Tag: Plainsman Press

Feature editor thankful for journalism experience


After 101 days writing for the Plainsman Press, I’m done.

That’s really not a long time. One semester of writing and that is it.

I’ve always been a curious person. After my last interview, which I’m currently working on, I have no excuse to interview a new professor or student and get to know their story. I can no longer be brave through the lens of a journalist.

I had no idea what I was getting into at the beginning of the semester. I soon learned that the Newsroom was a small family. We eat together, we laugh together, and we stay up until 3 a.m. together. I learned that I would get out of the Newsroom what I put into it.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted leave with a better understanding of journalism and what true objectivity looks like. On the other side of the semester, I’ve gotten that and so much more.

Being on the newspaper staff has been both fun and stressful. The nights have been long, the proofreading seemingly never ending, and new corrections ostensibly kept coming up.

As the feature editor, I interviewed professors, students, and alumni. I got to know their stories and draw inspiration from each of them. Each interview presented a unique story that I learned something from. I love that I was allowed to write what I wanted but was also pushed to expand my writing.

In the Newsroom, I was reminded of the struggle newspapers are having. The Plainsman Press is fortunate to have support from the college. I’ve delivered newspapers to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and to President Satterwhite’s office. Numerous staff, students and alumni read the paper. I’ve received emails from past faculty who read a feature on a student they had years ago. We have the support of so many people, but especially the college. So many newspapers aren’t so fortunate to have that much support.

Newspapers across the nation are starting to shut down, closing down their printing presses. If journalism dies, so do people’s stories. We need more people to be bold and ask people to sit down, maybe over coffee, maybe in an office, and tell their story. There are so many people who have an amazing story to be told, and there needs to be people there to tell those stories.

As long as the Plainsman Press and the staff are around, journalism will live on. If there are teachers and students to read the amazing work that this staff creates, journalism will have a place at this college.

I never planned on getting into journalism. I took this class to fill my degree requirements. But the paper has turned into so much more than a class to me. This experience has opened my eyes to the opportunities I have going forward. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had working at the paper and all of the people I’ve grown closer to during the semester.



Print journalism major gains new experiences, meets lifelong friends

I’ve stared at a blank Microsoft Word doc for days now.

For someone who struggles very little with writing and putting words on a page, this particular article was difficult to start. I just did not know where to start.

I have spent so many hours in the Newsroom in the Communications Building, since fall 2018. Which stories do I tell, or which ones do I not? Not to mention the emotions that will come with writing this farewell piece.

DSC_0142I started my journey with the Plainsman Press in the fall 2018 semester. We only had six staff members, all who wrote and edited the paper. I was a determined, inspired journalist who wanted a handson experience of every part of the newspaper. Yet I had no idea of the work, time, stress, and fun that would go with it.

My first paper week was rough for several reasons. The main reason was I am not a night person, so when 11 p.m. hit, I took a nap on the floor in between the desks and the whiteboard. I got in trouble for that later. However, Kendall was nice (for once) and waited for me to wake up before getting on to me. He explained that even if you are done with your work, you help others with theirs so everyone can get done sooner.

Another reason was I had no idea what in the world I was doing. Between working with the In Design software and trying to figure out how Apple computers work, I struggled with laying out my first page. I cannot even guess the number of times I asked Autumn for help that week. Through controlled breathing and gritted teeth, she kindly helped me every time.

Now do not get me wrong; everyone loves everyone in the Newsroom. But when it’s 3 57289369_2451997331499208_8184277129916055552_na.m. and everyone is tired, hands tend to go to throats.

You will get glared at and yelled at, but I promise you will be doing just as much glaring and yelling as well.

The strangers in the class become staff members, and the staff members become family. You will find yourself coming into the Newsroom in your spare time to eat, talk, joke, play games, and work on homework with them. That is part of the reason why everyone gets on to others as much as we do, because we are family.

You will get to know people way deeper than you expected. They will share their life stories, even if you do not want them to. They will share the good, bad, funny, and sad ones, but none will be more hilariously sad than either half of Kait’s poor fish.

You will be picked on, and every one will poke you until all your buttons are pushed and you storm out of the room. However, you will never have a group of friends more loyal. If you come in talking about how someone really hurt you and messed up your week, they will come up with a plan for how to kill, who will do the killing, where to bury the 58381199_2465730280125913_8928513452423512064_nbody, and who will pay for the deed. The News crew will be more than willing to back you up, no matter what the cost, and by cost I mean prison for life. (No one was killed, or harmed, in the making of any newspaper).

