Journalism students win national, regional awards

LAWRENCE — After recent awards, the University Daily Kansan, KUJH and KJHK all need bigger trophy cases.

The three media organizations have collectively won more than 40 awards since the new year.

Several of those honors are national, coming from Hearst and College Media Business Advertisers and Managers (CMBAM).

This year, four students have placed in the top 20 for different categories of the Hearst Awards.

Tomas Hoppough and Amy Follmer placed ninth and 15th, respectively, in the Television Feature division. Both Hoppough and Follmer are 2015 graduates of the school. Hoppough works for KFOX in El Paso as a multimedia journalist. Follmer is a simulation technologist for the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Hank Cavagnaro, a senior from Poway, California, placed 12th in the Television II/News division.

“It’s a great honor,” Cavagnaro said. “The fact that the KU J-School has now had three broadcast students place in the top 20 recently really shows that the program is growing. Instructors such as Chris Bacon, Brett Akagi, Cal Butcher and Max Utsler were not just able to make me better in the KU newsroom but also set me up to succeed at my internships where my entry work for this award came from. I am excited to see what is in my future in broadcast journalism in the years to come.”

Miranda Davis, a senior from Lawrence, placed 12th in Enterprise Reporting.

The University Daily Kansan placed in the top three in 15 of 44 possible categories at the recent CMBAM conference, placing second as an overall media company for the third straight year.

“The number of awards and the final placement shows not only is this a great achievement in a one-year basis, but historically this is a great achievement that speaks very well to the quality of our staff not only in the short term but also to their desire to continue the legacy of those before them,” said Jon Schlitt, chief financial officer and the sales and marketing adviser for the University Daily Kansan.

Not only did the Kansan win awards for best varying strategies, campaigns, special sections and advertisements, but for the second year in a row, the Kansan took home first place for Emily Stewart’s work as Best Advertising Manager.

Stewart was not present to accept the award, as she graduated in December 2015 and works at Barkley as an assistant account manager.

“In my opinion, this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what she’s going to achieve in her career,” Schlitt said. “She did an amazing job transitioning to digital first. She did it through intelligence. She did it through enthusiasm. She did it through strategy. I fully expect to see the same kind of things from her in every aspect of her career going forward.”

Out of all of the awards, Schlitt is excited about the ones relating to digital content.

“I was really excited with a lot of the digital awards that we won,” Schlitt said. “It reflected not only on the sales and marketing staff, they reflected very positively on the editorial staff as well.

“This was a tremendous shift that the Kansan made as a whole last August to go to a digital-first organization. And it was successful because both sides of the aisle worked hard to make it happen.”

Locally, students working at both KUJH and KJHK brought home 12 awards apiece from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB). The divisions were split up between undergraduate radio and undergraduate television.

In the undergraduate television division, eight different J-School students placed first in varying categories. Hoppough, Cavagnaro and Nick Price won multiple awards.

“It’s so gratifying to be able to see them be rewarded for all the work they’ve done,” said Chris Bacon, executive producer for KUJH. “Our students work week in, week out for the different programs that we have. Sometimes the grind can be hard, but to see that hard work pay off, to get awarded and be recognized, that means the world.”

Price placed first in the Sportscast category for his May 1, 2015, sports segment on KUJH. He also placed first, along with Cavagnaro and Madison Coker, in the station website category.

Several J-School students representing KJHK earned hardware for their work.

Derek Johnson placed first in the Complete Sports Feature category with his profile on Kansas volleyball player Tayler Soucie and second for his play-by-play announcing during Kansas’ upset against No. 1 USC during the Elite Eight.

Sam Davis, Brendan Dzwierzynski, Alex Blau and Mike Maicke also received awards.

Davis placed second in the Complete Sports Feature category with his profile on Michael Andrew, a local swimmer with dreams of the Olympics. Dzwierzynski, Blau and Maicke placed first in the Sportscast category for their Sept. 29, 2015, episode of “The Pregame.”

College Media Business Advertisers and Managers (CMBAM)​

First place

  • Best Advertising Manager: Emily Stewart
  • Best Sales Strategy for a Special Section
  • Best Digital Sales Increase
  • Best Online Self-Promotion Ad
  • Best Online Display Ad
  • Best Special Section

Second place  

  • Best Training Program
  • Best Multimedia Ad Campaign
  • Best Display Ad (Black & White)

Third place

  • Best Digital Sales Strategy
  • Best Sales Pitch or Proposal
  • Best Social Media Strategy
  • Best Audience Engagement Strategy
  • Best Self-Promotion Print Ad (Color)

Kansas Association of Broadcasters

Undergraduate TV Division

Complete Live Newscast

  • First place: Kayla Schartz, Sierra Upton, Bret Ivy, KUJH (Presidential Special)
  • Honorable Mention: Cailey Taylor, Emma Hogg, Hank Cavagnaro (12/9/15 Episode)

Hard News Package

  • First place: Tomas Hoppough, KUJH (Lawrence Triple Shooting)
  • Second place: Emma Hogg, KUJH (Read and Ride Program)

Enterprise News Package

  • First place: Allison Hammond, KUJH (Few Men Becoming Elementary School Teachers)
  • Second place: Emma Hogg, KUJH (KU Retention Rates)

Complete News Feature

  • First place: Tomas Hoppough, Hank Cavagnaro, KUJH (Bob Dotson profile)
  • Second Place: Emma Hogg, KUJH (Red Kettles Help Chico)

Complete Sports Feature

  • First place: Hank Cavagnaro, KUJH (Try Me)
  • Honorable Mention: Josh Kurelac, Amy Follmer (KU Senior Night)


  • First place: Nick Price, KUJH (5/1/15 episode)

Station Website

  • First place: Nick Price, Hank Cavagnaro, Madison Coker

Intern TV Division

Hard News Package

  • First place: Emma Hogg (KU Raises Admissions Standards)

Undergraduate Radio Division

60-second commercial

  • First place: KJHK

Station Promotion Announcement

  • Second place: KJHK
  • Honorable mention: KJHK

Enterprise News Package

  • Honorable mention: KJHK

Complete Sports Feature

  • First place: Derek Johnson, KJHK (Tayler Soucie profile)
  • Second place: Sam Davis, KJHK (Michael Andrew: Olympic Dreams)


  • First place: Brendan Dzwierzynski, Alex Blau, Mike Maicke, KJHK (The Pregame: Sept. 29, 2015)

Sports Play by Play

  • Second place: Derek Johnson, KJHK (Women's Volleyball NCAA Tournament Elite 8)
  • Honorable mention: Mike Maicke, Brendan Dzwierzynski, KJHK (KU vs. Kentucky)


  • First place: KJHK

Entertainment Program

  • Second place: KJHK

Promotion Event/Activity

  • First place: KJHK

— ​Amie Just is a junior from Funk, Nebraska, studying news and information.

Fri, 04/01/2016


Amie Just

Media Contacts

Julie Adam

William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications