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The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

Eastfield student journalists win state awards

Daniel Rodrigue
The Et Cetera staff poses with their awards.

The Et Cetera newsroom won first place in Best of Show Website and third for Best of Show Newspaper in Division 2 at the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention last month. 

Eastfield brought home 43 awards from San Marcos, the most of any Dallas College campus.

The convention consisted of several live contests that had students cover an event or create content in a timed setting. Some students were taken to a Texas State softball game where they took pictures and wrote articles. For the Critical Review competition, they were taken to report on a concert at Cheatham Street Warehouse, a 50-year-old honky tonk.

Graphics editor Veronica Trejo won first in Cartoon Strip/Panel, third place in Editorial Cartoon and an honorable mention in Print Advertising and for Designer of the Year for Two-Year Schools. 

“My first time [at TIPA] I just wanted to learn and I didn’t win anything,” Trejo said. “This time, I had some experience so I knew what to do, and won all of my live contests.”

Students were also awarded for work published in 2023. Alumnus and former photo editor Rory Moore earned 11 awards for The Et Cetera and was named the 2024 Photojournalist of the Year for Two-Year Schools. As a newsroom, The Et Cetera won first in Sports Page – Newspaper, second in Overall Design – Newspaper and third in previously published Website and Newspaper.

“I think the funny part is that I retroactively won awards for previously published content,” managing editor Carmen Guzman said. “The stories that got me national awards are still making a splash.”

Carmen Guzman won first in Editorial, General News, and Headline writing along with Mattheau Faught. Faught won first in Illustration, second in In-Depth Reporting and Feature Page/Spread Design and third in Cover Design and Cartoon Strip/Panel.

When students weren’t competing, they attended presentations from guest speakers with on-the-job experience. Professors, retired journalists and current faces in the industry gave tips on breaking into freelancing or landing a first job and general advice on producing better content.

“There was one professor who told us to just write about anything,” Trejo said. “So I’m gonna try to do some reviews for my favorite shows just to get some writing practice.”

Lamar University’s Director of Student Publications, Andy Coughlan, broke down reporting on fine arts to make it more approachable for those who were unfamiliar. He explained that the best way to get into art, for example, was piece by piece. Pick one artist to look into at a time and pay attention to their work and the work that inspired them, and soon enough, there’ll be some overlap.

“There were a lot of really cool and interesting people talking,” page designer Lucero Guzman said. “I even connected with some of them after their workshops, which I feel is gonna really help me in the long run.”

This was Lucero Guzman’s first time at TIPA, and she earned third place in previously published Editorial Cartoon for the first design she turned in at The Et Cetera.

“I was so nervous when I turned that in here because I had no idea what was expected,” she said. “That was the one I was the most nervous about, and it’s the one that got me an award.”

For others, this was their last TIPA convention. Most of the staff is graduating this year.

“It’s kind of sad because it’s ending,” Trejo said. “But I’ll look back at all of my experiences and take what I learned from there.”

Carmen Guzman has been to “enough conventions to lose count,” but this was her final time at TIPA with Eastfield.

“I tried to make peace with the fact that I knew I was gonna leave The Et Cetera eventually, but it still feels sad, nonetheless,” she said. “I’ve cried here. I’ve slept here. I’ve done a little bit of everything. It feels like home, but you’ve gotta leave the nest eventually.”

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Sean Stroud
Sean Stroud, Editor in Chief

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