Troy student publications brought home 10 awards from the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) for 2016, eight of which were first-place awards.
“It’s a testament of how great the journalism school is here at Troy, and when we come home with eight first-place awards, it’s just a great feeling,” said Jeff Spurlock, director of the Hall School of Journalism and Communication.
The SEJC took place Feb. 16-18 at the University of Mississippi. Troy students submitted pieces of their work for review and placed in different categories for their on-campus involvement in journalism.
“All schools who are member schools of the SEJC are eligible to enter all of the categories, and so our students entered the categories Troy had programs related to,” Spurlock said. “We found out this past weekend how we did.”
According to the SEJC’s website, the SEJC was created “to encourage greater interest in student journalism and to create closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States.”
TrojanVision won six awards, the Tropolitan won three awards and the on-campus radio station won one award.
The Tropolitan ranked No. 6 as Best College Newspaper, and TrojanVision ranked No. 1 as Best College TV Station.
Sarah Singleterry, a junior broadcast journalism major from Alabaster, won second place for Best Television Journalist and said she was proud of Troy for placing at the conference.
“I’m really proud of the whole program, Singleterry said. “It’s been really cool being the student news director. I kind of feel like a proud mom a little bit.”
Ryan Renfrow, a junior broadcast journalism major from Alabaster who won second place as Best Television Journalist last year, won first place as Best Television Hard News Reporter this year and said that he attributes his success to his professors.
“I’ve just covered stories throughout the past couple of semesters,” Renfrow said. “I would say a lot of that is a testament to the professors here, Aaron Taylor (television production coordinator) and Kyle Bozeman (television manager).”
Renfrow said that he is proud of the School of Journalism and that he enjoys being involved in the program.
“I’m happy to be a part of the Hall School of Journalism,” Renfrow said. “There’s a lot of good stuff going on at Troy, and the Hall School of Journalism is definitely something awesome to be a part of for me.
“It’s very rewarding to see so many people have so much success.”
Sharrnique McEachern, a senior broadcast journalism major from Gadsden, won first place as Best Radio News Feature Reporter.
“I think, for me, it was different because I’m in radio, not so much television,” McEachern said.
McEachern said that she was proud of placing and bringing recognition to the radio station.
“We don’t really get talked about a lot, but we do good work, so I really like that I got a reward to bring home for us radio people,” McEachern said. “That was really exciting.”
Spurlock said that he was proud of every student who went to the conference and those who entered their work to be viewed.
“It’s beyond words,” Spurlock said. “This is just a testament of how tremendous our students are, and I couldn’t be more proud of these young men and women.
“They are intelligent, hard-working students who just make Troy proud.”
Aaron Taylor, the television production coordinator, said that students pre-submitted the work they do every week.
“They (students) did what they do every day,” Taylor said. “There’s no special preparation that goes into this.”
Taylor said that each school competing in SEJC could only submit one person for each category at the conference.
“The students that submitted and won awards do this job every day regardless of if someone is giving them a reward,” Taylor said.
Taylor said that he went through previously aired TrojanVision episodes before submitting them and that he wanted students to learn each week from their experience.
“They (students) do it for experience; they do it for their resume; they do it to learn this business,” Taylor said. “That makes me happy for them every day because they’re learning and doing.”