The girls will have your back when you want to go walking down the haunted hallway, and the guys will do their best to scare the girls as they come back.

I wish I could tell you which part is the best and which part is the worst. However, it changes every week, and every single thing about the Plainsman Press will be your favorite/worst part.

One of my favorite parts that never changes, though, is the people. I go get my nails done with the girls in the Newsroom and go out to eat lunch with Reece, Austin, and Victoria at least once a week, if not more. And on Thursdays, Charlie takes the Newsroom to the BSM, and those who do not have class eat together. Typically, the group will walk to the BSM. That is my most favorite time on Thursdays. The walk to and from lunch consists of stories, laughter and jokes. Not to mention everyone is able to get outside for a bit and breathe in fresh air.

While being on the Plainsman Press staff, I was able to interview author Jodi Thomas, Television News Personality John Stossel, and many more awesome people. I got to write opinion columns and typically got to pick which stories I wanted to write.

Charlie, our instructor and advisor, tries his hardest to make this experience the best for the students. He listens to story ideas, and as long as they will not get the college (or him)56247840_2431591733539768_315491963803533312_n sued, you are able to write/cover it.

Charlie does a lot more than just critique your stories, though. He is also a great mentor. Charlie truly cares for each of his students and tries his best to prepare them and give them what they need in order to move forward in their career.

The Newsroom has been like a second home to me. We laugh, cry, and confide in each other. We know when someone needs a hug, and we know when someone just needs food. I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone into the Newsroom and Autumn, Victoria or someone else has looked at me, and noticed that I am in an off mood, asking “Want to go get food?”

Eventually, everyone will be able to tell when you are hiding your true feelings and will sit you down and tell you to talk.

Sometimes the talk is just about a bad day, or about troubles with a relationship. Other times, the talk requires shutting the Newsroom door (because it locks when it is shut and you cannot get in without a key). Those are the real talks. You know something is going down, typically within the Newsroom, when they get up and shut the door.

Being in the Newsroom, whether you want to be a journalist or not, is so much fun and worth the time. It is a place where you can and will belong.

There will be days when you ask yourself why you ever got into it. But when the paper comes out, you realize the worth of your work and nothing else matter. So you excitedly do it all again.

South Plains College has been a wonderful college for me. I was homeschooled my whole 55489158_2421469114552030_6289754600245297152_olife, and although I was active in sports and extra activities, transitioning from homeschooling to public school terrified me.

SPC is a great place for people who are nervous about transitioning into college. There are wonderful professors who are willing to help you when you have trouble with your assignments, and some professors try to get to know you personally as well.

Emily Brunson, who is an English instructor, would bring M&M’s in a bowl and pass it around. We could only grab one M&M, and depending on what color we got, we would have to answer a question, such as “What’s your favorite color?” Then we would be able to get more M&M’s afterword.

Dave Cleavenger, an agriculture professor, enjoyed talking with students after class. He also cared about the students’ health. Once I went into class with sunglasses on and just kept my head down because I had a really bad migraine. Cleavenger noticed me not being myself and asked if I was OK. When I told him about my migraine, he massaged a pressure point in my hands that relieves migraine pressure. Because of that, my migraine continued to get better for the next few hours. By the middle of the day, my head was fine.

SPC has been a great twoyear college for me, and I will forever be grateful for this college, the professors, and friends that I made here.

Veteran develops communication skills at SPC

My time at South Plains College is coming to an end. Like many before me, I will continue on to a traditional four-year university. I came to South Plains on academic probation from Texas Tech University. Mad and fearing that I would never amount to anything, I found comfort in this college.
When I first came to South Plains, I was still determined to be a nursing major. I thought I would take a few classes in mass communications to help balance out my workload. These classes were to help me with my podcast and what I thought was just a hobby. My hobby turned out to be my passion and what I’m now pursuing my degree in, mass communications.
I cannot express the amount of gratitude that I have for the Science Department at SPC showing me that I can use my disabilities with dyslexia to level the playing field. It’s with the help of these educators that I was able to build confidence and eventually recover some of my bad grades in science courses.
  The thing I’ll take away from SPC is the mass communications program and the hands-on experience.  The instructors have worked in the field and show you what you need to do to be successful. It’s not just textbook learning, it’s real-life, real experience, everything from writing for Mrs. Kirby in TV, news and radio scripts, to meeting deadlines for Charlie each week for this newspaper. Mrs. Kirby taught me how to speak professionally. She showed me how much work goes in to a daily show and newscast. I found myself becoming a better speaker and putting out a better pod cast each week because of her classes. She also showed me, and many other students, the many aspects of communication, including the many ways people speak and how ads can be sold in different ways.  All of this is very valuable life experience.

