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Awards and Accomplishments

UNT's award-winning Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism produces both students and journalists who have received state, national and international recognition in all of parts of the profession.

Professional Journalism Awards

Show your appreciation for an individual who has shown an impressive degree of excellence in a particular field by nominating them for an award to be given out at next year's Celebrate Mayborn.

Click here for details on nominating.

Accomplishments and Awards of Students, Alumni and Faculty

  • The War Comes Home Project
    During the 2013 spring semester, students from the Mayborn School of Journalism published a series of articles documenting the different struggles the wars have caused.
  • Kathleen Floyd of Wichita Falls
    Floyd, 50, was tapped for the Scott Scribes Scholarship for Ages 40 and Older ($1,500) provided by the Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship Fund. She works at Midwestern State University and is a freelance writer. Floyd says she was 39 when she became a college graduate (from MSU). She has written for several Texas newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service headquarters. Floyd plans to use her scholarship to earn a certificate of narrative journalism at the University of North Texas.  (Used from official website).
  • Cassandra Rodriguez, Rosi Linda Sanchez, and Olmar Vanegas
    The three were recognized as top Hispanic communicators at the Hispanic Communicators DFW’s banquet, and received scholarships of $1,500 to $2,000. Rodriguez and Vanegas each received $2,000 scholarships presented by NBC 5/Telemundo and Time Warner Cable. Sanchez received a $1,500 scholarship presented by the organization. Rodriguez is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, Sanchez is a senior majoring in journalism with a focus in advertising, and Vanegas is a senior majoring in integrated studies.
  • The SPJ Mark of Excellence Award winners have been announced, and the Mayborn is celebrating! Check out our honors:
    Photo Illustration (Large):
    National Winner: “The Hummingbird's Son” by Eric Nishimoto, University of North Texas/Mayborn magazine, University of North Texas
    In-Depth Reporting (Large):
    National Finalist: “Our Remedy or Ruin?” by Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism students, Denton Record-Chronicle, University of North Texas (Students are: Eric Nishimoto, JK Nickell, Brian Rash, Seth Cohn, Yingda Bi, Jesse Sidlauskas, Connor Howell, Brooke Nottingham, Stephanie Daniels, and Austin Keith.)
  • Gravitas
    Gravitas (the UNT Ad Team) won multiple awards in District 10 of the 2013 National Student Advertising Competition. They created a comprehensive Integrated Marketing Communication plan and professional business presentation for this year's NSAC national client, Glidden Paint. Starting in early November 2012, they worked virtually every weekend and throughout their entire Spring Break to plan, develop, and create their award-winning deliverables. More than 200 universities across the country participate in NSAC each year.

    Their awards include:
      - Highest-Rated Presentation
      - Best Media Plan
      - 2nd Place Competition Winner

    Members of Gravitas 2013 are: Juan Bell, Sean Boldt, Matthew Bravo, Jessica Bullock, Estacey Cadorna, Neil Gregerson, Leah Grimes, Megan Holley, Najdah Khan, Holly Lambert, Shanleigh McStay, Gabrielle Mokry, Jessica Reinelt, Monica Saunders, Sydnie Summers, Alyssa Thompson, Loryn Thompson, Victoria Waddell, Rachel West and Camri Wyatt

