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Cougars & Mustangs 

This may come as a surprise, but Cougars & Mustangs is not the only source in which information about Cal Poly can be discovered. I know, I know, it’s shocking that a highly regarded major institution of learning might have its own way of sharing what needs to be shared, instead of relying on a fickle column that’s been around for a few years at the most. 

But assuming you’ve been living under Morro Rock without being reported for trespassing, Mustang News is here to fill your needs as a student of California Polytechnic, and it’s done pretty well for itself! As a matter of fact, this long-running publication received multiple awards late last year from the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association (CMA) during their joint National College Media Convention held in Austin, Texas. 

This student-run news organization took home 16 national awards, including four first-place Pinnacle awards. Olivia DeGennaro, now a reporter and producer for KRNV in Reno, Nev., won a first place CMA Pinnacle Award for Best Investigative Story for her story “Where is Kristin Smart?” exploring the case of a Cal Poly student still missing after 19 years. You can find this story on the Mustang News website, 

Joe Hewison won a first place CMA Pinnacle Award for Best Rate Card/Media Kit for his 2014-2015 Media Kit, the guide to multimedia advertising with Mustang News. And, of course, Mustang News staff members received CMA Pinnacle Awards for Best Viral Video (, “Cal Poly professors read mean PolyRatings reviews,” as well as for Best Online Ad, an advert for The Neighborhood, a local acai and juice bar. 

Other honors Mustang News earned include: third place for Best Online Main Page; third Place for Best Arts and Entertainment Story; third place for Best Breaking News Story; and such ACP Individual Awards as second place Rate Card/Media Kit and third place Ad Campaign, both to the aforementioned Joe Hewison; and third place House Ad to Albert Chang. Various honorable mentions and awards that weren’t in the top three but are still worth being proud of were also awarded to the staff.

In life, the celebration of the small victories is very important. The awards discussed today are by no means small, but it’s easy to be unsatisfied in the future when one’s achievements seemed to have reached a lull. But never forget: That hard work really was appreciated and is in all likelihood a sign of things to come. A hearty congratulations from one news source to another.

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn got the Diploma in Pokémon last year. Now it’s time for a real one! Send her your collegiate news via, and keep on accomplishing great things!

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