Former Flare editor finalist for national award

Staff Writer

The Associated Collegiate Press announced Kasi Dickerson, former executive editor of The Flare, as a finalist for Reporter of the Year for two-year colleges. The winner will be announced Nov. 3 in Chicago and will receive a monetary prize.

ACP’s Reporter of the Year recognizes students for outstanding writing and editorial leadership skills. The two-year category is judged by an award-winning editor from the Minnesota Associated Press. Each contestant entered three single news or feature stories published in a college newspaper during the competition year. Finalist selections are based on significance and news worthiness of the stories, quality and depth of reporting, quotes, writing, editing and AP style usage.

Dickerson submitted “KCPD Chief remembers deadly standoff in Waco,” an investigative news story about Chief Martin Pessink and his experience with the Branch Davidians at Mount Caramel in Waco; “Abuse shatters family structure,” the first part in a three -part series highlighting family dynamics; and “English instructor lives among homeless to learn the lifestyle, how he can help,” a news story about English instructor Gus LaFosse who chose to live among the homeless in Shreveport, La., for a month.

Dickerson was The Flare’s executive editor from Fall 2011 to Spring 2012. She is now majoring in mass media at Stephen F. Austin State University and is the feature editor for the SFA newspaper, The Pine Log.

Journalism has always been a part of her life. Her mother worked for the local newspaper in Van and currently teaches high school journalism in Van. While in high school Dickerson was more interested in video, photography and yearbook. She wrote for student publications in high school but said she didn’t fall in love with newspapers and reporting until she came to KC.

She would like to work for a newspaper, magazine or online publication when she graduates from SFA.

Dickerson tied with Bethany Peterson from Tarrant County for the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Reporter of the Year for two-year colleges in 2011. She also won a $1,000 TIPA scholarship.

Dickerson said that as the Reporter of the Year for the TIPA contest was announced, she thought there was no chance for her because there were so many talented reporters present.

Dickerson writes for the sake of sharing the information from her stories, not for the awards.

“I am so humbled, blessed and honored for these awards. Regardless of who wins the Reporter of the Year at ACP, to me I have already won by being a finalist,” Dickerson said.

Other finalists include Ali Hackett from Camosun College in Victoria, B.C., and Brenda Cruz from Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif.

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