Rice Thresher brings home national awards

The Rice Thresher continued to garner national attention by receiving six CMA Pinnacle awards, being named an ACP Pacemaker finalist and winning fourth place in the Best of Show at the fall national college media convention. 

This is the first time the Thresher has been a Pinnacle finalist, let alone winner. And the paper hasn’t been a Pacemaker finalist for more than a decade.

Individual Pinnacle Award Winners

Best Ad Supplement/Special Section, Housing Guide, Second Place

Best Newspaper News Page/Spread, SA Elections, Third Place

Best Social Media Main Page, Honorable Mention

Best Sports Columnist, Andrew Grottkau, First Place

Best Sports Investigative Story, Balancing Act, Second Place

Best Column, Yasna Haghdoost, Honorable Mention

Rice Thresher ranked #12 in Princeton Review rankings

For the first time in known history, The Rice Thresher was ranked in the Princeton Review rankings. The student-run newspaper came in 12th in the nation in the survey.

By B.J. Almond

Rice also ranked No. 1 for quality of life, lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students.

The best quality of campus life is at Rice University, according to student surveys used for the Princeton Review’s 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges.”

Princeton Review tallied the rankings from surveys of 137,000 students attending the 382 best colleges in the book in 2016-17 and/or the previous two academic years. The surveys included 84 questions about academics, administration, the student body and the students themselves. The college guide published the top 20 schools in each category. Along with three rankings in the top 10, Rice was cited in six other categories in the top 20:

12 for best college newspaper.
14 for best health services.
15 for best-run colleges.
16 for most beautiful campus.
16 for best college dorms.
20 for best campus food.

The profile in the college guide notes that Rice “manages to foster ‘great research’ along with an ‘unbeatable sense of community’ and attributes much of that to the residential college system. The guide states that Rice provides students with a variety of “experiential learning opportunities such as internships and civic engagement” and that Rice undergrads “work extremely hard” but manage to balance schoolwork with clubs, organizations and social events. Students enjoy exploring Houston’s restaurants, art museums, theater, ballet and opera as well as playing sports for their residential colleges and attending fun events on campus. The guide also notes that students “value that many of their peers come from ‘diverse backgrounds,’” which “leads to an ongoing exchange of new perspectives and opinions.” According to the guide, what Rice undergrads love most is that they have classmates who are “caring.”

Last year the Princeton Review ranked Rice No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 9 for best quality of life.

For more information on the rankings, visit www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/best-colleges.

Schumann Brothers Fund for Creative Expression seeking submissions


Rice University announces competition for the Schumann Brothers Grants for Creative Expression. The winners for each award will receive a $1000 grant to be used to support their proposed endeavors. The purpose of the grant is to encourage written, creative expression amongst Rice University students.


Applicants must be returning undergraduate students who have been published in a Rice University student media outlet. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.


Written expression:

  • Applicants must be undergraduate students.
  • Applicants must be involved with a Rice University student media outlet.
  • Submissions must include piece(s) that have been published in a Rice University student publication and a proposal explaining the desired project.
  • Submissions will include a projected completion date for the piece(s). The committee will approve and enforce a completion date, or the grantee will be required to return the grant monies.
  • The piece resulting from the project must be submitted to the committee for possible publication in a Rice University student publication.
  • The committee will submit the resulting written piece and the grant request to the Dean’s office, so it can be communicated to the donors.

Travel Journalism:

  • Applicants must be undergraduate students.
  • Submissions must include pieces that have been published in a Rice University student publication.
  • Submissions must also include a travel budget and a proposal explaining the desired trip and its journalistic value.
  • Submissions will include a projected completion date for the piece(s). The committee will approve and enforce a completion date, or the grantee will be required to return the grant monies.
  • The piece resulting from the project must be submitted to the committee for publication in a Rice University student publication.
  • The committee will submit the resulting written piece(s) and the grant request to the Dean’s office, so it can be communicated to the donors.


All submissions must be received no later than February 24 by 5 p.m. Submissions should be sent to Kelley Callaway, Office of Student Media, MS 524, Ley Student Center room 229. Submissions can be emailed to kcallaway@rice.edu.


A Selection Committee comprised of student publication editors and sponsors will select finalists. If needed, finalists may be asked to appear for an interview. Grant winners will be notified by email by Friday, March 31 with a formal announcement to follow.


Thresher and Campanile celebrate 100 years with awards

The Rice Thresher and Campanile celebrated their 100th years by garnering numerous first place awards on the national and state level.

The Thresher placed first place in College Media Association’s Apple Awards presented at the Spring National College Media Convention in March. The editor in chief was Andrew Ta. Additionally, The Thresher won the overall excellence award at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Awards presented in early April. The student-run newspaper received a total of 20 awards in the annual contest.

For the fourth year in a row, the Campanile won the sweepstakes award for yearbook in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Awards presented in early April. The award was granted based on total points earned in the other categories of the annual contest.