Billy Alonzo is always a friendly face, willing to help you with audio questions or just tell you a bad joke to help brighten your day. Billy has shown me why it is important to test your equipment and do a run-through before recording. Charlie and the newsroom was the class I was most nervous about. News writing was where I think I grew the most. I was challenged to write about new things and was taught many things about writing reviews and sports stories. The Communications Building is one of the friendly and most well received places I’ve ever been. It’s because of these great teachers in this great program that I received my associate’s degree last fall, and I will have success in all my future endeavors ever because of those who helped me achieve that.

Some may look down upon South Plains. I will always be proud to be an alumni of South Plains College.


Staff writer finds outlet to share thoughts in Plainsman Press

I am very glad I got to be a part of the newspaper staff this spring semester.

This has been a great experience. I learned so much about South Plains College. The newspaper staff class is like a family, and it’s really fun to be a part of it.

The amount of work and dedication pays off for the bi-weekly paper that our class works to get published. I am amazed by how many different parts go into publishing our college newspaper.

Many times, it’s overwhelming to understand, but when the paper is published and you see your work in the paper, it is a great feeling of accomplishment. I would say that during my time in this class, my writing skills have developed and have become stronger. The type of stories that I have written for the newspaper have been about entertainment, opinion, and a couple of news stories. I really enjoyed writing the entertainment pieces and also the opinion articles because it was a chance to share my thoughts on any given topic.

My professor, Charles Ehrenfeld, runs the Newsroom in a way where students help each other and are able to communicate with each other. I really recommend students take this class. It was really fun, and I had a great semester in this class.

Being in this class will teach you how a newsroom works and what roles and jobs are involved for the newspaper staff. There are many opportunities available for students who are interested in the News Reporting class. There are important roles, such as the editor-in-chief and the rest of the editorial staff, that are very important for the newspaper to be successfully published.

This is my last semester at SPC, and I am proud to announce that I will be obtaining an Associate’s degree from South Plains College. I have had a really fun experience being a student at SPC. The teachers here are really great and I have become accustomed to SPC. I am going to miss going to school here. I am going to miss this institution so much that it makes me sad that I have to leave. But I’m happy at the same time because I am accomplishing my academic goals that I have set for myself.

I really will miss all my Professors and friends that I have met at SPC. This fall, I will transfer to Texas Tech University to earn my bachelor’s degree in Digital Media & Communication. I’m grateful that I have had such wonderful learning experiences while I have been a student at SPC that I will carry with me for the rest of my educational career. I have enjoyed my time at SPC, especially in News Reporting class, and I have learned skills that will help me in my field of study for my degree in Communications.

Nontraditional student steps out of comfort zone through reporting



Saying “Good bye” has never been an easy thing for me to do.

Through the years, when I get close to anyone, letting go is so hard.

Working with everyone at the Plainsman Press has been a happy experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of a class, as you will not only learn but have a good time while doing it.

I have always enjoyed writing. Writing for the newspaper has been a whole new level. Trying to find topics that will not only interest the reader but provoke them into looking at the next issue, and, better yet, talk to others about whatever they have read, is not an easy task.

As I think back on the articles I have written, I have enjoyed the opinion ones probably the most. However, two articles made me step out of my comfort zone. The first one was a report on South Plains College expanding in Lubbock. They started a culinary program at the Lubbock Center. It was interesting. To see the facility, well, it is nothing short of amazing.

The second one was interviewing Ted Cruz. Not only was it exciting, it was an honor to meet someone who works for you and me. He not only knows that; his actions show it.

I don’t want to leave out getting to meet Alan Munde, a world -renowned bluegrass musician and retired SPC professor. He was so kind and easy to talk to. It was like a new friend. I had no idea when I was interviewing him that he is an icon. As I asked him a question, his humility was astounding. He never once acted like he was a “bluegrass star.” That most definitely was a once- in- a- lifetime moment.

I must admit Charlie is one of the best bosses I have ever worked with and for. He is patient yet precise. Serious, yet fun. He is concerned with a gentle kindness. I will miss him when I leave this campus. He feels like family.

Life doesn’t always go like you planned. In my life, I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother to the best of my ability. I am very blessed that both of my sons are amazing adults. But I failed as a wife. I am not saying I was totally to blame, because I wasn’t. I just couldn’t ever figure out what my husband wanted from me.

