Student media leaders across Arizona packed a ballroom to capacity at Arizona State University’s main campus to expand their passions and knowledge for journalism at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association fall convention.
Desert Vista students took home numerous honorable mention, excellent and superior certificates for contest entries showcasing their work in TV production and yearbook during the annual event that celebrates student media.
“I felt like the most exciting part of the whole trip was the awards ceremony because we got to see all our hard work recognized,” said junior Abby Arnold.
The day began with an opening speech by Mark Lodato, Dean of Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, who encouraged students to not only look at ASU as a top school to pursue studies, but as a way to learn about media and innovation careers that teens today will be heading towards in the future.
Since it also was Election Day, Ladato focused on how the Cronkite News teams would cover the events of the day on its PBS station and that students of age need to vote and use their voices to take a role in shaping their future.
Following the opening ceremonies, students choose from a variety of classes lead by professionals and teachers knowledgeable in fields of media. Speakers gave advice of how to improve personal leadership and creative skills, as well as to the tools they are learning to take back to their programs and schools to improve as a whole.
The keynote speaker, Steve Irvin, ABC 15’s nightly News Anchor, gave a passionate speech about his dedication to journalism and education. He shared his opinions on pursuing the truth, no matter what. He spoke about how in today’s age, the world is broken and students must engage to put the pieces back together. “Politics have taken over our news for years, and we must tell the truth no matter what is going on in the world,” he said.
Adviser Michelle Coro, a member of the AIPA board that put the event together, said she was thrilled with the turnout and results of the day.
“My goal is to give students opportunities where they can showcase their talents and realize their potential,” said Coro, who runs the Storm Yearbook and DVTV production classes. “Competing in contests and attending workshops gives them a chance to experience learning beyond the classroom.”
With more than 600 students from across Arizona in attendance, the day was jam packed with activities from games to giveaways by sponsoring vendors.
“As it was my first time going to this event, I was very surprised to see all the kids and advisors so passionate about journalism,” said senior Izzy Greene. “I even won a Starbucks gift card.”
Contest entries submitted at the beginning of the summer and judged by media professionals throughout the summer were announced at the end of the event. DV received various awards for yearbook, photography and broadcast feature stories.
Winners included Tig Mungia, Tatum Sailors, Abby Arnold, Ava Schwartz, Nadine Abdelrahman, Avery Lietgen, Lauren Meehl, Christian Seale and Madison Mellman. They received certificates for their outstanding contributions.
Eric Daniels and Maya Coro, both graduates from Desert Vista, were also awarded for their work with the 2017-18 Storm yearbook.
“After 4 years of being in a media staff, it felt amazing to finally be recognized for my hard work and finally feel like an accomplished journalist,” said senior Nadine Abdelrahman.