Published on March 31, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
The SEJC includes 38 higher education institutions
The SEJC includes 38 higher education institutions

Samford University journalism and mass communication students earned honors across a range of categories in Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) competition in March. Their work was among 370 entries from 27 schools.

The Samford honors included:

First Place, Best Magazine: The Local

First Place, Best Magazine Writer: Kaitlyn Baker

First Place, Best Research Paper: Win Liggett

Second Place, Feature Writer: Kaitlyn Baker

Third Place, Best Magazine Page Layout Designer: Gunnar Sadowey

Third Place, Best Public Service Journalism: Joint Crimson/ Samford News Network coverage of the Black at Samford and Black Lives Matter stories on campus.

Fifth Place, Special Event Reporter: Kate Young

Fifth Place (tie,) Press Photographer: Sarah Watlington

Sixth Place, College Journalist of the Year: Katy Beth Boyers

Sixth Place, Best News Writer: Selah Vetter

Eighth Place, Best College Website: The Samford Crimson

Tenth Place, Arts & Entertainment Writer: Moriah Mason

Tenth Place (tie,) Best Sports Writer: Gunnar Sadowey

Fourteenth Place, Feature Writer: Mackenzee Simms

Professor Clay Carey noted that this year’s awards continue a long tradition of SEJC honors.

The Local and its predecessor, Exodus (1998 to 2015,) have placed in the top four in SEJC's Best Magazine Category in nine of the past 10 years.

Samford students have placed in the top three in the Journalism Research category in eight of the past nine years. Liggett is the sixth Samford student to place first in that category since 2012.

Samford students have also fared well in the SEJC Best Magazine Writer competition, finishing in the top three every year since 2014. Baker is the fourth Samford student to finish first in that category in the past six years.

"It's always gratifying when our student journalists receive these special recognitions,” Carey said. “To me, it's even more special this year because the last academic year was such a struggle for so many members of our campus community, including the staff of The Local.”

The magazine’s staff disbanded in the middle of production due to COVID-19 restrictions, but adapted to the challenge. “Even though they were dealing with so much turmoil in their academic and personal lives, they remained committed to the goal of creating a high-quality magazine,” Carey said. “These SEJC recognitions are evidence that they achieved that goal."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.