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Central Washington University

CWU’s PULSE Magazine Earns Five National Award Nominations from the Associated Collegiate Press

Monday, October 16, 2017

PULSE Magazine CoverPULSE, the student-run lifestyle magazine of Central Washington University’s Digital Journalism program, has received five national award nominations from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) organization.

The nominations encompass a range of categories including for the magazine’s in-depth reporting and writing (Reporter of the Year and Sports Story) as well as for its designs and illustrations (Cover Design, Magazine Spread and Illustration).

PULSE creative director, senior Vanessa Cruz, designed both the nominated spread, for a Winter Lookbook fashion shoot, and the nominated cover for the fall 2016 issue featuring a story on the Black Lives Matter movement. Both were photographed by senior Jack Lambert.

The nominated illustration by student Maddie Bush features hand-drawn images to accompany two recipes for Summer Drinks.

“It's great to be part of such a talented team of graphic designers,” said Cruz. “PULSE gives us valuable experiences that we don't get in other classes.”

Student Megan Schrenk’s spring 2017 article about a woman who suffered a potentially fatal accident while hiking in a remote area, “Injured & Alone,” was nominated for Sports Story of the Year.

When she found out about the nomination, Schrenk said, “I was honestly left speechless and a little confused. How could my story be one of ten in the nation to be nominated? It proved to me that if you do what you love, your work will be recognized.”

Finally, former PULSE editor-in-chief Nicole Trejo-Valli was nominated as Reporter of the Year for her work on three wide-ranging feature stories. They include an investigation into Sexual Assault on campus, co-written with Simone Corbett and Bailee Wicks and published in fall 2016; a cover story on “Veterans and the Brotherhood of War,” published last winter; and a look at “Female Solo Travelers” printed last spring.

The Sexual Assault story also recently won a national Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the Non-Fiction Magazine Article category.

"I started PULSE as a contributor and ended as the editor-in-chief,” said Trejo-Valli, who graduated last spring. “In those two years, I learned so much about print and online publications and about the way a story can affect others, and I found a profession that brings me pure joy.”

According to current PULSE editor-in-chief Lexi Phillips, “So much goes into making a good magazine and we do it not for recognition or money, but because we care, and because we want to share stories. To be recognized for that in such a big way not only feels great on a personal level but also validates the importance of sharing these stories and getting them to as many people as we can.”

That includes getting stories out via as many platforms as possible, including a revamped website and regular podcasts, both of which received professional recognition on a regional level this year.

The Digital Journalism program will send 12 students from PULSE and The Observer newspaper to the national ACP conference in Dallas later this month.

For more information about PULSE magazine, contact faculty adviser Jennifer Green at, 509-963-3216.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, CWU Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,

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