So, after much heartache and 29 years, I chose to start life over. That was not an easy decision, but it was necessary. I have learned from my experience. If ever my knowledge is needed, I hope that I can help someone not go down the path I did. I do not regret my choices, because I do have many blessings that happened at the same time. I just learned a lot by the things I went through.

When I decided to come to South Plains College, I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many nice people, not only the students, but the staff on every level.

There are so many gentlemen here on campus. There have not been many doors that I have had to open myself. That shocked me. I thought chivalry was almost dead, if not already gone. But I was wrong. Even the youngest of the men on campus would gladly hold the door, and usually with a smile. That made my heart feel so proud of not only them, but the other ladies on campus getting treated like that.  Thank you to every gentleman on campus. There were a few times that a female held the door out of courtesy. I don’t want them to think their kindness went unnoticed.

I hope to continue on with my education after I am finished here at SPC. I still have two classes that I need to complete an associate’s degree. Then I plan to go to Texas Tech University to get a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I would like to work with troubled kids in school before it is too late.

I say all of this to say, I feel very blessed to be a part of South Plains College. It is a really special place to learn and grow. I hope I can influence others to become part of this big family.    Farewell, because goodbye just doesn’t fit.

Students garner 14 awards from Texas Intercollegiate Press Association

The Plainsman Press staff recently was recognized with 14 awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.

The awards were announced during the annual TIPA spring competition and convention, which was held March 14 – March 16 at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi. There were 267 participants representing 30 colleges and universities from across the state at the event. TIPA is the largest student press association in the nation.

The Plainsman Press placed second in the category of Overall Excellence and second for Overall Newspaper Design.

“Good use of graphics and several headlines drew judges to the story,” judges of the Overall Excellence category commented. “Several of the individual features were laid out nicely.”

Said judges of the Overall Design, “Liked the Spotlight page design the best. Good use of color …”

In the competition for previously published material, Adan Rubio, now a print journalism major at Texas Tech University, placed second in the category of Breaking News for a story the Lubbock resident wrote about Senator Bernie Sanders making an appearance in Lubbock.

Kyle Ewing, now an electronic media and communications major at Texas Tech, placed second in the category of Sports Column for a story the Lubbock resident wrote about Justin Hobbs, assistant track and field coach at South Plains College, and his opportunity to compete for the television show “American Ninja Warrior.”

Autumn Bippert, who currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Plainsman Press, received four awards. The sophomore photojournalism major from Georgetown placed third in the category of Ad Design and received an Honorable Mention award in the category of Photo Illustration.

Bippert placed second, along with Kaitlyn Hyde, a freshman photojournalism major from Pearland, in the category of Photo Story for their feature and photos for “Street Eats,” showcasing a food trucks competition held in Lubbock.

Bippert also received an Honorable Mention Award, along with former staff member Tina Gonzalez of Lubbock, in the category of In-Depth or Investigative Reporting for a multi-part series on “Fake News.”

MaKayla Kneisley, a sophomore print journalism major from Abernathy, received three awards. She placed second in the category of Feature Story for her story on “Goat Yoga.”

Kneisley also placed third in the category of Feature Photo for her photo of a woman practicing aerial hoop exercises and third in the category of Environmental Portrait for her photo of chef Patrick Ramsey at the Lubbock Center campus.

The Plainsman Press staff placed third in category of Headline Writing. Said judges, “Headlines are thorough and set the stories apart. Some days, that’s the best you can hope for. Keep up the good work!”

The Plainsman Press staff also received an Honorable Mention award in the category of Overall Excellence for a Website and an Honorable Mention award in the category of Feature Page Design.

Plainsman Press staff members have won 184 awards in TIPA competitions since 2004.

Former student jumpstarts career with experience on Plainsman press Staff

Like many young college students, Jessica Safavimehr Hernandez had struggled to figure out what she wanted to do with her life after graduation.

Safavimehr Hernandez graduated from Lubbock High School in 2004 and transferred to South Plains College during the spring semester of 2005.

While attending SPC, Safavimehr Hernandez was a staff writer for the Plainsman Press for both her freshman and sophomore years.

Before attending SPC, I was a little all over the place major wise,” she recalled. “I was undecided and had no clear direction in which I wanted to take my education. I had always had an interest in writing, and, more importantly, journalism. But I never realized my true feelings until my time at SPC.”

Safavimehr Hernandez came to SPC after attending the University of North Texas for a semester. She had to leave due to a family member falling ill. She wanted to continue her education, but needed to find a school that fit with her work and life schedule.

