Published on February 13, 2023 by Will Heath  
Communication and Media Win at 2023 SEJC
From left to right: Harper Hardwell, Rebekah Crozier, Mackenzee Simms, Connor Loyd (Courtesy: The Samford Crimson)

Samford continued its tradition of being an award-winning Communication and Media program during the Southeastern Journalism Conference on Feb. 9-11. Students in print, multimedia, broadcast and audio won 12 awards at the conference, held on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Gabby Bass-Butler, editor-in-chief of The Local, claimed first place in the Best Magazine Writer category and second place in Multimedia Journalism. Butler is a junior from Homewood, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor in Religion.

The Crimson, Samford’s student newspaper, received recognition as well. Sportswriter Kaylee Bhasin placed second overall in sportswriting. Rebekah Crozier, interim editor-in-chief in Fall 2022 and current news writer, placed sixth overall in Special Event Reporting for her coverage of Samford’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crimson Arts and Life Editor Connor Loyd finished ninth in Arts and Entertainment writing and claimed an Honorable Mention during an on-site competition for News/Feature Photography. Crimson news editor, Harper Harwell, also won third place during the on-site News Writing competition. 

In broadcast, Samford News Network (SNN) finished third overall for best T.V. News Program and fifth overall for Best Video Newscast. Caroline Spikes claimed second place as Best Television News Reporter. Christopher Todd finished third as Best Television Feature Reporter.

The podcast “Bible Said What” also went home with an award for fifth place in Best Audio Program. “Bible Said What” is co-hosted by Elizabeth Pitts, Alexae Phillips and Julia Reis. The episode “Alexae’s Testimony Living As A Missionary Kid in Dubai” was the prize-winning submission.

Will Heath is The Crimson's advisor. Samford professors Clay Carey, Danielle Deavours and Daniel Haun also advise The Local, SNN and Samford’s podcasting class.

The Southeastern Journalism Conference began in 1987, and schools from around the Southeast met in person for the first time since 2020. Samford students’ competed against those from universities such as Mississippi, Mississippi State, Alabama, Troy and the University of Louisiana.

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.