The Appstate Student Newspaper Wins Numerous National Awards

The Appalachian Student News Organization Receives Numerous Accolades at National Level

Members of The Appalachian student-run news organization received 19 national college media awards at MediaFest22, the ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention, held Oct. 26-30, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Additionally, their adviser, Allison Bennett Dyche, was recognized as a Four-Year Distinguished Newspaper Adviser of the Year for 2022. The convention serves student and adviser members of the hosting organizations — the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP), the College Media Association (CMA). This year the convention also partnered with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The Appalachian participated in three prestigious, national college media competitions: the ACP Pacemaker and Individual Awards, the CMA Pinnacle Awards, and the ACP Best in Show Awards.

The ACP Pacemaker Awards are collegiate journalism's preeminent awards, and are judged by a team of professionals who review the coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, design, photography, and graphics of each entry. The Pacemakers are the most competitive, and most honored prizes at this level, and are often called the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism.

The Appalachian was named a winner of the Online Pacemaker Award for their website, A total of 31 online sites from universities across North America were selected as finalists, and only 17 were selected as winners, showcasing the best student-run news websites in the country. "Today's best online sites are platforms for rich multimedia storytelling," ACP associate director Gary Lundgren said. "Deep and diverse coverage with strong engagement and interactivity distinguish the best student-produced sites."

The Appalachian was also named a finalist in the Innovation Pacemaker Award category, for their entry of their Best of Boone annual readers' choice survey and print edition, and the ways it serves both the campus and local communities. The ACP website notes that the Innovation Pacemaker Award is "designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and reward student media for the courage to take chances to improve service to their customers, readers and communities." The Innovation Pacemaker Award is a newer category, as it was started in 2020. The Innovation category is open to entries from all types of student media outlets — newspapers, magazines, broadcast and websites — making the competition for the award fierce.


The Appalachian Crew

The Appalachian Editorial Board: Spring 2022


The ACP Individual Awards "recognize the top levels of national achievement within an academic year," and entries are judged by "professionals with experience and expertise" in each category, according to the ACP website. In this competition, The Appalachian earned nine accolades (included in the list below) for their work in the 2021-2022 academic year.

The CMA Pinnacle Awards "honor the best college media organizations and individual work," according to their website, and includes two broad categories: Organizational and Individual. In the Pinnacles competition, The Appalachian was presented with five awards (included in the list below) for their work in the 2021-2022 academic year.

"Last academic year, our staff jumped into revitalizing our print production, buying into recruitment and newsroom community, and producing stellar journalism for the App State and Boone community" said Emily Broyles, who served as editor-in-chief of The Appalachian during the 2021-2022 academic year. "These awards from ACP and CMA, especially in the Pacemaker category, show the passion and high-quality work students at The Appalachian put in every day to serve readers. It also shows the great leadership of adviser Allison Bennett Dyche. I am tremendously proud of everyone at The Appalachian for this recognition and am so happy to see their continued success this school year." Broyles, who graduated from App State in May 2022, now works as an audience growth producer in the southeast region for the McClatchy Company, an American publishing company based in Sacramento, California.

The ACP Best in Show Award winners "represent the best student media represented at the convention," said Ron Johnson, Communications Director for ACP. More than 500 collegiate students and advisers were registered for the convention, representing universities from across North America, from San Diego, California to Ontario, Canada. The Best in Show Awards recognize achievement in both organizational and individual competition categories, ranging from Best Newspaper to Best Social Justice Reporting, and every university registered for the convention is eligible to compete in the Best in Show Awards. The Best in Show Awards are for work mostly produced from June to October 2022.

The Appalachian competed in the categories for large schools, for student populations over 20,000. In the ACP Best in Show competition, The Appalachian was recognized with three awards.

"I am so honored and excited that The Appalachian has received recognition from CMA and ACP for the hard work of our staff," said Aubrey Smith, current editor-in-chief of The Appalachian. "Our staff work tirelessly on top of their classwork and already heavy workloads to provide pertinent information to our community and campus, a large responsibility our staff eagerly takes on. The Appalachian would not be where it is today without the dedication of our student journalists, and I am beyond proud to lead and work with such a determined and talented staff. " Smith previously served as Arts & Culture Editor of The Appalachian during the 2021-2022 academic year. She is a junior journalism and public relations double major in the Department of Communication.

Allison Bennett Dyche, adviser to The Appalachian, was recognized with the Four-Year Distinguished Adviser of the Year award from CMA during the convention. Dyche was one of four newspaper advisers nationwide to receive the honor.