“SPC provided flexibility and affordability in my time of need,” Safavimehr Hernandez explained. “Looking back, I am so appreciative and grateful for my time at SPC, and I established relationships with instructors and fellow students that have continued through my current career.”

Safavimehr Hernandez recalled that she enjoyed the small atmosphere of the college because she was able to build relationships with the faculty and staff.  She liked how approachable the professors were, and how easy it was to get in contact with them.   

SPC set me up for success,” said Safavimehr Hernandez, “and even though my last byline in the Plainsman Press was a bit touchy, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SPC. College is such an impactful time in anyone’s life, and having the opportunity to take courses in a close setting and getting to know instructors on a first name basis was genuinely beneficial.”

She also shared some of her most fond memories while attending SPC, one of them being working late in the Newsroom on Paper Nights to create the upcoming issue of the Plainsman Press with her friends on the staff.

“Paper nights were one of the most educational experiences that I ever encountered at SPC,” said Safavimehr Hernandez. “Learning from the rest of the team and Charlie was wonderful. I enjoyed being a member of the staff because I was given a bit of free reign to write articles I was passionate about and to express myself through writing.”

Safavimehr Hernandez also spoke highly of Charles Ehrenfeld, associate professor of Journalism and Advisor for the Plainsman Press.

“Charlie made such an impression on me,” she said. “He was incredibly supportive, and his vast wealth of knowledge stuck with me through my journey at both SPC and Texas Tech.”

Safavimehr Hernandez transferred to Texas Tech University in the fall of 2007 to study Journalism and earned her minor in English in 2009.

While at TTU, she was a DJ for KTXT (88.1, Lubbock’s only alternative radio station) and was also a member of the Delta Zeta Alpha sorority.

At Tech, I became heavily involved in the retail world,” Safavimehr Hernandez explained. “I quickly took a liking to the operations and loss prevention side, and before I knew it, I was off traveling the country assisting stores in need. I never stopped writing and consistently applied myself toward finding a career in journalism. I did some freelance work, but the real opportunity for me came when I landed a job as an assistant to film producer Dallas Sonnier.”

After she began working for Sonnier, Safavimehr Hernandez managed to work her way up and became his Vice President of Operations for Cinestate and the Associate Publisher for FANGORIA magazine. For Safavimehr, this job was a dream come true to have the opportunity to work in the horror genre.

“My advice to anyone currently attending or thinking about a move to SPC is to make the most of your time,” Safavimehr Hernandez said. “Take in the full experience! SPC has so much to offer, and in a smaller setting, so you are not lost in the crowd. Once you are at a four-year university, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd full of students or feel like a number in a class of 500. Attending SPC provides an intimate approach to education, which in my case is what I needed to jump start my education and career!”

Freshman editor finds family among staff



After my first day in the Newsroom, I wondered, “What in the world had I just done?”

It was weird and uncomfortable for the first few classes because the editor-in-chief was teaching some things.

Everyone was new, so thankfully I wasn’t alone. But I do recall that there was a large population of gingers that seemed threatening.

It’s hard to believe that so much is changing so fast. I will graduate in Spring of 2019 because of the number of dual credit classes I took in high school. I will not be on the Plainsman Press staff, and I will see little of the friends I have made in this class. Graduating in one year put me on a fast track, one that I am thankful for but sad to walk on. I have little time to make friends and keep up with my work during the semester. But in the Newsroom, I did both.46854697_1867617543363818_6738268027692777472_n

Being a freshman, I had no clue what to do or how to handle college life. The Newsroom became a constant I didn’t realize I needed. I became an editor for the Feature section, as well as Charlie’s student assistant, and moved to Levelland during my second week of school. I realized to be involved more in this class, I needed to let go of my old life. I couldn’t balance going to my hometown every day while taking six classes and doing what I wanted. To better myself, I had to learn to let go, and the Newsroom gave me a reason to do that.

When I left home officially, I became more involved and dedicated to the Newsroom that I don’t regret. It taught me many different things that I know will help me in any path I choose to take within the next few years.

I learned many positive things and had such happy moments with my classmates that really helped me handle my personal problems. There’s something about forgetting your personal problems and pretending that the people in Room 130 are the only ones who matter. Working together on Paper Nights felt like that if we wanted to talk about our messed up life, we did, and if we didn’t we just worked together to finish and go to bed.

