Student Wins National Journalism Award

KNOXVILLE — Steven Olexa, a University of Tennessee senior in graphic design, will receive the Charles M. Schulz Award in college cartooning on April 3 in Washington, D.C.

The award is part of the National Journalism Awards sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Olexa will receive $5,000 and the first-place trophy at a black-tie awards dinner. For two years, he has been a cartoonist for The Daily Beacon, the UT student newspaper.

“Steven possesses a lot of insight and intelligence in his work. He is very detail oriented,” said Keri Staples, UT professor of art.

Olexa produces two cartoon columns in The Daily Beacon and the daily editorial illustration.

“This award is the top honor for college students nationally,” said Staples, one of Olexa’s professors.

“His refreshing drawing style, imaginative layouts, spare, well-chosen dialogue and good character acting combine to make his strips readable and inviting,” said competition judges.

Finalists for the award included students from Kent State University, Johnson County Community College, and the University of Arizona.