Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-03-16

Samford University student journalists won 18 awards, including eight first place honors, at the annual convention of the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC). Samford's total was more than that received by any of the 30 competing schools.

Megan Voelkel, a December Samford graduate, was named co-winner of the College Journalist of the Year award. Voelkel was cited for her writing, potential, overall quality and other aspects of professionalism. She was editor-in-chief of Samford's Crimson newspaper during 2005-06 and assistant art director of Exodus magazine.

Samford's Exodus was named co-winner of the best student magazine award. Judges gave the publication an "excellent" rating in all 10 judging criteria categories, calling it "an outstanding publication…great product." The 64-page color magazine is published annually. Kendra Buckles was managing editor.

Other first place award winners from Samford were: Kimberly Holland, arts and entertainment writer; Brittany Raymond, news-editorial arts/illustrator; Jenny Berryhill, magazine page designer; Ashley McCleery, magazine writer and media law; and Whitney Farmer, radio journalist.

Samford finalists in various categories were: Annie Murphree, feature writer; Emily Mullins, opinion-editorial writer; Christopher Smith, sports writer; Nick Holdbrooks, news graphic designer and info graphics; Andy Searles, news-editorial artist/illustrator; Lauren Welty, advertising staffer; Lauren Gardner, journalism research paper; Emily Sparks, media ethics; and Jessica Garner, public relations.

Samford hosted the SEJC annual convention, held Jan. 25-27.

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.