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New Mexico State University

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NMSU student receives journalism award from NM Press Association

A love of photography led New Mexico State University student Kyle Chancellor to make a career change during his second year of college.

NMSU journalism student Kyle Chancellor holds up the award he received from the New Mexico Press Association for a story he wrote during his internship at the Gallup Independent. (Courtesy photo)

?I realized I didn?t want a career in engineering, and I saw journalism as a way for me to take my love of photography and apply it to a real career, photojournalism,? Chancellor said. ?As I spent more time and classes in the major, I realized I want to be a writer and not just a photographer.?

Now Chancellor has received an award from the New Mexico Press Association for a story he wrote during an internship with the Gallup Independent this past summer. The College of Arts and Sciences journalism major was one of four writers who contributed to the news package ?Asaayi Lake Fire battle rages.? The journalists received the second place award for breaking news story in print.

?As an intern at the Independent I did all the duties of a fulltime staff reporter,? Chancellor said. ?My editor assigned my stories and I would have to go out and cover them. I also had to come up with many of my own story ideas as I was expected to write 6-10 stories each week.

?It was really crazy when I started because I was essentially thrown into the position, but as the summer went on, I really got into a groove and the stories became easier to get down. The award really was an honor, the icing on the cake of an awesome summer in Gallup.?

?This is a great example of why internships are important,? said Richard Coltharp, immediate past president of the New Mexico Press Association. ?Not only is this young man getting a chance to learn skills in the real world, but he is also getting a chance to excel in his career. Congratulations to him and to the Gallup Independent as well for bringing him on and helping further the cause of journalism in New Mexico.?

Chancellor, originally from Moriarty, New Mexico, will graduate with his bachelor?s degree in December. After that he plans to either move to Gallup to work at the Independent or pursue a master?s degree in the Pacific Northwest.

?Kyle is one of the best students in this department; he is focused and well-prepared,? said Hwiman Chung, journalism department head. ?This award shows the quality of our journalism program.?