FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2019
(AUSTIN)—Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, won four national and 16 statewide awards—10 first place, 4 second place and 2 third place—in the 2019 Press Women of Texas (PWT) annual communications contest. Her four first-place winning entries also received first, second and honorable mention awards in the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) communications contest.
This year also marks the twelfth time that Senator Zaffirini has won the Ann Faragher Sweepstakes Award for the most winning entries in the state competition, named for the trailblazing journalist who in 1977 became one of the first Texas women to edit a daily newspaper. The awards were announced at PWT's annual convention in Georgetown (June 14-16).
"Being recognized by PWT and NFPW truly is an honor," Senator Zaffirini said. "Standards of excellence in communication are more important than ever, especially because they are essential to successful leadership. Accordingly, I am delighted to be a member of organizations that continue to champion First Amendment rights, to support women in journalism and communication and to foster the next generation of professionals in this critical field."
In the PWT contest, Senator Zaffirini received a first place award for her speech accepting the St. Peter's School Most Distinguished Alumna Award as well as for her annual newsletter, Senator Judith Zaffirini Reports to the Families of Senate District 21. Notably, the senator also won in the Manuals and Handbooks category with her handbook, Cruel Elia vs. Pancho Clos, which was used to produce educational mock trials for 3rd-university students as part of Webb County Court-at-Law II's Access to Justice: Class in the Courtroom program.
The senator has received more than 1,000 awards for her professional and public service work, including more than 340 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 communications from The University of Texas at Austin, which named her its 2016 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.
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 330 awards for communication projects.