Paper Nights were the best and worst of the newspaper. It was great sometimes. We would make jokes, people would be put in a jar, and no one ever had cash for drinks. There was laughing, crying, sleeping, and yelling sometimes that were both good and bad. I think all the emotion was positive. It meant that we cared, even on a small level, about each other from the beginning. If there was no emotion, it would’ve been a bleak and gray situation where no one cared about how the paper turned out, or how everyone was feeling. We all knew how everyone felt because we had already felt it by the last night. Everyone of us has felt the frustration, anger, hate, happiness, contentment, and the feeling that it’ll be worth it.

That’s what I will miss the most about the Newsroom. When you’re new on campus, with no friends, it’s hard to find someone who knows and understands you in such a short time. We became a family not because we love each other; we became a real family because we couldn’t chose anyone else and we had to deal with these weird people.

In the Newsroom, we don’t always understand why Reece, the entertainment editor, is so chill yet so edgy with endless comments. It’s ok because he listens to all of our crazy stories and brings his dog, who we love more than him anyways; We don’t understand Makayla, the news editor, at all, or her love of chickens. There was never one Paper Night when she wasn’t taking pictures of us in our “natural state,” but her weird homeschool logic was hilarious.

46986557_700335267006997_8972904155630796800_nDebra, a staff writer, came in and made her place in our little club. She feeds us, and for that we all love her. Chocolate and coffee is the way to all of our hearts, except maybe Kendall. I will never understand the redhead power that is Autumn, editor-in-chief, and Kendall, the associate/sports editor. Their ability to pick at your rough draft layout is beyond God-like and makes you realize you’re just not going to reach their level, like ever. Kendall is blunt, especially when you talk or look at him. Be warned that he will take over the headline that you are working on. Autumn tends to be more polite than Kendall, and together they balance each other out. But advice for future students, bring headphones to class.

Kait, the photo editor, is probably the most normal. She’ll be nice to you. Just don’t mention her dead fish, either half. She does have a large amount of sticky notes in the jar, but you will definitely have a laugh when she’s around. Charlie, well, you know him when you meet him, no matter where or what he’s doing. He is just as weird as the rest of us, and he makes an effort to bring us together, be understanding, and subtly show that he’s better at writing headlines than anyone. In return, we love him, deal with his side comments, and tell him we are almost done when we barely start on our stories. I gave him a writer and editor, but he gave me this family, a major, knowledge, and guidance which led me to being where I am today.

Out of everyone’s weird quirks, we do understand that we are stuck together until at least the end of the semester, and I like to think we have a soft spot, even when we hate each other. We don’t choose our families, and neither did any of us when we joined this class. But I know none of us have regrets.

Paper Nights always mean family dinner, and family dinner means free food. So I highly suggest becoming an editor. Dinner meant sharing, and it’s where we got comfortable talking to each other about our lives. A tip for future students, just keep your hand on your face at all times. It makes it quicker to get to your nose. I’ll miss the vape breaks. It meant that the three amigos were leaving, so Reece, Makayla, and I could rant. Lastly, when Paper Night is over and everyone can leave, it brings a sense of accomplishment and urgency to get home and sleep.

I know my time is over here. I hope the next person who fills my seat understands how important this class really is and how it changes you. I learned how to deal with people when I am frustrated, the many, many hours it takes to make a paper, and how fast I can type more than 600 words. There are so many things that I can’t fit into one article. But I do want to share a life-saving tip to surviving and saving money. No matter how many opportunities you have to say something inappropriate, restrain yourself. Text your friend, and if you laugh, make sure you’re looking at your phone so you can say it was a cat video.

Unexpected journey at SPC provides unique friends, experiences

As someone who has lived in one place and been around the same people her entire life, goodbyes are always difficult, unwanted and confusing.

It’s hard to once again say goodbye to a professor who taught me so much and friends who became so close in such a short amount of time.

I graduated from Borden County High School, which is a 1A school in the middle of somewhere. So when it came to picking a college, SPC was not in my plans. I wanted to go to Texas State University or Texas Tech. I thought I would meet more people who were interested in the same things as I am and have more opportunities to try new things.

SPC was a last-minute, ‘parents-begged-me-to-do-it’ decision. They wanted me to stay close to home, which was actually a good choice for me. I still found a place where I could do something I was interested in and around people who are interested in those things too. This place was CM 130, the Plainsman Press Newsroom.

I joined the student newspaper staff at the start of the spring semester. Now, I wish I joined sooner. I came from a school that was limited to UIL events and yearbook staff for journalism classes. I thought I wasn’t ready to write for a college newspaper. In reality, this has been the best platform for me to gain journalism experience.

