Texas Tech University

The Hub@TTU Earns Several National Awards

Aleesa Ross

March 28, 2016

The student-run multimedia publication earned honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Barbara Jordan Media awards and Columbia Scholastic Press.


The Hub@TTU, a student-run multimedia publication within the College of Media & Communication, has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Barbara Jordan Media awards and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).

The Hub won multiple honors from the SPJ Region 8 Mark of Excellence awards, including best independent online student publication for the third year in a row and Best digital-only student publication for the first time. The Hub also won the award for best use of multimedia for the first time for its “West Texas Water Issues” microsite, created by Sarah Self-Walbrick, Nicole Molter, Kaitlin Thogmartin and Anibal Galindo.

Self-Walbrick, the graduate executive director for The Hub, said winning national awards is very humbling, especially considering the fact The Hub is going into just its fourth year of publication.

“I'm very proud of our past and current staff, as well as the students who frequently contribute, for making The Hub@TTU a prestigious collegiate publication,” Self-Walbrick said. “For me, winning the best independent online student publication for the third year in a row is the most exciting. That category is judged by content published this semester, so it is nice to be told that we are still doing a good job and maintaining high standards year after year.”

Members of The Hub were finalists in the Mark of Excellence awards category of “Online News Reporting,” including Breann Robinson's story “Does Towing Make You Trucking Mad?” and Maddy McCarty's story “Where Did the Vending Machines Go?”

For the first time, The Hub also won the “College Digital News Silver Crown” award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and a Barbara Jordan Media award for David Talley's story “The Navigation Equation – How Blind Students Take On Texas Tech.”

Self-Walbrick noted because of membership, this was the first year the Hub was eligible to compete in the CSPA Gold Crown Awards.

“This award is the highest given by CSPA, so even getting a Silver Crown is a big honor, especially for our first year,” Self-Walbrick said. “It is a national competition, so it is always nice to receive those bigger awards. I think this is just a sign for what is to come.”

Professor Miglena Sternadori, the faculty adviser for The Hub, said she has watched the online publication grow over the last year in its use of multimedia elements and in its quality of news writing.

“What I have seen change since the fall is an increased use of multimedia elements, which is crucial for a digital-only publication,” Sternadori said. “I have also seen a higher quality of news writing, which makes the Hub's content interesting and readable.”

Rob Peaslee, chairman for the Department of Journalism & Electronic Media, said he hopes The Hub's success will inspire more students within the college and Texas Tech as a whole to get involved.

“It gives me great pleasure to see the hard work of our students and faculty awarded at the national level,” Peaslee said. “Alicia Keene, Sarah Self-Walbrick and Miglena Sternadori should be recognized especially for their steadfast dedication to quality journalism and for bringing what is still a new enterprise to such levels of excellence.”

Self-Walbrick said she believes the best is yet to come and credits The Hub's staff and volunteers with helping to make it the award-winning publication it is today.

“As always, The Hub@TTU has an awesome staff and volunteers,” Self-Walbrick said. “Our reporters have taken on some great topics this past year, and I think the website's content has been more diverse than ever. Judging by our high page views and increased social media numbers, I think we're doing something right.”