Rattler newspaper again honored for excellence

Student publication earns 25 awards at TIPA convention

The staff of The Rattler, St. Mary’s University’s student-run news publication, won 25 awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) 2016 convention held March 31-April 2.

For the third-consecutive year, The Rattler won first place for Overall Excellence in its division of student newspapers published bi-weekly or less frequently.

The Rattler also earned the highest rating in its division, and took home the Sweepstakes Award.

For on-site contests, managing editor Paige Gandara-Valderas, a senior Art Education major, took second place for editorial cartoon. Advertising manager Michelle Michimani-Leyva, a junior English Communication Arts major, placed third in print advertising design. Design editor Guillermo Avelar, a junior Finance and Risk Management major, won honorable mention for yearbook design.

More than 500 participants from nearly 50 Texas colleges and universities attended the convention in Dallas.

The Rattler’s awards include:

Individual Overall Excellence

  • Stela Khury, editor-in-chief: Frank Buckley Scholarship

On-site Contests

  • Second Place, Yearbook Design: Rachel Grahmann
  • Second Place, Feature Photo: Kyra Littlejohn
  • Third Place, Magazine Design: Rachel Grahmann
  • Honorable Mention, Editorial Writing: Emily Artalejo

Previously-published Contests

Newspaper Division 5 (published bi-weekly or less, with enrollment in lower half of all entries)

First Place

  • Overall Excellence: The Rattler
  • Special Edition: The Rattler (Issue 10, Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Single Subject Design: Sara E. Flores (Rattlers around the world, Issue 9, Oct. 7, 2015)
  • Headline: Sara E. Flores, (Halloween booze & don’ts, Issue 10, Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Information Graphic: Manuela Gonzalez (Coming to the 210, Issue 4, March 26, 2015)
  • Sports Page Design: Allie Beedle (Issue 8, Sept. 23, 2015)

Second Place

  • Single Subject Presentation Design: Alondra Garcia (Ecuador, Issue 3, March 4, 2015)
  • In-Depth Reporting: Daniel Perez (Work-study positions become scared to utilize resources, Issue 7, March 3, 2015)
  • Information Graphic: Sara E. Flores (Sports Schedules, Issue 10, Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Sports Page Design: Allie Beedle (Issue 2, Feb. 18.2015)

Third Place

  • News Story: Michelle Michimani-Leyva (University lacks sprinkler system protection in dorms, Issue 11, Nov. 18, 2015)
  • In-Depth Reporting: Sara E. Flores (Student work-study employees encounter conflicting payment dates, Issue 8, Sept. 23, 2015)
  • Photo Illustration: Brandon Leonard (Bullying visually impaired students poses a threat to education development, Issue 8, Sept. 23, 2015)
  • Editorial Cartoon: Brandon Leonard (Leaked videos cause controversy, Issue 6, Aug. 19, 2015)

Honorable Mention

  • Page One Design: Alondra Garcia (Issue 3, March 4, 2015)
  • Opinion/Editorial Page Design: Sofia Zanetta (Issue 7, Sept. 3, 2015)
  • Feature Story: Joshua Madrid (New assistant director for student activities creates diverse events on campus, Issue 11, Nov. 18, 2015)
  • Feature Photo: Julia Ewalefo (Students divulge some inexplicable paranormal experiences, Issue 10,Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Photo Illustration: Sara E. Flores (Women’s tennis keeps cool under pressure, Issue 8,Sept. 23, 2015)
  • Illustration: Manuela Gonzalez & Brandon Leonard (Online dating becoming option for students, Issue 5, April 29, 2015)

Brother Dennis R. Bautista, S.M., Ph.D., is faculty adviser for The Rattler.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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