Jennifer Dial Creech, managing editor of The Athletic Houston, will be presented with the Joseph M. Murphy Award for Outstanding Service given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). Dial Creech will be honored for her work with scholastic, collegiate and professional journalism as well as the two decades of committed service to CSPA as a speaker, judge, workshop instructor and mentor.
Dial Creech has served as a reporter on multiple beats, an assistant sports editor and a columnist. A native of San Antonio and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Creech started at the Houston Chronicle in 2005 as a high school sports and WNBA reporter. She moved on the cover several professional beats and eventually become a columnist before taking on her current role. Creech has been active with the Association for Women in Sports Media for several years and recently served as the organization’s president from 2016-18. In 2015, Creech was awarded the Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship. She’s won multiple writing and reporting awards, including top 10 in Investigative Writing by APSE in 2017 for her deep dive into the Baylor University sexual assault scandal. Most recently, Creech was named Texas Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
The Murphy Award will be announced at the CSPA convention in New York on March 20, 2020 during the CSPA’s 96th annual spring convention. The award will be presented during a luncheon at Low Library Rotunda on Columbia University’s campus.
Named for Joseph M. Murphy, the founding director of the CSPA, the Award honors a single person who has earned the highest respect of the Association for his or her actions serving student journalism.
Dial Creech’s connection to CSPA began in high school when she first attended as a sophomore, “This organization taught me that I wasn’t just a student journalist — I was a journalist. Because of the speakers and instructors at CSPA, I started learning the correct ways to write, report and edit. When I got to college at the University of Oklahoma, CSPA continued to support me. The organization gave me opportunity after opportunity — from designing a book to being a TA at the summer workshop. The people who run this group saw my potential and they supported me as I worked my way through college.”
Further praise came from Michele Steele, reporter at ESPN who has covered sports events with Dial Creech, “Jenny takes her craft seriously, and by extension teams and players she covers interact with her in a genuine and thoughtful way - and if they don't, she's not afraid to call them out - and we as readers are better for it. Houston is lucky to have her!"
Finally, David Nathan, adviser, The Review at St. John's School, Houston, TX, offers his insight, “I first met Jenny nine years ago at the CSPA Summer Workshop. I was a new adviser, and she was teaching my editors how to redesign our antiquated paper. By the end of the week, the newspaper had a fresh new look and I had a new friend. Jenny Dial Creech truly is a true ally to student journalists and advisers. As a pioneering journalist herself, she speaks truth to power and provides a strong example for young journalists to emulate. As a design instructor, she challenges students to go beyond what they thought was possible. And as a friend, she is giving of her time and supportive to those in need. Students lucky enough to work with her become better journalists, and adults fortunate enough to work with her become better people. She is a most worthy recipient.
The CSPA is an international student press association uniting student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges and award programs. Owned and operated by Columbia University since 1925, the Association offers three major services: annual competitions and awards for members, including the Crown Awards; planning two conventions (one national, one regional) and a week-long summer workshop at Columbia.
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