Published on January 25, 2019 by Sean Flynt  
United Way
(l-R) UWCA Sr VP of Marketing & Communications Chip Graham, JMC alumna Abby Zajac '18, Senior Mary Carolyn Martin, Senior Katherine Speed, Junior Ethan Lynch, Telegraph Creative representative Seth Griffin, JMC Assistant Professor Dr. Nia Johnson

A team of Samford journalism and mass communication students has won the 2019 Social Media Challenge of The United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA).

Fifteen students in professor Nia Johnson’s Social Media Practices Class created Samford Way, a nine-week social media campaign to show United Way’s impact on the community. The students divided responsibility for campaign management, content writing, graphic design, video production, and scheduling and analytics to develop more than 1,000 followers across the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media platforms, and more than 120,000 engagements with their posts.

The Telegraph ad agency judged entries from Samford and three other local universities before selecting the Samford team.

 Johnson said that in addition to a prize of $2,500, the students were honored to present their campaign at the UWCA annual luncheon, which included approximately 200 top business leaders from across the region.

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.