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WUTM, The Pacer earn awards at SEJC

MARTIN, Tenn. – Student staff from WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk” and The Pacer newspaper at the University of Tennessee at Martin were recognized at this year's Southeast Journalism Conference Feb. 23-25 at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. 

UT Martin was one of 24 schools that attended the conference. WUTM won five awards and The Pacer won three for their performances throughout the year and The Pacer also won three awards at on-site competitions at SEJC.

WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk” is the campus radio station that is led by students.

The “Best of the South” awards are selected from work that is submitted and judged prior to the conference.

WUTM’s awards included:

  • First place, Best College Radio Station.

  • Second place, Best Radio News Reporter, News Director Lauryn Davis of Memphis.

  • Second place, Best Advertising/Underwriting Staff Member, Production Director Alex Martin of Trenton.

  • Third place, Best Radio Journalist, Sports Director Jared Davidson of Southaven, Mississippi.

  • Third place, Best Audio Program (podcast).

The Pacer is the UT Martin student newspaper with an all-student staff. Tomi McCutchen, the

newspaper’s faculty adviser and instructor of mass media and strategic communication, attended the conference as well.

“This is the one journalism conference I make sure we attend every year because it always covers a wide range of communication areas and topics,” she said. “It's held at a different college or university every year, and my students reap so many benefits from meeting and competing with other student journalists.”

This year, students reaped those benefits in many ways, including the “Best of the South” awards they received at the conference.

Those awards included:

  • Third place, Best Graphic Designer/Data Journalist, Mekenzie Coleman of Jackson.

  • Fourth place, Best Feature Writer, Laura Myhan of Five Points.

  • Sixth place, Best Arts and Entertainment Writer, Will Spencer of Martin.

Students from The Pacer staff also participated in on-site competitions while attending the conference. Those recognized were:

  • First place team, Social Media Marketing, Mckenzie Coleman of Jackson, Sarah Cornwell of Benton, Kentucky, and Marques Rice of Memphis.

  • Third place, Media Law, Mekenzie Coleman.

  • Third place, Page Design, Trenton Michon of Chapmansboro.

“I am always proud of all my students, regardless of whether they win awards, but I am also truly impressed by the great work everyone did during the on-site competitions, especially our award winners,” said McCutchen.

“My goal for my staff is to help them continue to learn and to produce good content for The Pacer, and then for students to take their journalism skills and experience into whatever careers they want to pursue. Several staff members are not journalism or communication majors, but want to use their photography, design or writing skills in other areas, which I always applaud.”

For more information about SEJC, visit


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