  • Mayborn graduates and reporters from the Denton Record-Chronicle won the Community Service Award at the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors convention for their 2012 feature series on the Affordable Healthcare Act. Mayborn students who worked on the project included Beth Langton, J.K. Nickell, Eric Nishimoto, Brian Rash, Seth Cohn, Linda Bi, Stephanie Daniels, Conner Howell, James Austin Keith, Brooke Nottingham and Jesse Sidlauskas. Writer-in-Residence, George Getschow, led the series.
  • Congrats to the Mayborn and NT Daily for bringing home awards at the TIPA Annual Sweepstakes! Here are the talented students who won for each category:
    Winning Contestants Who Submitted at the Conference
      - Radio News Writing - Josh Friemel, 3rd place
      - Critical Review - Nadia Hill, 1st place
    Winning Contestants Who Submitted Off-site
      - Newspaper Critical Review - Preston Barta, 3rd place
      - Newspaper News Story - Eleanor Sadler, 2nd place
      - Newspaper Opinion/Editorial Page Design - Therese Mendez, 3rd place
      - Newspaper Picture Story - Chelsea Stratso, Tyler Cleveland, Patrick Howard, 2nd place
      - Newspaper Sports Action Photo - Zac Switzer, 1st place
      - General Magazine Overall Excellence - Mayborn, 2nd place
      - General Magazine Feature Photo - Mike Mezeul, 2nd place
      - General Magazine Story Package - J.K. Nickell, 2nd place
      - General Magazine Feature Story - J.K. Nickell, 1st place
      - General Magazine Column/Essay - Jesse Sidlauskas, 1st place
      - General Magazine Column Essay - J.K. Nickell, honorable mention
      - General Magazine News Feature Story - Eric Nishimoto, 2nd place
      - General Magazine Illustration - Eric Nishimoto, 1st place
      - General Magazine Cover Design - Samantha Guzman, honorable mention
      - Television Public Affairs Program - Hongxi Sha, honorable mention
      - Television Sports Feature Story - Oscar Casanova, honorable mention
      - Television News Non-Feature Story - Rachel Rutland, honorable mention
  • Graduate student Christina A. Childs DeWalt & Dr. Koji Fuse presented "Manufacturing Captain America: A Frame Analysis of the Pat Tillman Epic" at the AEJMC Midwinter Conference, Norman, Okla., March 1-2, 2013. This paper received the Top Paper (Abstract) Award from the Cultural and Critical Studies Division of the AEJMC.
  • Dr. Koji Fuse and Dr. James E. Mueller, along with former graduate students Nicole Holland Pearce and Hui Wang won the Top Paper Award for their paper on Japanese soldiers based on war movies of Japan, China and the U.S. They received the award from the Japan-U.S. Communication Association (JUCA), an affiliate of the National Communication Association (NCA), during the 98th NCA Conference.
  • Assistant professor Dr. Koji Fuse received the Japan-U.S. Communication Association Service Award in recognition of his long-time contribution to the organization.
  • David Wachanga (07') recently completed a 24-minute documentary covering his conversations with Professor Ali A. Mazrui, a leading Black scholar and global African. The mini-documentary explores contemporaneous events in Africa with a focus on Kenya. Watch David's video here.
  • Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe ('02) and Lowell Brown ('02) won the 2012 Stephen Philbin Award in the category of Suburban Newspapers for their work at the Denton Record Chronicle.
  • Mike Mooney ('09) of D Magazine won a 2012 Stephen Philbin Award for Best Magazine Feature.
  • Mayborn graduate student Gabriel Morty Ortega was invited to attend the 2012 Eddie Adams Workshop in New York. Only 100 students are selected from around the world to attend the workshop each year. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams began this intense four-day gathering to provide select students with one-on-one coaching from top photography professionals including Jim Colton of Sports Illustrated, Deidre Read of National Geographic, and David Griffin of the Washington Post. Ortega is the second Mayborn graduate student to be invited to the workshop.
  • Mayborn graduate students bagged another major award for their 2011 feature series in the Denton Record-Chronicle, "Citizens of the Shale," at the Society of Environemntal Awards 2011-2012 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The first place Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting was given to Pennie Freeland Boyett, Lowell Brown, Dawn Cobb, Beth Francesco Currie, George Getschow, LaJuana Hale, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe, Sarah Perry, Spike Johnson and Elizabeth Smith. Read the stories here
  • Alumnus Bob St. John was named a 2012 Living Legend of North Texas Journalism by the D Press Club of Dallas for his important contributions in the field of journalism. He was a feature columnist and sports writer for the Dallas Morning News and the author of several books, including Landry: The Legend and the Legacy and Heart of a Lion: The Wild and Woolly Life of Bobby Layne.
  • Andrew McLemore, alumnus and former editor-in-chief of the NT Daily, won the 2011 Livingston Award for local reporting, the nation's preminent honor for journalists under the age of 35. Andrew wrote a three-part series in the Williamson County Sun about a man falsely imprisoned for 25 years for the murder of his wife. Judges for the award include journalists from the New Yorker, Newsweek, New York Times, and ABC News. Andrew joins an elite group of previous winners that includes Thomas Friedman and David Remnick.
  • Four Mayborn students took home awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Nicole Holland Pearce won first place in the essay category, Gretchen Sparling was first in feature writing, Spike Johnson was first in news feature story and MAYBORN magazine took home second for overall design.
