CWU News

CWU Student Journalists Nominated for National Pinnacle Awards

Four Central Washington University student journalists have been nominated by the College Media Association for the 2019-20 Pinnacle Awards.

Madeline Wilson and Sara Roach from PULSE Magazine joined Bekah Blum and Aiden Knabel from The Observer on the list of national finalists, who will be honored October 22-24 during the virtual National College Media Convention.

“We are extremely proud of the work our students have done with student media, and we see these programs as a testament to the kind of education they receive at CWU overall,” said Department of Communication chair Francesco Somaini. 

“We are committed to helping our students grow as citizens and professionals, and we see the work we do as being essential to the well-being of the university, the community of Ellensburg, and the state of Washington.”

Wilson, the senior editor-in-chief at PULSE, was nominated for Best Sports Multimedia Story for “From Football Player to Father: One Student’s Journey to Success,” a piece about a football player who became a parent while in college. Also receiving a nod for their help on the project were photographer Zahn Schultz, designer Krista Kok, and videographer Helen Nguyen. 

Their design colleague, Roach, was nominated for Best House Ad.

Representing The Observer, Blum earned a nomination for her design in the Newspaper Feature Page/Spread category, while Knabel was recognized in the Newspaper Sports Page/Spread category. 

PULSE won a Pinnacle Award last fall and CWU earned six total nominations, including a second-place award for Central News Watch. This year’s awards ceremony will take place online at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 23. 

Adding to CWU student media’s recent success, 2020 graduate Teagan Kimbro has received national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). 

Earlier this year, the former lead graphic designer at The Observer won first place for Editorial Cartooning in the 2019 Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 10. More recently, she was named one of two national finalists from all 12 SPJ regions in the Editorial Cartooning category. 

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518.