In addition to the sweepstakes award, Campanile won first place Overall Excellence and nine other first place categories alone. The yearbook won 20 awards in the contest this year.

The 2015 book was the 100th edition of the Campanile, and featured a padded cover, gilded edges and a placeholder ribbon. Additionally, every copy came in a clamshell box. The theme was Confessions and the editor in chief was Anastasia Bolshakov. Additionally the 2015 Campanile placed eighth in the Associated Collegiate Press’s Best of Show awarded at the Fall National College Media Convention.

Thresher TIPA Awards

In-Depth Reporting
2nd place: Yasna Haghdoost
Critical Review
2nd place: Canon Lewis
Feature Page Design
First place: Samantha Ding
Sports Page Design
Third place: Sarah Nyquist
Feature Story
Third place: Lenna Mendoza
Feature Photo
Third place: Vidya Ghiri
First place: Staff
Information Graphic
2nd place: Justin Park
General Column
2nd place: Bridget Schilling
News Feature Story
First place: Elena Margosis
Special Edition/Section
2nd place: Staff
Third place: Staff
News Photo
Honorable Mention: Anastasia Bolshakov
Sports Column
First place: Jeremy Reiskind
Honorable Mention: Evan Neustater
Sports Action Photo
2nd place: Sean Chu
Page One Design
Third place: Justin Park
Two Honorable Mentions: Staff
Overall Excellence
First place: The Rice Thresher

Campanile TIPA Awards

Academic Photo

Third place: Anastasia Bolshakov


First place: Staff

Cover Design

First place: Anastasia Bolshakov


2nd place: Anastasia Bolshakov

Feature Photo

2nd place: Rahul Kothari

Sports Action Photo

First place: Anastasia Bolshakov

Sports Feature Photo

First place: Janet Ni


First place: Anastasia Bolshakov

Academics Copy

First place: Staff

Feature/Student Life

First place: Anastasia Bolshakov
2nd place: Anastasia Bolshakov

Organizations Copy

First place: Staff

People Spread w/Mugshots

2nd place: Anastasia Bolshakov

Photo Story

Third place: Anastasia Bolshakov


First place: Zoe Wu

Sports Copy

First place: Zoe Wu
2nd place: Zoe Wu

Student Life Copy

First place: Staff
2nd place: Staff

Overall Excellence

First place: Staff

Campanile recognized nationally

The Rice Campanile placed third in the prestigious Pinnacles Awards presented by College Media Association on October 30, 2015. The 2014 book, with the Awkward theme, received third place in the Four-Year Yearbook of the Year award.

The book, edited by Anastasia Bolshakov, Duncan 15, also received second for Best Yearbook Cover, second for Best Yearbook News page/Spread and third place Best Yearbook Sports Page/Spread. This is the second year in a row that the student-run yearbook received awards in the Pinnacle contest, but the first for best overall book.

Additionally the 2015 Campanile placed eighth in the Associated Collegiate Press’s Best of Show awarded last week at the Fall National College Media Convention. This book, the 100th volume of the Campanile, is still in production, but the publishing company advanced an incomplete copy to the staff in order for them to submit it for the contest.

For the full list of Pinnacle winners, go here.

Campanile again named Pinnacle finalist

As the Campanile prepares to distribute its 100th volume, it learned it has been named a College Media Association Pinnacle Award finalist in four categories, the most exciting being Four-Year Yearbook of the Year.

The 2014 yearbook, themed Awkward, is also a finalist in three design categories – Best Yearbook Cover, Best Yearbook News Page/Spread and Best Yearbook Sports Page/Spread. For more information and to check out the competition, click here.

This is the second year in a row the Campanile has placed in the Pinnacle awards, but the first time it has been named a finalist in Yearbook of the Year category.

Thresher and Campanile bring home more than 30 TIPA awards

The Rice Thresher student newspaper and the Campanile student yearbook have both won numerous awards in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association contest. In addition, the Campanile won the Sweepstakes Award for Yearbook Division 2. The award is based on how many points the publication accumulated during the contest.

The Campanile won 18 awards, with eight first place finishes. The 2014 book boasted three different covers and focused on the “Awkward” elements of the Rice experience. Anastasia Bolshakov was editor in chief. The awards are as follows:

  • Sweepstakes Award
  • 1st place – Overall Excellence
  • 1st place – Sports Feature Photo
  • 1st place – Academics Copy, by Editor in Chief Anastasia Bolshakov
  • 1st place – Opening
  • 1st place – Feature/Student Life section
  • 1st place – People Spread w/Mugshots
  • 1st place – Academics
  • 2nd place – Sports Action Photo, by Sean Chu
  • 2nd place – Student Life Copy, by Anastasia Bolshakov
  • 2nd place – Sports Section, by Zoe Wu
  • 3rd place – Photo Story, by Anastasia Bolshakov
  • 3rd place – Sports Copy, by Zoe Wu
  • Honorable Mentions – Sports Action Photo (Soorya Avali), Academic Photo (Jason Liu), Student Life Copy, Organizations Copy, Cover Design

