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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
May 5, 2017
Contact: Will Krueger
(512) 463-0121
Senator Zaffirini Receives 31 Awards from Press Women of Texas
Organization Champions First Amendment Rights,
Supports Women in Journalism, Communication

(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, won 31 awards in the Press Women (PWT) of Texas' 2017 communications contest, contest officials announced recently.

Founded in 1893, PWT champions First Amendment rights, supports women in journalism and communication and offers scholarships to students preparing for a career in those fields.

The organization's annual communications contest recognizes excellence in communication in a wide range of categories. Senator Zaffirini's entries won 11 first place awards, 8 second place, 4 third place and 8 honorable mentions. The prize winners included articles and press releases about access to justice, the prevention of developmental disabilities, organ donation, civic engagement, elections and other topics. Her tributes to fallen heroes of World War II, social media and an e-mail newsletter to constituents also were among her award-winning entries.

Interestingly, the senator's entries in the speech category won all four awards—from first through honorable mention. Her prize-winning speeches include her speech accepting the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, a graduation speech for the Texas Academy of International and STEM Studies, and a speech honoring Senator Jane Nelson for her advocacy regarding mental health.

"These awards reflect my commitment to communicating effectively with my constituents about issues that impact quality of life for families in our great state," Senator Zaffirini said. "What's more, I am grateful to PWT for their efforts to promote freedom of the press and freedom of speech and to support women pursuing a career in the communication arena."

The First Place winners advance to the national level, and the Ann Faragher Sweepstakes Award for the most winning entries in the state contest will be announced at PWT's 2017 state convention in West, Texas, in June.

The senator has won more than 900 awards for her professional and public service work, including more than 290 for communication projects. Second in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, she is the namesake of Texas A&M International University's Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, United ISD's Senator Judith Zaffirini Elementary School, Laredo Community College's Senator Judith Zaffirini Library, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park's Senator Judith Zaffirini Road and Edinburg's Judith Zaffirini Residential Treatment Center that focuses on fighting drug addiction.

Senator Zaffirini holds Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts and PhD degrees in communication from The University of Texas at Austin, which recently named her its outstanding communication alumna. While at UT, she served as a reporter, feature writer, copy editor, headline writer, assistant editor and special issue editor for The Daily Texan, which named her to its hall of fame in 2016. In 2015 and 1980 Senator Zaffirini was named PWT's Communicator of Achievement.

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SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-LAREDO, represents District 21 in the Texas Senate. A strong communicator on behalf of her constituents, she has won more than 290 awards for communication projects.