yang

• Third Place – Feature Photo – cover photo (subject Susan Orlean) – G. Morty Ortega

• Third Place – Overall Design

• Third Place – Cover Design

• Honorable Mention – Illustration – Eric Nishimoto

Awards for other Mayborn Media Include:


First Place: Melissa Wylie-Radio News Writing 

First Place: Feature Story Newspaper Division 2-Christina Ulsh

First Place: Feature Photo Newspaper Division 2-Nicole Arnold

First Place: Editorial Newspaper Division 2-James Rambin 

First Place: Commerical, PSA Television-Thomas Hyham, Blane Skiles, Aaron Greene

First Place: Best overall Newscast Television-Aaron Greene, Blane Skiles, Bianna Whaley, Katelyn Murray

Second Place: William Darnell-Print News writing, William Darnell-Editorial writing

Second Place: Sports Column Newspaper Division 2-Tyler Owens

Second Place: Best Blog, Online Division 1-Eric Nishimoto, Matt Jones, Amelia Jaycen, Alicia Auping, Christian McPhate, Annette Nevins

Third Place: Christina Ulsh-Feature Photography

Third Place: Cover Design General Magazine-G. Morty Ortega

Third Place: Overall Design General Magazine-Staff

Third Place: Sportscast television-NT DAILY STAFF

Third Place: Sports Feature Story Television-Taylor Lindholm

Honorable Mention: General Column Newspaper Division 2-Michelle Heath

Honorable Mention: News Feature Story Newspaper Division 2-Melissa Wylie

Honorable Mention: Illustration Generation Magazine-Eric Nishimoto



UNT Honors Day 2014

On April 4 Mayborn joined UNT in honoring students and professors at the 65th annual UNT Honors Day Convocation, a university-wide honors event held in Winspear Hall at the UNT Murchison Performing Arts Center. In a room full of influential people across campus, 18 Mayborn graduate students and 20 undergraduate students, including six in the news and 14 in the strategic communications disciplines, were recognized for excellence by Dean Bland and President Smatresk. In addition, Dr. Roy Busby, associate dean of the Mayborn, was a recognized faculty member, and Samra Bufkins, Mayborn lecturer, received the SGA Honor Professors Award, both student-selected honors.


Outstanding Graduate Student Award winners were: 

Alicia Auping

Pennie Boyett

Carli Chapman

Zixian Chen

Mearl Colaco

Anna Cousineau

Shawn Gadley

Samantha Guzman

Amelia Jaycen

Matthew Jones

Jo Ann Livingston

Krystal Maestas

Sara Ortega

Gayle Reaves-King

Monique Scales

Marisa Thomson

Andrew Welch

Jia Zhao 


Outstanding Academic News Student Award winners were: 

Claire Barber

William Darnell

Michelle Heath

Samantha McDonald

Ateanna Uriri

Sammy Young


Outstanding Academic Strategic Communications Student Award winners were:

Kevin Barfield

Kelcey Blanks

Amanda Colon

Casey Cummins

Thomas Greene

Leah Grimes

Kyle Kehrwald

Ryan Lowery

Noemi Manchester

Heather Mastrin

Shannon McCoy

Jennifer Meza

Amy Scaggs

Briatni West

Congratulations to all the winners!