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The Lake celebrates Emmy Awards

Our Lady of the Lake University was a big winner at the annual Lone Star Emmy Awards, which were announced Nov. 10 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Two OLLU students, one graduate and one faculty member participated in stories or projects that earned a coveted Emmy.

KWEX-TV news anchor and senior Mass Communications major Arantxa Loizaga shared an Emmy with six colleagues in the Public/Current/Community Affairs-Program/Special/Series category. The Spanish-language news team won for a series of reports called, “Mexodo: Huyendo de la Violencia.”

Senior Mass Communications major Sarai Bejarano and alumna Yadira Chavez contributed to a ground-breaking project at KWEX-TV called, “Proyecto U,” which claimed an Emmy for Community Service.

“Proyecto U” was a news collaboration between journalists at OLLU, St. Mary’s, the University of the Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-San Antonio and professional journalists at KWEX-TV. Together, they produced four Saturday afternoon newscasts.

Mass Communications adjunct professor and News 4 WOAI-TV producer Laura Ramirez also shared an Emmy with three colleagues for Promoting Primetime programming with a local newscast.

The Emmy for Loizaga is her second. She won last year for news anchoring while studying full-time and carrying a 3.75 grade point average. She expects to graduate in December.

Previous Emmy winners from the Lake include: 

  • Patricio Espinoza, a Mass Communications major and Special Assignments reporter for News 4 WOAI-TV. Espinoza has won six Lone Star Emmys. 

Eileen Teves, an MBA student who reports and co-hosts Great Day SA on KENS-5, the top-rated morning show in San Antonio. Teves carries a 3.6 GPA and won a Lone Star Emmy in 2009 for “Outstanding Achievement in a Magazine Program.”

Current and former Emmy winners comprise one part of a distinguished broadcast community from OLLU. Other Lake alumni in the field include: 

Ann Hutyra, evening anchor and executive producer for Pro 8 News in Laredo 
Karen Grace, weekend anchor and reporter for KENS-5. 
Geraldine Ortega, reporter for KVDA-TV Telemundo 
Cassandra Lazenby, co-host of “Daytime at Nine” on KABB-Fox 29. 
Amanda Brown, reporter for KAVU-TV in Victoria 
Roger Soto, associate producer for Great Day SA 
Lynette Vega, associate producer for News 4 WOAI-TV


Long before Soto and Vega were born, Martha Tijerina established herself as the first lady of Spanish-language television. In 1970, Tijerina (BA Public Administration 1989) started as a KWEX-TV reporter. She rose to anchor, hosted a one-hour program and became the station’s first director of public affairs. 

While Tijerina was breaking ground for Latinas in San Antonio, Espinoza began pursuing his broadcasting degree in San Diego, Calif. After completing community college, Espinoza received a letter of acceptance from San Diego State. On the same day, he also received an offer from CNN Spanish. Espinoza chose TV. Thirty years and six regional Emmys later, he’s back in school and carrying a load that would crush most. 


Espinoza works for the Oblate Missions, cares for his elderly parents who live near OLLU, reports for News 4 WOAI, attends classes and tries to be a supportive husband. “It’s a very difficult schedule,” he says. “But I make it work.” 

OLLU is on the air just about everywhere. Students and alumni anchor evening newscasts, cover breaking news and co-host lifestyle and entertainment shows on seven stations in South Texas.

The talent shines – as bright as all those Emmys. 



 
• Geraldine Ortega reports for KVDA-TV Telemundo while pursuing a degree in Mass Communication. She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to the U.S. with her daughter in 2003, worked as a model and spokesperson for local auto dealers and enrolled at OLLU. She’s on track to graduate in December. 

 Geraldine Ortega

• Geraldine Ortega reports for KVDA-TV Telemundo while pursuing a degree in Mass Communication. She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to the U.S. with her daughter in 2003, worked as a model and spokesperson for local auto dealers and enrolled at OLLU. She’s on track to graduate in December. 

 Geraldine Ortega

• Geraldine Ortega reports for KVDA-TV Telemundo while pursuing a degree in Mass Communication. She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to the U.S. with her daughter in 2003, worked as a model and spokesperson for local auto dealers and enrolled at OLLU. She’s on track to graduate in December. 

 Geraldine Ortega

• Geraldine Ortega reports for KVDA-TV Telemundo while pursuing a degree in Mass Communication. She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to the U.S. with her daughter in 2003, worked as a model and spokesperson for local auto dealers and enrolled at OLLU. She’s on track to graduate in December.