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Muleskinner Students Capture 25 Individual and Team State Awards

By Jeff Murphy, April 14, 2022

Muleskinner editorial team members recently celebrated the individual and collective accomplishments of all those who contributed to the student-led publication’s success in the Missouri College Media Association’s (MCMA) 2022 awards program. In addition to a number of students not pictured who won individual awards, others who contributed to The Muleskinner’s success in MCMA  include, from left: Distribution Coordinator Tretin Raney, Sports Editor Meah Copeland, Features Editor Libby East, Faculty Adviser Dr. Julie Lewis, News Editor Emma Fischer and Managing Editor Bethany Spitzmiller. (Photo Courtesy of the Muleskinner)


WARRENSBURG, MO – Demonstrating their skills in several journalism, advertising and digital media categories, members of The Muleskinner, the University of Central Missouri’s student newspaper, captured a total of 25 individual and team awards during the Missouri College Media Association’s annual convention and awards program. 

The students’ success in MCMA included 22 individual awards in addition to second place in Newspaper Division I Sweepstakes, third in the Best in State print newspaper, and third in Website during the event that took place at Missouri Western State University, home for the Walter Cronkite Memorial in 
St. Joseph. UCM’s awards were earned in Newspaper Division I, which represents the largest four-year institutions in the state. Twenty-five different award categories were available within each of four newspaper divisions.

"Being able to attend MCMA was an amazing opportunity for The Muleskinner team to be exposed to strong student journalism across the state, recognize areas for improvement, and celebrate their strengths,” said Bethany Spitzmiller, a UCM graduate student who serves as managing editor for The Muleskinner, and was among the award winners. “I'm so proud to see how much The Muleskinner team has grown throughout this year. Winning these awards means so much to the staff because it shows them their hard work is recognized and valued -- even more so than what I tell them every week. We're looking forward to implementing what we've learned at the conference to keep improving as a publication and a team."

In addition to three major awards that reflect the excellent work of The Muleskinner staff, individual awards in Newspaper Division I, including category, placement, name of student(s) and title of entry, were as follows:

Advertising Division, Advertising Design, First Place, Derek Walsh, Army Advertisement
Information Graphic, First Place, Derek Walsh, ESA Infographic
Editoral/Op-ed Page, First Place, Bethany Spitzmiller, March Opinions Page
Feature Page, First Place, Bethany Spitzmiller, November Features Page
Video, Second Place, Junping Xia, Experiences of College Students in China
News Writing, Second Place, Emma Fischer, Mule Rider Community Supports World Record Attempt
Feature Writing, Second Place, Abram Tabor, Landkamer Shares Bug Treats and Expertise
Sports Writing, Second Place, Gabby Ellis, Mule Riders Uphold Tradition of Excellence
Feature Photography, Second Place, Derek Walsh, Connections are Changing
Nonpolitical/Entertainment Cartoon, Second Place, Garrett Williams, Textbooks
Story Illustration, Second Place, Adam Sullens, Baseball/Softball Illustration
Page One Design, Second Place, Derek Walsh and Bethany Spitzmiller, November Front Page
Editorial Op-Ed Page, Second Place, Derek Walsh and Bethany Spitzmiller, November Opinions Page
Sports Page, Second Place, Derek Walsh, August Sports Back Page
Nonpolitical/Entertainment Cartoon, Third Place, Adam Sullens, Red Bag Day
Information Graphic, Third Place, Derek Walsh, Senior Athletes Infographic
Sports Page, Third Place, Derek Walsh, October Page 14
Multimedia Package, Third Place, Angela Evatt, Inclusivity for the Deaf-hard of Hearing Community
Video, Tim Oar, Third Place, THRIVE Program Students Share Their Experiences
Entertainment Review, Honorable Mention, Dillon Seckington, Music Review
Information Graphic, Honorable Mention, Derek Walsh, Student Breakdown Infographic
Video, Honorable Mention, Tim Oar, UCM Community Shows their Pride with a World Record Attempt

Dr. Julie Lewis, faculty adviser to The Muleskinner, commented on the excellent achievements of these student award winners, noting, "It's fantastic to see our student journalists' hard work celebrated. We are so excited for all that is still to come for our student newsroom as they continue to impact and  inform MuleNation."

In addition to  the MCMA honors, this spring, The Muleskinner also placed at the national level. Several members of The Muleskinner recently returned from the Associated Collegiate Press National Conference and Competititon where the students placed sixth in the Best in Show Website/Online news category.

Operating within the communication department’s Digital Media Production area at UCM, The Muleskinner is a student news outlet with print and online coverage that provides hands-on opportunities to help students prepare for communications-related careers. Individuals who want to know more about the publication and opportunities for students can visit or check out the Facebook page at



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