Northwestern News Wins Awards at OCMA

May 20, 2020

The Northwestern News, a student-produced publication at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, won seven first place awards in this year’s Oklahoma College Media Association contest.

Winners are usually announced at the annual OCMA conference in Stillwater, but this year the pandemic forced the cancellation of all events on university and college campuses throughout the state. Instead, advisers recently received notification of the results by email.

The Northwestern News also received four second place and four third place awards as well as one honorable mention for a total of 16 awards. The Northwestern News competes in the Diamond Division that includes other small schools in the state. The entries appeared in the newspaper between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019.

“I am proud of the work these students do every week,” said Dr. Kaylene Armstrong, Northwestern News adviser. “They have all really progressed in their abilities this year. I love having a group of editors and reporters who are willing to work hard no matter how hard it is to get the paper out on time while also completing their school work. Many of them also have other jobs as well, so it is really remarkable what they do.”

Two first place awards went to freshman news editor Jordan Green of Blackwell, news writing and feature photo. Junior features editor Michelle Willson of Conway Springs, Kansas, also won two first place awards in features and multimedia story telling. Other first place awards went to senior Megan Brown of Alva, investigative/enterprise reporting; junior circulation manager Chuy Dominguez of Laverne, editorials; and senior photo editor Leah Darnell of Haysville, Kansas, sports photo.

Second place winners are Darnell, editorials; Green, feature photo; senior editorial editor McKayla Holson of Waynoka, news writing; and Northwestern graduate Capri Gahr of Carmen, investigative/enterprise reporting;.

Darnell received two third place awards, news photo and sports photo. Other third place winners are junior Taylor Alexander of Duncan, features; and junior Caitlyn Pray of Caldwell, Kansas, news writing.

Honorable mention winner is Willson, reviews.

Other members of the Northwestern News editing staff this year included senior Ashley Strehl of Freedom, editor-in-chief; senior Ashley Watts of Wellington, Texas, sports editor; freshman Carson Polk of Blountsville, Alabama, online manager; and junior Jayden Dillon of Jet, advertising manager.

Student reporters in various journalism writing and photography classes provide stories and photos for the weekly paper. Because classes went to alternative instructional delivery methods after spring break, the staff did not produce weekly print papers but continued to update their website,, and the Northwestern News Facebook page.

To learn more about the Northwestern News, please contact Armstrong at (580) 327-8481 or


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480

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Phone: (580) 327-1700

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