Two journalism students receive prestigious awards


Two student journalists received the Jay and Gail Milner Distinguished Student Journalism Awards at the Student Media Awards Luncheon on Friday.

Sophomore journalism major Samantha Ehlinger was named Reporter for the Year.

“We believe the finalists all show the kind of reporting ability we have come to expect of the best young journalists in the Schieffer School. However, we think Samantha’s work was outstanding in its thoroughness and exemplary for its enterprise. She has an obvious desire for the whole story,” the judges commented.

The selections were from submissions of student journalists who work for TCU 360 online, TCU Daily Skiff, Image magazine and TCU News Now and Sports Now, the television news and sports programs.

Once finalists were selected, judges from The Associated Press, El Paso Times, Wall Street Journal, Face the Nation, The Dallas Morning News, ESPN and the Schieffer School of Journalism selected the winners.

Ehlinger also earned Story of the Year honors for her story about eating disorders on TCU’s campus. Her story also outlined where students struggling with body image issues can get help.

“Using multiple sources, Samantha Ehlinger reported on a complex issue with a disarming conversational style that engages the reader and puts a face on a serious physical and mental condition that can have tragic consequences,” the judges commented.

Junior journalism and political science double major Liliana Lamas was awarded Editor of the Year.

“Lily Lamas showed breadth of thought about the role of an editor, from exacting content standards to positive staff leadership, and places emphasis on accuracy and integrity, which are sometimes forgotten in the rush to get out the news. Her leadership role at TCU 360 has prepared her well for a fast-paced newsroom environment,” the judges commented.

The award was established in spring 2012 with a gift from Gail Brown Milner in memory of her husband Jay Milner, a former TCU journalism professor who died in December 2011. The award was originally called the Jay Milner Distinguished Student Journalism Award

Gail, who was married to Jay for 28 years, died in October 2012. The Milner family allowed the awards to be renamed The Jay and Gail Milner Distinguished Student Journalism Awards to reflect her strong support of the program.

Both Ehlinger and Lamas received $1,000 per award.


Editor of the Year judges:

Olive Talley-Former producer, Dateline NBC; award-winning journalist

Tawnell Hobbs-Education REporter, The Dallas Morning News

Richard Oppel-Retired Editor, Austin American-Statesman; former Chief of the Knight-Rider Washington Bureau


Story of the Year judges:

Courtney Jay-Assistant Producer, Face the Nation

Michael Granberry-Reporter, The Dallas Morning News; former student of Jay Dunston Milner

Joslyn Dalton-Digital Media Strategy Project Manager, ESPN

Dr. Melita Garza-Assistant Professor Schieffer School of Journalism


Reporter of the Year judges:

Barry Bedlan-Assistant Chief of Bureau, Associated Press

Karne Blumenthal-Columnist, the Wall Street Journal

Bob Moore-Editor, El Paso Times

Dr. Tommy Thomason-Professor, Schieffer School of Journalism; Director, Texas Center for Community Journalism