Student and Academic Life

Kentucky Kernel Wins 2019 Pacemaker Award

The Kentucky Kernel staff was awarded the 2019 Pacemaker Award at the National College Media Convention for having one of the best student newspapers.
L-R: photo editors Michael Clubb, Jordan Prather, asst. news/lifestyle editor Hailey Peters, former editor-in-chief Bailey Vandiver, former managing editor McKenna Horsley, asst. news/lifestyle editor Natalie Parks, and former opinions editor Sarah Ladd.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 6, 2019)  Founded in 1908 and independent since 1972, the Kentucky Kernel is the nonprofit, student-run newspaper for the University of Kentucky. The Kernel was recently awarded the 2019 Pacemaker Award for having one of the best student newspapers in the country. The award ceremony took place at the College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press convention Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C. 

“Hearing our name called as a Pacemaker winner was so exciting," said Bailey Vandiver, 2018-19 editor-in-chief for the Kernel, the academic year for which the paper was judged. “While winning awards is not our primary goal as student journalists, it’s always great to get this kind of recognition because it means we’re doing the kind of really good journalism that we aim to do.”

Each year, the National Scholastic Press Association presents scholastic journalism’s preeminent award, the Pacemaker. There is a category for each type of publication — online, newspaper, yearbook, magazine and broadcast. Entries are judged by teams of professionals based on the following criteria: coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics.

Last September the Kernel was named one of 46 finalists, out of the 160 college newspapers that entered the competition. This past week, they were named one of the 19 award winners — giving them their first Pacemaker win since 2016.

“I think winning this award goes to show what we’ve already known: That we have one of the best collegiate newsrooms in the country, and we continue to try to strive for excellence each and every day,” said Ryan Craig, the student media advisor for the Kernel.

“Winning this Pacemaker further legitimizes the Kernel’s role as our campus watchdog and voice," said Rick Childress, the 2019-20 editor-in-chief for the Kernel. "We’re working hard to bring home another one next year.”

Along with winning the coveted Pacemaker Award, the Kernel staff received a number of individual awards. A full list of individual awards is below.

College Media Association Pinnacle Awards

  • Honorable Mention in Best Editorial Illustration: Samuel Meyers
  • Third Place in Best Magazine Entertainment Page/Spread: Jillian Jones, KRNL Spring 2019
  • Third Place in Best Newspaper Photo Page/Spread: Arden Barnes
  • Second Place in Best Yearbook Division Page/Spread: Autumn Hassell, Year in Photos 2018-19
  • Honorable Mention in Best Multimedia Feature Story: Sarah Ladd and Arden Barnes
  • Honorable Mention in Viral Video: Sarah Ladd
  • Third Place in Best General News Photo: Arden Barnes
  • First Place in Best Photo Package: Arden Barnes
  • Third Place in Best Portrait: Michael Clubb
  • Second Place in Best Sports News Photo: Jordan Prather
  • Third Place in Best Online Sports Section
  • Second Place in Best Arts and Entertainment Story: Bailey Vandiver
  • Honorable Mention in Best Online Ad
  • Second Place for Best Ad Supplement/Special Supplement: Inside UK
  • Honorable Mention in Four-Year Feature Magazine of the Year: KRNL Spring 2019

Associated Collegiate Press Awards

  • Pacemaker Winner 2019
  • Third Place in In-Depth News Story: Rick Childress
  • Honorable Mention in Feature Story: Jacob Eads
  • First Place in Photo Slideshow: Michael Clubb
  • Honorable Mention in Interactive Graphic: Arden Barnes
  • Honorable Mention in Yearbook Cover: Autumn Hassell, Year in Photos 2018-19
  • Honorable Mention in Yearbook Page/Spread: Autumn Hassell, Year in Photos 2018-19
  • Fourth Place in Sports Photo: Jordan Prather
  • Fifth Place in Sports Photo: Michael Clubb
  • Honorable Mention in Advertising Campaign: Rob Fischer

Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show Awards

  • Eighth Place in Feature Magazine: KRNL Fall 2019
  • Sixth Place in Yearbook (1-299 Pages): Year in Photos 2018-19
  • Sixth Place in Newspaper Special Section Advertising: Inside UK
  • Ninth Place in Newspaper (Four-year campus, weekly)

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.