The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper, will gain citywide recognition when the Fresno City Council proclaims April 28 as Collegian Day in recognition of the staff winning top honors for its website in a college journalism competition earlier this semester.

The Collegian won 14 awards overall, including national best of show for the website at the Midwinter National College Journalism Convention of the Associate Collegiate Press held in Studio City Feb. 19 to 21. The event included the California College Media Association competition with The Collegian earning a statewide first-place finish.

As a result proclamation will be made during the city council meeting Thursday at Fresno City Hall. The agenda item is set for 1:30 p.m. when Troy Pope, the newspaper’s editor in chief, and the staff will be present to receive the recognition. Also attending will be managing editor Diana Giraldo who has been named editor in chief for the upcoming academic year.

The Collegian has served the student body at Fresno State since 1922. Faculty advising is provided by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism. The Collegian is funded by a combination of student fees and advertising revenue.

Four Fresno State students and faculty editorial adviser Dr. Bradley Hart attended the February convention where they learned The Collegian entries, submitted for judging in December, won first place in the publication website and black and white ad categories. The student newspaper also won honorable mention for best use of social media for its coverage of the  threat posted on Yik Yak that affected the campus in November.

The Collegian staffers winning accolades included Laura Maciel, general advertising manager; Darlene Wendels, photo editor; and Megan Bronson, opinion editor. Former staffers winning were Paul Schlesinger, news editor; Tim McAtee, art director; Ricardo Cano, news editor; and Jonathan Roque, multimedia journalist.

At the convention’s final session, the national best of show awards were announced with The Collegian winning best publication website in the large schools category.

Other awards (second, third and honorable mention) won by The Collegian included best website, best editorial, best column, best arts and entertainment article, best newspaper page design, best headline portfolio, best infographic, best news video, best color ad, best sales materials and best online ad.

The Daily Bruin of UCLA won for best newspaper nationally.

“We compete against the UCLA Daily Bruin, UC Berkeley’s Daily Californian, USC — some of the best college newspapers in the country,” said Pope. “I think they were as surprised as we were when The Collegian was announced.”

Pope said he and former editor in chief Jesse Franz redesigned the new website in 2015 to look dramatically different.

“When Jesse and I remade the website to its current form, we did it to serve our campus better but also to win,” Pope said. “We are beside ourselves and are really excited that The Collegian is on the right path.”

The last time The Collegian took top honors for its website was 2006-2007 under then-editor in chief Kirstie Hettinga, who is now the adviser for the California Lutheran University student newspaper.

For more information about The Collegian, contact Pope at 559.278.5732 or, or visit

Related Links:

Collegian story
Associate Collegiate Press
California College Media Association
Collegian CCMA award winners

Giraldo named editor of Collegian for 2016-2017