  • Mayborn students and alumni racked up a long list of awards at the 2012 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Convention. Professor George Getschow’s Advanced Feature Writing Class won second place in the class 2A Star Investigative Report of the Year category for their “Citizens of the Shale” series in the Denton Record Chronicle. Students were Elizabeth Smith, LaJuana Hale, Pennie Boyett, Sarah Perry, Beth Francesco and Spike Johnson. Alumni Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Lowell Brown contributed to the series, as did managing editor Dawn Cobb. Heinkel-Wolfe and Brown also won second place in the Freedom of Information category, and Heinkel-Wolfe won second place in Short Features. Diana Wray scored three awards, including class 3A Business Reporting second place, Features honorable mention and Feature Series honorable mention. Christina Dowsett also won in three categories, including class 3A Spot News Photography first place, Photojournalism third place and Feature Photography honorable mention. David Minton won two third place awards in class 2A Photojournalism and Sports Photography. Other alumni winners include Donna Fielder (2A Features honorable mention), Vernon Bryant (4A Best Video third place) and Melissa Boughton (class A Feature Series first place).
  • MAYBORN magazine won 2nd place for Best Student Magazine at the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2010 Region 8 Mark of Excellence awards. Spike Johnson's story in MAYBORN, "Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb", won first place for nonfiction magazine article and third place for photo illustration. Spike's story was also named a national finalst in the nonfiction magazine category. Also in MAYBORNNoah Bunn won third place at the regional competition for his nonfiction magazine article on Gene Weingarten, "Evolution of a Smartass."
  • The UNT PRSSA won a Star Chapter Award at the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco. This is first year the UNT chapter has earned this distinction, which is based on memberships, community service, partnerships with local professional chapters, and programming activities.
  • The North Texas Daily, UNT’s student-run newspaper, won third place for Best Student Newspaper at the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2012 Region 8 Mark of Excellence awards. The NT Daily and the Campus Chat, its predecessor, have earned four regional and six national Pacemaker awards. The previous two awards were presented by the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the Associated Collegiate Press. The newspaper has also earned All-American honors 86 times, awarded by the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Advisors.
  • Dr. James Mueller won the Award of Excellence at the 2008 Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War and Free Expression for his paper on the 1876 presidential election. He is the author of Tag Teaming the Press: How Bill and Hillary Clinton Work Together to Handle the Press and Towel Snapping the Press: How George W. Bush Learned to Play with Journalists. His third book, out in 2012, is Custer, the Press and the Little Bighorn. Dr. Mueller is working alongside Dr. Koji Fuse on an analysis of the portrayal of Japanese soldiers in World War II films. 
  • Dr. Nikhil Moro was named co-editor of Journal of Contemporary Thought in December 2011. The Mayborn School of Journalism and the Forum on Contemporary Theory publish the journal biannually in collaboration with the International Lincoln Center at Lousiana State University Shreveport. The peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal augments UNT's efforts to establish a university-wide research collaborative in South Asian media, culture and arts. Journal of Contemporary Thought engages with theory in the humanities, providing a forum for scholarly dialogue on a broad range of topics significant to our times and cultures.
  • Christena Dowsett ('10), a photographer with the Texarkana Gazette, won two awards in the monthly competition of the National Press Photographers Association, Region 8. One award was for 1st Place Spot News and the other was 3rd Place Spot News.
  • Spike Johnson ('11) won first prize in the International Picture Story category of the College Photographer of the Year contest on November 9, 2011. This is a premier photo competition for college undergraduate and graduate student photographers. His intimate portrayal of a Texas survivalist militia is helping put the Mayborn School of Journalism on the map, and he is the first student of the Mayborn to win this prestigious award.
  • Mayborn graduate student Mike Mezeul was chosen in 2011 to be one of only 100 students selected from around the world to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in New York. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams began this intense four-day gathering to provide select students with one-on-one coaching from top photography professionals including Jim Colton of Sports Illustrated, Deidre Read of National Geographic, and David Griffin of the Washington Post.
  • Gretchen Sparling ('11) and Dr. Koji Fuse, assistant professor of strategic communication, received the 2011 top-paper award—the Laurence Campbell Research Award—from the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for their research paper titled “Technology, Self-Efficacy, and Job Satisfaction: A Study of Predictors of Burnout Among High-School Journalism Educators.”
  • Monica Domiguez was awarded the Most Promising Minority Student from the American Advertising Federation. Monica was one of fifty students from around the country chosen for this national honor. She was also selected by the 4A's for the prestigious Multicultural Advertising Intern Program.

Frank W. and Sue Mayborn

During his life, Frank W. Mayborn promoted journalism excellence. His wife, Sue Mayborn, continues this tradition. UNT has been the beneficiary of these efforts.

Read about our benefactors Frank W. and Sue Mayborn