Updated: Feb 28
The Southeast Journalism Conference was held on February 10 in Thibodaux, La. where WUTM and The Pacer placed in multiple competitions against top schools.
Hosted at Nichols State University, SEJC is a three-day event where professionals and colleges from all across the southeast United States come together to strengthen journalism and mass media communication skills. During the conference, there are onsite competitions, information sessions, and an awards banquet for students.
UT Martin students' hard work did not go unnoticed by judges as many Skyhawks walked away with onsite or "Best in the South" awards.
Students had the opportunity to compete in multiple onsite competitions against other top schools. Awards were given to:
Public Relations- Sarah Cornwell, Mekenzie Coleman, Jerrianna Somerville, 3rd place
Current Events- Trenton Michon, 3rd place
Opinion/Editorial Writing- Bethany Collins, honorable mention
Design/Layout- Clarissa Spitzley, 2nd place
Copy Editing- Abby Coe, 3rd place
"Best in the South" awards were submitted to the competition prior to the 8-and-a-half-hour drive from Martin, Tenn. Awards were given to:
Best Press Photographer- Dylan Ingram, 4th place*
Best Graphic Design/Data Journalist- Sarah Johnson, 1st place
Best Radio News Reporter- Callie Stone, 3rd place*
Best Radio Journalist- Davis Gregory, 3rd place*
Journalist of the Year- Antonia Steele, 4th place
*WUTM executive staff
The Hawk also had the great honor of being awarded first place for "Best College Radio Station in the South" for the eleventh time in the past 17 years! The station as a whole also won first for "Best College Audio Program."
Dr. Richard Robinson, the advisor to WUTM, thanked the students for their dedication to the station. "This is solely the result of your hard work to provide our listening audience with great radio programming. I really can’t thank you enough... I appreciate all of you so much."
“It’s also critical for students to attend conferences in their discipline and learn from other students and journalism professionals. The awards are great, but the education and experience are priceless,” said Tomi McCutchen, Pacer faculty advisor and UT Martin’s faculty delegate for SEJC.
Students were able to network during the conference with many industry professionals and like-minded students from across the southeast. The weekend also allowed students to better understand their career opportunities post-graduation and how to set themselves apart from others in the field.
Pacer staff was able to contribute to this conversation by hosting a session titled "You've Got Skills, So You've Got Options: Cool Careers Outside the Mass Media". The information session was hosted by faculty advisor, Ms. Tomi McCutchen, executive editor, Kaylee Michon, and UT Martin MMSC graduate student, Antonia Steele. Within the session, the group showed students the vast career opportunities within and outside mass media that may normally be overlooked.