Posted by William Nunnelley on 2003-02-26

Samford University journalism professor Dennis R. Jones was named the Outstanding Journalism Educator in the South by the Southeast Journalism Conference during its annual convention in Pensacola, Fla., last weekend (Feb. 21-23).

Dr. Jones was selected from nominees representing universities and colleges in a seven-state area on the basis of his teaching ability, according to SEJC vice president Joe Mirando of Southeastern Louisiana University.

Many universities tend to emphasize research over teaching ability, said Mirando, "but what matters most to students is teaching ability."

Jones, who holds the Ph.D. degree from the University of South Carolina, has taught at Samford since 1991.

Two Samford students came away with first place honors in "Best of the South" competition. Cindy Turner won the Best Journalism Research Paper award and Justin Firesheets was named Best Television Journalist among entries from the 57 member schools.

Other Samford winners included Phillip Jordan, third in Best Sports Writer competition; David Henson, fifth in College Journalist of the Year; and Maureen Simpson, sixth in Best feature Writer.

The awards are chosen by a panel of professional journalists and educators.


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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.