Communications Arts Students Receive Honors at Texas Intercollegiate Press Association 2024 Conference

June 12, 2024

Students and faculty members from UIW’s Department of Communication Arts attended the 2024 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) conference in San Marcos, Texas during the Spring 2024 semester. TIPA is the oldest and one of the largest state collegiate press associations in the nation that seeks to improve college journalism to raise the standard of college publications and to bring the colleges and editors into close and more vital relationship.

UIW has been participating and competing in the conference for several years now, each year submitting a number of student works that have been shared on various multimedia platforms.

Participating faculty members included Dr. Trey Guinn, associate professor and director of Communications Arts, and Susanna Alford, alumna and part-time lecturer within the department.

Guinn delivered a presentation on “Communication Skills for Professional Communicators,” which pulled material from his recently published book, Communication Essentials (2023).

“The presentation delivered was a crash course designed for students to learn more about how they can enhance their communication skills, professionally and personally,” explained Guinn. “Special attention was given to how communication essentials help students communicate their way into a job, on the job, and up the ladder.”

Alford was unfortunately unable to attend TIPA as a student in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was ecstatic to be invited four years later as a speaker at this year’s conference, where she presented, “Cross-Campus Collaborations: Merging One Gap at a Time”. Students Paige Heller, Mckenna Moczygemba and Janelle De Jesus presented alongside her.

“This session was developed to motivate students to engage and remain active on campus through leveraging their social media platforms as professional networks in tandem with other activities on campus, as ways to strengthen their digital and professional networks,” explained Alford. “By interviewing athletes, coaches, mentors and their peers, students are also encouraged to continuously learn and collaborate both on campus and within the TIPA network.”

As a UIW alumna with a BA and MA in Communication Arts who has returned to the University to serve as part-time faculty, Alford’s presentation was a full circle moment for her. What made the experience even more special is that she got to work alongside current Communication Arts students. To her, it was a nostalgic experience that reminded her of where she once was and how those experiences empower her to help current students today.

UIW students were also recognized at the TIPA conference, earning 14 awards and recognitions across multiple categories, including Best Newscast for the student-run UIWtv Newscast.

“The students who were recognized are those who embrace challenges and strive toward achieving and doing more,” expressed Guinn. “I am proud of them for being brave enough to dream and determined to turn those dreams into reality.”

Additionally, Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) degree program student Mackenzie Conant was awarded the Texas Auto Writers Association Scholarship in Public Relations, which is one of three scholarships the conference awards to students.

“Receiving this scholarship from the Texas Auto Writers Association was truly an honor and I am so grateful to the communications department for equipping me with the skills to receive an award like this.”

Congratulations to all participating and recognized UIW students!


Recognized Students and TIPA Award Recipients:

  • Program Production Video (First Place) – Markus McGuire, Alejandra Ortiz, Emma Galle and McKenna Moczygemba
  • General News Video Story (First Place) – Matthew Falletich
  • Spanish Multimedia Feature Reporting (Third Place) – Isabel Lara
  • Sports Column (Honorable Mention) – Lyric Bonilla
  • General News Multimedia Story (First Place) – Alejandra Ortiz
  • General News Multimedia Story (Second Place) – Markus McGuire
  • Sports Reporting – Video (Third Place) – Hannah Cash
  • Advertising/PSA/Promo – Video (First Place) – Leland Campbell
  • Advertising/PSA/Promo – Video (Second Place) – Janelle De Jesus, Ixchel Villarreal and Aaron Rios
  • Critical Review (Honorable Mention) – Janelle De Jesus
  • News Production – Video (First Place) – Markus McGuire, Alejandra Ortiz, Emma Galle and McKenna Moczygemba
  • Feature Reporting – Video (Third Place) – McKenna Moczygemba
  • Newscast – Video (First Place) – Markus McGuire, Alejandra Ortiz, Emma Galle and McKenna Moczygemba
  • Live Newscast – Video (Honorable Mention) – Markus McGuire, Alejandra Ortiz, Emma Galle, McKenna Moczygemba