CWU News

CWU Student Media Reporters, Photographers, and Designers Win National Awards

Observer magazine image of President Trump shadowing over DACA students
Central Washington University’s student-run media outlets, PULSE magazine and the Observer newspaper, recently returned from the National College Media Convention with three second-place national awards.

“The national spotlight continues to shine on CWU’s award-winning student-run magazine and newspaper,” said Jennifer Green, PULSE faculty advisor. “It’s a direct reflection of Central’s distinguished communications program and the creative and dedicated work of students involved with all of our media outlets.”

Nicole Trejo-Valli, digital journalism graduate (spring ’17) and former editor-in chief of PULSE, won second place from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) in its Reporter of the Year contest for her work on three stories. The three articles submitted for the award were her investigation into a rise in reports of Sexual Assault on campus, co-written with Simone Corbett and Bailee Wicks, which was previously awarded a national Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; a cover story on “Veterans and the Brotherhood of War,” and a look at “Female Solo Travelers.”

Maddie Bush, PULSE designer and a senior art student, won second place in ACP’s Design of the Year/Illustration for her hand-drawn images accompanying recipes for “Summer Drinks!” in a Spring 2017 issue of PULSE.

The College Media Association (CMA) awarded Jack Lambert, Observer photo editor and senior digital journalism major, a second-place Pinnacle Award for his photo illustration accompanying a story about DACA students. Lambert’s award was announced during the same Dallas conference, which is put on by both ACP and CMA.

Two other CWU student photographers beat out 38 College Photo Shoot-Out entries during the onsite conference competition. Judges awarded Class Favorite and Honorable Mention to Ryan Weier, a senior art major and PULSE’s director of photography. Xander Fu, an undeclared sophomore and the Observer’s senior photographer, also earned an honorable mention.

Photo of a sculpture by CWU student Ryan Weier
Other PULSE contributors took home three ACP honorable mentions. Best Cover Design and Best Magazine Spread went to PULSE creative director and senior art student Vanessa Cruz, with photos from Lambert. An honorable mention for Sports Story of the Year was awarded to senior public relations student Megan Schrenk.

The two publications received the honors during the American Collegiate Press/College Media Advisors National Convention on October 25-29 in Dallas.

For more information about the Observer newspaper or PULSE magazine contact faculty advisors Cynthia Mitchell at, 509-963-1063, or Jennifer Green at , 509-963-3216, respectively.

The Department of Communication at CWU offers Digital Journalism degrees in broadcast and writing & reporting. CWU boasts modern broadcast facilities where students can practice every aspect of broadcast and audio production, and labs equipped with the latest editing and design software used in professional newsrooms. Journalism degrees are built on hands-on experience covering real news that’s published across a variety of platforms under the guidance of experienced faculty and staff.

Media Contact: Dawn Alford, Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,