I wrote feature stories while on the newspaper. I have been able to meet some of SPC’s most interesting students. I was able to take their stories and tell others about the amazing things they’ve done. The things I’ve gotten to learn about these people helped me to learn that I didn’t need to go to a big college to meet unique people. So, I thank every teacher and student who allowed me to tell their story.

Charlie has been the most influential professor during my time at SPC. He has helped me gain knowledge about journalism and reporting. He treats every student like his own child. I can joke around with him, and he’ll tease me endlessly about things like my “boyfriends.” One thing I absolutely respect about Charlie is the effort he puts toward each student. He’ll put his time and money in to make sure his students are taken care of. He goes beyond what’s expected of a professor. I think he’s one professor most students will look back and say, “Yeah, of course I remember Charlie. He’s one professor who impacted my college career the most.” At least, that’s what I’ll say. Thank you, Charlie, for all you’ve done.madison farewell tina

Autumn has been a great friend on the staff. She has helped me whenever I need it. We’ve had some interesting and funny conversations between classes. That’s what I’ll miss the most about her.

Kendall was also helpful in the Newsroom. He edited any photo whenever I needed it and gave me his opinion even when I didn’t. He’s funny in his own way.

Adán is someone I’ve admired in the Newsroom. He’s always on top of what needs to be done. One thing I was surprised about is how funny he is. He’s so quiet, then out of nowhere he’ll say a sarcastic and witty remark to someone’s dumb question. I’ll miss that about him.

Randi and Meghan have kept me on my toes with all their partying stories. They’re both so happy and bubbly. They share that happiness with everyone around them.

Tina, this loud-talkin’, can’t-hardly-ever-breathe girl is something else. She’s probably the bestest (I don’t care that it’s not a word, Charlie) friend I’ve met at SPC. I still remember meeting Tina on the first day of classes during my very first class. Charlie made everyone stand up and introduce themselves. “Hi, my name is Tina Gonzalez. I’m a freshman. I’m a public relations major, and I graduated from Coronado,” she said in a very enthusiastic, extra kind-of-way that only Tina can. My first thought was “Wow. She must be really excited.” And now, we’re roommates. Tina is the kind of person who will always try to make you laugh but knows when you just need to talk or rant. She tells you how she feels and makes no apologies for it. She’s confident in who she is. I can see the amazing person she will become. She’s someone I admire. She’s been a great roommate and friend, one you don’t expect to make in your first year of college but hope is around for a lifetime.

The Plainsman Press has given me friends and a place to belong at SPC. The 4 a.m.’s, endless “no’s” from Charlie, Tina’s creepy comments, Adán’s sarcastic remarks, Kendall and Meghan’s bickering, Randi’s partying tips, and Autumn’s yelling, has all been worth it. It might sound like it’s too much to handle, and trust me, at times it is. But each member of the staff has taught me something valuable or given me journalist or life advice.

Autumn is willing to help and explain anytime you need it. Randi and Meghan tend to give some unusual but hilarious college partying stories. Kendall will edit your photos and help whenever needed. Adán will keep you on your toes with his sarcastic remarks to your obvious questions. Tina will keep you entertained with her overly dramatic stories. Or she’ll keep you awake at 2 a.m. with her coughing. Charlie will pull your best work from you with his redundant “EEhhh” or “Close, but no” or “NO.” It’s a family unlike any other on this staff, and I wouldn’t trade that.

I’m not sure how to say goodbye to any of these people. They all helped me grow to be a student, journalist, and friend. I hope to  go to Texas State in the fall and make great memories like I did here. I want to say a big special thank you to Autumn, Kendall, Adán, Meghan, Randi, Tina, and Charlie. You guys are amazing, and I’ll miss y’all.

Lifelong friendships created through Plainsman Press

The Plainsmen Press has changed my life forever.

I have met some lifelong friends, as well as having experiences that I will keep forever.

These people have made the newspaper class worth it.

The professor, Charlie Ehrenfeld, is my favorite professor of all time, even though sometimes he gets on my nerves. He knows some of my family from Levelland, so I cannot really act up. He is a really good professor and will help anyone in any way that he can. I was not a public relations major or journalism major, so I did not have any other classes with him besides newspaper class. But from what I heard from other people that took his other classes, they told me that he is a great professor. Charlie was always there for me when I needed someone’s advice about anything and would steer me in the right direction, even though sometimes I did not listen the first couple of times. Charlie always pushed me to be the best person,  as well as a student, as I could be.

