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Transylvania’s student newspaper shines in yearly Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association contest

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University's student newspaper, The Rambler, was again a big winner in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association (KIPA) awards competition. Current and former staffers picked up four first-place awards and several second- and third-place honors at the group's annual conference in Louisville this past weekend.

The yearly competition for two- and four-year campus newspapers features a variety of categories designed to showcase the talent of student journalists throughout the state. The Rambler writers, photographers and page designers competed in the division for schools with fewer than 5,000 students.

Among the top winners was sophomore Jake Hawkins, the paper's news editor. Hawkins won two first-place awards in news-one for his story on Kentucky's texting while driving law and the other for his work with 2010 graduate Kim Rodgers covering the university's search for a new president.

News judges Kevin Kelly and Brenna Kelly of the Cincinnati Enquirer had high praise for Hawkins and Rodgers in particular, saying they "did a great job of chronicling the school's search for a new president. The paper covered the candidate forums with students, profiled each candidate, then interviewed the winner."  The judges commented that Hawkins and Rodgers were very thorough in their coverage.

Also bringing home a first-place award was photographer Ian Gerard in the feature photo category. His photo of Transy students marching in the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Freedom March in Lexington last year was deemed "a nice moment from an annual event" by judges. The editorial staff, led by senior Amanda Holt, also won first place for its editorial weighing candidates for university president. Judges said the editorial "is filled with facts, perspective and insight."

Junior John Johnson took first-place honors in the on-site copy editing test, besting students from both the large- and small-school divisions. Other KIPA award winners included senior H.B. Elam and juniors Erin Brock, Holly Brown and April York.

"Every year, the students who work on The Rambler staff amaze me with their talents and their dedication. I'm so happy others are able to see that as well," said Terri McLean, student media adviser.

The Rambler, a student-run newspaper, is published weekly on Thursdays during Transy's fall and winter terms.


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