Troy University journalism students win top awards

Nine students earned 13 awards from two major journalism organizations.

Nine students earned 13 awards from two major journalism organizations.

Students in the Hall School of Journalism performed well in recent award ceremonies, earning multiple accolades from both the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC).

The SPJ’s annual Mark of Excellence Award honors the best in student journalism. Entries are first judged on the regional level, and winners advance to the national competition. Troy University is in Region 3, which is comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In addition to four individual awards, The Tropolitan was named the winner of the Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper, and TROY TrojanVision News was named a finalist in the Best All-Around Television Newscast category.

Mark of Excellence award winners are as follows:

  • Newspaper In-Depth Reporting Winner: Vaccination stories — Brady Talbert
  • Radio Feature Winner: A conversation with Alabama Noir contributor Kirk Curnutt — Baylen Parker
  • Editorial Writing finalist: Afghanistan withdrawal unacceptable; Abandon Trump; Civil liberties are absolute — Samuel Stroud
  • Editorial Cartooning finalist: Welcome back; The library computers; Dinner —Dior Brown

Nine students also placed in the SEJC competition with The Talk of Troy earning second place in the Best Audio News Program category and The Tropolitan earning third place in the Best Newspaper category. More than 30 colleges entered the competition that focuses on the areas of newspapers, television and radio.

The SEJC award winners are as follows:

  • Best Photographer: Kaylee Weatherford, 3rd place 
  • Best Newspaper Page Layout Design: Amya Mitchell, 4th place 
  • Best Special Event Newspaper Reporting: Brady Talbert, 4th place 
  • Best News Writer: Claudia Peppenhorst, 8th place 
  • Best Television News Reporter: Amya Mitchell, 3rd place 
  • Best Television Feature Reporter: Claudia Peppenhorst, 5th place 
  • Best Radio News Reporter: Maya Martin, 2nd place 
  • Best Radio Feature Reporter: Baylen Parker, 2nd place; Cody Skelton, 3rd place 

“As both an alumna from the Hall School and a current instructor, it is so exciting to see these students succeed and for their hard work to be validated,” said Dr. Robbyn Taylor, lecturer and student publications adviser. “Our J-School students continue to perform well year after year, which is more evidence of why TROY has one of the best journalism programs in the country. I could not be more proud of them or our wonderful faculty here at the Hall School of Journalism and Communication.”