The Rice Thresher was judged for the 2014 calendar year, and the editors were Rachel Marcus and Miles Kruppa. The paper received five first place awards, four second place, seven third place and four honorable mentions. The awards are as follows:1st place – Feature Story, by Tina Nazerian

  • 1st place – Feature Story, by Tina Nazerian
  • 1st place – Sports News Story, by Evan Neustater
  • 1st place – News Photo
  • 1st place – Sports Feature Photo
  • 1st place – Feature Page Design, by Carrie Jian
  • 2nd place – News Story, by Yasna Haghdoost
  • 2nd place – Critical Review, by Kaylen Strench
  • 2nd place – Sports Page Design, by Sarah Nyquist
  • 2nd place – Special Edition
  • 3rd place – Photo Story, by Anastasia Bolshakov
  • 3rd place – In-Depth Reporting, by Miles Kruppa
  • 3rd place – Sports Column, by Evan Neustater
  • 3rd place – Sports Feature Story, by Evan Neustater
  • 3rd place – Feature Photo, Frankie Huang
  • 3rd place – Op/Ed Page Design, by Mitch Mackowiak
  • 3rd place -Information Graphic, by Claire Elestwani
  • Honorable Mentions – General Column (Yasna Haghdoost), News Photo, Single Subject Design, Illustration (Non-Photo)


KTRU to broadcast on FM again by end of year

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved KTRU’s application for a low-power FM transmitter Feb. 9, so Rice’s student-run radio station expects to broadcast on Houston’s FM airwaves by the end of the year.

KTRU has been broadcasting online since the sale of the 50,000-watt tower, frequency and license to the University of Houston was completed in 2011. Rice designated a portion of the proceeds from the sale to be used by KTRU. The station is using the majority of that funding for programming, but the funds will also cover the cost of equipment for the new signal and installation.

“The KTRU community is incredibly excited to re-enter the FM format as a pillar of the Houston local music scene and continue to provide its eclectic, broad range of music through the accessible means of FM radio,” said KTRU Manager Sal Tijerina.
The transmitter will have a maximum power of 41 watts, which will reach a radius of about five miles around campus.

“We are pleased that KTRU will be back on the FM airwaves,” said Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson. “KTRU started out years ago as a low-wattage broadcast station in Hanszen College on the Rice campus, and this new transmitter will take KTRU back to its origins.”

Hutchinson credited KTRU General Manager Will Robedee with spearheading the effort to apply to the FCC for a low-power transmitter. Hutchinson also noted that in addition to providing financial support, President David Leebron authorized plans to install the transmitter on top of Rice Stadium.

Once the transmitter is installed later this year, KTRU will begin broadcasting on 96.1 FM; the station currently broadcasts 24 hours a day online at www.ktru.org and on HD radio at 90.1 HD2 24 as well as through TuneIn and IHeart apps and soon-to-be-added NextRadio app.

Robedee Honored at Convention

Will Robedee has once again been honored by a national student media organization.  CBI presented the 2014 National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle this year after presenting successful conferences in Atlanta (2012) and San Antonio (2013).  At this year’s conference in Seattle, Will was awarded the Joel Willer award for “Exceptional Dedication and Service to Student Electronic Media.”

Robedee has been honored many times in the past for his numerous achievements on behalf of student media outlets including the establishment and management of the annual convention, establishment of reasonable and obtainable rates and terms for webcasting, and as a distinguished adviser.

Among his most recent accomplishments is a settlement concerning webcasting rates for student radio stations which makes it fiscally and logistically feasible for student stations to continue to webcast sound recordings.


Rice Student Media Leads the Way

Both professional staff members involved with student media at Rice do not think just locally, they take their roles and involvement in student media to the national level.

Kelley is the “print” adviser and also is the current vice president of member services for the College Media Association and will be speaking to students and college media professionals on five topics at the ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention. She will speak to students in a session called “Journalists are Superheroes.” The presentation takes a look at the breaches in journalistic ethics routinely made by the likes of Superman and Spiderman, and outlines ways student journalists can avoid making the same mistakes.

Will is the “Electronic Media” staff  member working directly with KTRU and RTV and the Executive Director of College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI).  In his position with CBI, Will took the lead in making the 2014 National Student Electronic Media Convention come into existence in 2012 and continues to be the person responsible for making the convention happen every year and it has grown every year since its inception.  Will will be speaking  to students and college media professionals on three topics at the National Student Electronic Media Convention.  One of those presentations will include an overview of the settlement that CBI reached concerning the requirements and fees associated with student stations which play music on the Internet.  Will was the lead negotiator for both this settlement which covers 2016-2020 and two previous settlements.

Coverage of the settlement has received trade industry coverage by RadioWorld, AllAccess, FMQB and RBR, among others.