Then there was Dominic. Dom used to always give me such a hard time about everything that I did. He would always make me laugh. He always used to tell me that I stressed him out all the time because of the crazy things that I did. But Dom was always there for me when I needed him. Dom is a nice person, even though sometimes he would try to play it off that he was a bad guy with a bad-boy attitude. He was actually the first person who convinced me to start taking sports photos and taught me how at a SPC basketball game. He also helped me when I was at TIPA. Dom was not in this class this semester but still would help me take sports photos and I talk to him weekly.

Matty is one my best friends of all time. I first met Matty at the mall when we worked together, and we also met through mutual friends. Matty was the person who introduced me to the Plainsman Press and I honestly never regretted taking this class even though it does not count toward my degree. Matty and I are such opposite people, which is why we got along so well. We kept each other in place while having a good time being friends. Matty transferred to Texas Tech this semester, and I will meet up with him next semester.IMG_0548

Tovi is such a motivating person. I used to sit in the Newsroom with her before class would start. Tovi and I both have English Bulldogs and would always talk about our dogs and send each other pictures of them. We used to talk about random things in that Newsroom. Tovi has such a big heart for life that is so wonderful. She would do anything to save an animal, as well as the Earth. She honestly changed the way that I look at life.

This semester, these people are not here, besides Charlie. But the people who are in this class this semester I am not that close with. But they are all very friendly and nice when I talk to them. They are a good group, even though it is a small group.

Plainsman Press will be something to always remember. I would honestly recommend it to anyone to take this class, even though it can be a lot sometimes. This class will change the way that you look at everything, as well as meet help you meet people who you never thought you would be friends with.

I will miss this class very much, and I wish nothing but the best to the students in this class next semester. I hope they have as much fun as I did.

Journalism students earn 16 awards in TCCJA competition

Current and former members of the Plainsman Press staff recently received 16 awards from the Texas Community College Journalism Association.

The awards, for material published during the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters, were announced during the annual TCCJA fall conference held at the University of Texas at Arlington in October. The 16 awards are the most won by South Plains College students in the TCCJA competition in the past 15 years.

Tovi Oyervidez, a sophomore photojournalism major from Lubbock who serves as the photo editor for the Plainsman Press, placed first in the category of News Photo for a photo she took at a Black Lives Matter event in Lubbock.

Steven Gehegan, a former sports editor and print journalism major from Wolfforth, placed first in the category of Sports News Story for his story on the SPC Livestock Judging Team winning a national championship. Now a junior at Texas Tech University, Gehegan also received an Honorable Mention Award in the same category for his story on the SPC men’s basketball team placing third at the NJCAA National Tournament.

Sara Marshall, former editor-in-chief and a print journalism major from Andrews, placed first in the category of General Column for an opinion story she wrote on concerns rising from the election of President Donald Trump.

Marshall, now a junior at Texas Tech University, also placed second in the category of Feature Writing for a story she wrote about a former SWAT team member who wrote a book about his career. Marshall also placed third in the same category for a feature story she wrote about local wineries, including Trilogy of Levelland.

In addition, Marshall placed third in the category of In-Depth Series/Investigative Reporting for a series on the United States Border Patrol and training center under the direction of Chief Dan Harris Jr., a former student, faculty member and Distinguished Alum of SPC. She also earned an Honorable Mention award in the News Writing category for a story about a student who hung a banner from a building in downtown Lubbock.

Matt Molinar, who currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Plainsman Press, earned an Honorable Mention award in the category of In-Depth Series/Investigative Reporting for a series on prostitution called “Risque Business.”  A sophomore public relations major from Levelland, Molinar also earned an Honorable Mention award for News Writing for his story on a Black Lives Matter march in Lubbock.

Hannah Nelson, a public relations major from Seagraves, placed second in the Editorial category for her opinion story on “13 Reasons Why.” Now a junior at West Texas A&M University, Nelson also placed third in the Feature Photo category for a photo she took at the “I Prevail” concert in Lubbock.

Shelby Morgan, a print journalism major from Andrews, placed second in the category of General Column for a story she wrote about baseball and what it has meant to her life.

Alex Perez, a sophomore public relations major from Lubbock, earned an Honorable Mention award in the category of Sports Feature for a story she wrote on Bruce Wang, and SPC student who competes in martial arts.

The Plainsman Press staff also placed second in the category of Website and third in the category of Headline Writing.

Members of the Plainsman Press staff have won 108 awards in the TCCJA competition since 2005.