The Appalachian students with Awards


Additionally, six students and one adviser attended the convention to represent Appalachian State University. Students in attendance were: Aubrey Smith, Editor-in-Chief of The Appalachian; Andrew Rice, Political Editor of The Appalachian; Samuel Cooke, photographer for The Appalachian; Sarah Kruger, sports reporter for The Appalachian; Ashton Woodruff, sports reporter and photographer for The Appalachian; and Alex Urquiza, sports reporter for The Appalachian and producer and reporter for AppTV. Allison Bennett Dyche, adviser to both The Appalachian, also attended the convention.

The Appalachian relies on advertising revenue and donor support for the funding of its operations. To support the student journalists at The Appalachian through a monetary gift, please visit To learn more about advertising opportunities with The Appalachian, please visit To learn more about other ways to support The Appalachian and its mission, please contact or 828-262-6770.

The following awards were presented to The Appalachian by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) for their annual Pacemaker & Individual Awards national competition. The full list can be found here:; and here: The awards were presented Oct. 28, 2022, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

2022 Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Pacemaker Awards

Online Pacemaker Award
• Winner, The Appalachian website (, staff, The Appalachian

Innovation Pacemaker Award
• Finalist, Best of Boone annual readers choice survey/orientation guide, staff (entry put together by Aubrey Smith, Gabrielle Troutman, Cameron Burnett), The Appalachian

2022 ACP Individual Awards

2022 Best Use of Social Media, category
Social Media Reporting
• Honorable Mention, "Report shows faculty of color retiring early due to 'toxic work environment,'" Cameron Stuart and Hollie Moore, The Appalachian, 12/08/2021,

Multimedia Story of the Year, category
Photo Slideshow
• Third Place, "From Blue Ridge to Blue Room: Local tree selected for White House display," Jesse Barber, The Appalachian, 11/18/2021,
• Fifth Place, "BOO-ne, Episode 1: Appalachian Witchcraft & Folklore," Ella Adams, Mia Mendez, Evan Byrd, The Appalachian, 10/21/2021,

Story of the Year, category
• Second Place, "Nikole Hannah-Jones, the UNC System does not deserve you," staff, The Appalachian

Photo of the Year, category
Sports Game/Action Photo
• Honorable Mention, "Women's soccer falls 2-1 to Coastal Carolina," Samuel Cooke, The Appalachian

Advertisement of the Year, category
Digital Advertisement
• Fourth Place, "Best of Boone last day of voting," Xanayra Marin-Lopez, The Appalachian
• Honorable Mention, "Best of Boone 2022 voting," Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Mia Mendez, Meg Powell, The Appalachian
Newspaper Special Section/Advertising
• Second Place, "Best of Boone 2022," staff, The Appalachian
Media Kit
• Honorable Mention, "The Appalachian 2022-2023 Media Kit," Jessica Kimes, The Appalachian

The following awards were presented to The Appalachian and The Peel by the College Media Association (CMA) for their annual Pinnacle Awards national competition. The full list can be found here: The awards were presented Oct. 27, 2022, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

2022 CMA Pinnacle Awards

Individual Awards

Design Pinnacles
Best Advertisement:
• Honorable Mention, Appalachian Nails & Co., Makenzie Hamrick, The Appalachian, Best of Boone 2022 edition

Online Pinnacles
Best Multimedia Breaking News Story
• Second Place, "UPDATE: University employee arrested for hidden camera in residence hall," Jenna Guzman, The Appalachian, 10/27/2021,
Best Viral Video
• Honorable Mention, "Best of Boone Promotional Tweet," Xanayra Marin-Lopez and Mia Mendez, 02/21/2022, The Appalachian,

Photo Pinnacles
Best Photo Package
• Honorable Mention, "Mountain music and Mountaineers: Luke Combs returns home," Max Correa, 09/07/2021, The Appalachian,

Advertising Pinnacles
Best Rate Card/Media Kit
• Honorable Mention, The Appalachian Media Kit 2022-2023, Jessica Kimes,

The following awards were presented to The Appalachian and The Peel by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) for their fall Best in Show competition at MediaFest22: The awards were presented Oct. 30, 2022, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

2022 Best In Show Awards

• First Place, BOO-ne, Episode 2: Monsters of the Backwoods, Ella Adams, Evan Byrd, The Appalachian

Digital Newsletter
Four-year campus
• Second Place, The Appalachian, staff

Four-year campus with more than 15,000 students
• Eighth Place, The Appalachian, September 2022 print edition

Appalachian Editorial Board Fall 2022 w/ August Print issue
Published: Nov 4, 2022 11:51am