AUSTIN, Texas—Jennie Kennedy, managing editor for The Daily Texan student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named one of five winners nationwide of the “Most Valuable Staffer” newspaper competition by the Scripps Howard Foundation.
Winners of the competition, which was open to all U.S. college newspaper staff members, were announced Thursday (Feb. 15) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Each of the winners receives a $5,000 scholarship and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the National College Media Convention, co-sponsored by the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers, Feb. 15-18. The college newspapers where the students work also will receive a $5,000 grant.
“Jennie is really a rare find and will go far,” said Kathy Lawrence, director of student publications at UT Austin. “She has been more effective than any other managing editor I’ve worked with as far as motivating the staff to reach for something better — which results in a better student newspaper.”
This is Kennedy’s third consecutive semester as managing editor for The Texan. A senior from New Orleans, La., Kennedy also was the recipient of the first Scott Lind Scholarship for a Texan staff member. Both her parents are in journalism — her mother is a high school journalism teacher, and her father is a photographer.
The Scripps Howard Foundation in cooperation with College Media Advisers sponsors the competition. “Scripps Howard Foundation established this competition to reward college newspaper staffers who have distinguished themselves through their hard work and extraordinary efforts, ” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the foundation. “These five individuals have won the respect and high praise of their colleagues and college advisers and have earned recognition as ‘Most Valuable Staffers.'”
Chris Carroll, president of College Media Advisers and media adviser at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said, “The annual ‘Most Valuable Staffer’ award provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the achievements of some of the country’s most promising journalism students. As always, this year’s recipients are among the best of the best.”
The competition was open to staffers of any college newspaper in the U.S. that publishes at least weekly during the regular school year. Nominees had to be enrolled as full-time students in the college or university. They were not required to be journalism or communications majors, and could work in any department of the newspaper.
College Media Advisers, with more than 700 members, coast to coast, represents the people who advise the nation’s collegiate newspapers, yearbooks, magazines and electronic media. Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.
Among the other winners were students from The University of Iowa, Indiana University, Louisiana Tech University and California State University.