Awards & Honors
Blankenship wins top award at Southeast Journalism Conference
Hannah Blankenship, a senior Communication and Spanish major, was named College Journalist of the Year at the 2022 SEJC awards ceremony on March 25. It is the top overall award at the conference, and highly sought after by student journalists from more than 25 member universities.
Blankenship served as editor-in-chief of the Reflector in 2021-2022. She wrote about difficult campus issues during that time, such as racial integration at fraternities and sororities. She also spent the summer of 2021 in Colombia working on a nonfiction book about the founder of a nonprofit organization. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her four years at Mississippi State. Judges considered all that when making their decision.
“My senior year was great because at that point I could cover what was just very interesting to me,” Blankenship said. “Topics that were not shallow, that went a lot deeper and involved more difficult sourcing and research.”
Blankenship has worked for the Reflector for all four years of her Mississippi State career, progressing from news writer to news editor, to managing editor, and to editor-in-chief.
“It comes down to working hard with every article you do,” Blankenship said. “The more you practice, the more you do it, the better you get.”
The College Journalist of the Year award comes with a $1500 cash prize from the Southeast Journalism Conference.
“Hannah deserves the award, and I’m glad the judges recognized her hard work,” Reflector adviser Josh Foreman said. “She has a great sense for news, a highly developed writing style, and the grit to accomplish whatever she tries.”
Three other Mississippi State students — junior Communication major Heather Harrison, senior Political Science major Kerrigan Clark, and Communication graduate Ariell Fain — were awarded another top prize: first place in Public Service Journalism. The three won the award for coverage of the Catherine Street Apartment evictions in 2021.
Other awards earned by Mississippi State included:
Hannah Blankenship - Second place in News Writer
Junior Communication major Joshua Stewart - Special Event Reporter
Junior Communication major Tanner Marlar - Fourth place in College Journalist of the Year
Senior Communication major Adam Sullivan - Seventh place in Photographer
Senior Fashion Design and Merchandising major Trinity Bancroft and senior Art major Tori Suggs - Third place in Magazine Page Layout
Hannah Blankenship - Third place in Magazine Writer
Mississippi State University - Third place in Audio News Program
The Reflector - Third place in Website
In all, the contest received nearly 350 entries from member universities, which include the University of Alabama, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Mississippi.
“This is the ultimate reward for me as a teacher and adviser,” Foreman said. “I love seeing these students receive validation from professionals and peers. These awards create momentum that will push students forward for years.”