FAMU journalism students excel


Journalism, graphic design and photography students at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University are in the winners circle again as they have won 10 awards between the Best of the South Contest and the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Contest this semester.

Journey has been named the top college magazine in both the Southeast Journalism Conference and the SPJ Mark of Excellence Region 3 Contests. Winning SEJC’s “Best of the South” and the SPJ Region 3 Contest “further validates the countless hours students have dedicated to this publication for more than 20 years,” said Kristen Swilley, Journey editor-in-chief and a broadcast journalism student from Atlanta. “It is not only confirmation that Journey is the No. 1 magazine in the Southeast, but that the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication has one of the top programs in the country. We take these awards as a challenge to continue our success and only plan to outdo ourselves in years to come.”

 Swilley also placed second in the Southeast Journalism Conference’s magazine writing and third in multimedia journalist competition for her October 2011 package headlined “All in the Family” that can also be accessed online at www.journeymagonline.com.

Other awards won by FAMU students in the Best of the South competition are listed below by category:

  • Best Magazine Page Layout Designer #1- Wilken Tisdale, a graphic design student.
  • Best Feature Writer #9 – Clarece Polke, a senior journalism student.
  • Best College Website #3- FAMUTVNews.com
  • College Journalist of the Year #7- Chantale Glover, a recent broadcast journalism graduate who is now working with the Miami Herald.

The SEJC competition is open to the organization’s member schools from eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee -recognized in its constitution as eligible to enter the contest. This year’s competition included 433 entries from 41 eligible member schools. Judges for the competition included 23 journalism professionals from newspapers, broadcast outlets and magazines across the nation.

FAMU journalism, graphic design and photo students also won two other first place awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Mark of Excellence Contest. Other SPJ first place winners by category are Wandoo Makurdi (TV In-Depth Reporting) and Britney Buchanan (General News Photography). For the complete list of SPJ Region 3 winners go to http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1103.

Students working on The Famuan, the student newspaper, also won two awards this semester at the National Historically Black College and University News Media Conference in Norfolk, Va. The winners are listed below:

  • Jason Lawrence, honorable mention, for best news series, investigation or in-depth story for his package titled “Prejudice on the runway.”
  • The Famuan – third place for Best News Coverage for the story titled “Student dies on band bus.”

Broadcast journalism students also are finalists in seven categories for the Florida Associated Press Broadcast Awards. Professor Kenneth Jones will take students to the awards ceremony in Orlando on April 21, and specific places will be announced after the event.

 Finalists in the student categories are summarized below:

  • Best College TV Newscast News 20 at Five -Ashley Garrett and Tiana Poitier
  • Best Spot News“FAMU Student Protest” by Turner Cowles
  • Best Short Light Feature“Diamond” by Lenneia Batiste
  • Best Long Hard News Feature – “Black Talk” by  Chantale Glover and Lizeatra Wilson
  • Best College Radio Newscast up to 5 minutes –  WANM – Alexandria Henderson
  • Best College Radio Newscast up to 15 minutes – WANM – Crystal Jordan
  • Best College Radio Newscast up to 15 minutes – WANM  Saturday Morning Show Ashli Doss.


The School of Journalism & Graphic Communication was founded in 1982. Its Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the ACEJMC. The Division of Graphic Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications.