Students Top Best of the South Awards

Posted On February 24, 2017
Categories Uncategorized

Georgia State students brought home the gold from the Southeast Journalism Conference’s (SEJC) Best of the South competition, winning Best College Newspaper, College Journalist of the Year and Best On-Site Competition Journalism Championship Team.

Senior Lauren Booker received the College Journalist of the Year award, which included a cash prize of $1,500. This is the second time in three years that a Georgia State student has scored the top individual award. Ciara Frisbie won in 2015. It is the second time in four years that The Signal topped the SEJC College Newspaper category.

The 29 students attending the annual conference, held this year at the University of Mississippi February 17-18, brought home a total of 13 individual awards and four collective awards in the juried competition and scored seven wins in the on-site competition that pits students against one another to report about and photograph live events and take on-site skills tests. In the onsite competition, Georgia State students ranked first in feature writing (Lauren Booker), first in sports writing (Rashad Milligan), first in page layout (Khoa Tran), second in radio news reporting (Ayesha Abid), second in anchoring (Breana Albizu) and third in current events (Signal Editor in Chief Troi Charity).

I am honored…years of hard work and perseverance really does pay off!

~ Lauren Booker, General Manager, Digital Media Group

In the Collective Best of the South awards, Georgia State ranked as follows:

  • Ranked first, College Newspaper (The Signal)
  • Ranked third, Best Public Service Journalism (Signal & GSTV Student Government Association coverage)
  • Ranked sixth, College Magazine (The Signal Urbanite)
  • Ranked ninth, College Website (

This is the first time Georgia State University won the onsite team competition in the 2000s. The Best of the South results reflected the period of November 2015-November 2016.

The students lit up at the ceremony. It is a proud accomplishment for them and a testament to the great journalism they’ve done.

~ Bryce McNeil, Assistant Director for Student Media

The Signal also brought home 21 awards from the annual Georgia College Press Association (GCPA) Better Newspaper Contest, including two awards for writers from Perimeter College for work done on The Collegian in Spring 2015. Collegian awards were third place to Ben Abrams for Best Entertainment Story and third place to Hannah E. Maddox for Best Feature Story. The results were announced at the Georgia Press Institute, February 11 at Mercer University in Macon.

Additional GCPA awards for Georgia State are listed below. Group I honors go to juniors and seniors. Group II awards go to freshmen and sophomores.

Individual awards are as follows:

  • First Place, Christina Maxouris (Best News Photograph) (Group I)
  • First Place, John Miller (Best Column) (Group II)
  • First Place, Dayne Francis (Best Editorial or Feature Photograph) (Group II)
  • First Place, Sydney Cunningham (Best Entertainment Feature) (Group I)
  • First Place, Sydney Cunningham (Best Entertainment Story) (Group II)
  • First Place, Dominique Times (Best News Article Based on Investigative Reporting) (Group I)
  • First Place, Alex Graham (Best Feature Story) (Group I)
  • Second Place, Alex Graham (Best Review) (Group I)
  • Second Place, Dayne Francis (Best Sports Photograph) (Group II)
  • Second Place, Bianca Theodore (Best Entertainment Story) (Group I)
  • Second Place, Sierra Porter (Best News Article Based on Investigative Reporting) (Group I)
  • Third Place, Tobi Adeyemi (Best Sports Story) (Group II)

Collective awards are as follows:

  • Ranked first, General Advertising Excellence
  • Ranked first, Layout and Design Excellence
  • Ranked second, General Excellence
  • Ranked second, News
  • Ranked second, Improvement
  • Ranked second, Sports
  • Ranked third, Features