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Last 5 entries for 2020

Speech and debate team earns victory at invitational tournament

February 25, 2020 (Tuesday)
The Mississippi State University Speech and Debate Council found success again this weekend. The team competed in the 12th Annual Eddy Shell Invitational Tournament hosted by Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, LA.
In the individual speaking events portion of the tournament, Mia Robertson won first place for her persuasive speech. She also won third place in extemporaneous speaking, with Tyler Melvin coming in fifth place. In the debate portion of the tournament, Josh McCoy finished as a double-octofinalist in varsity, while Amanda Kronenberger (novice), Nirmal Bhatt (junior varsity), Tyler Melvin (junior varsity), and Luke Acuff (varsity) finished as octofinalists. Tyler also won the 4th place speaker award in his division. Alicia Brown finished as a quarterfinalist in the varsity division, while Mia Robertson finished on top of the field of 54 competitors in the junior varsity division. Josh McCoy and Alicia Brown also paired up for partner debate, and finished as quarter-finalists.
Out of 30 participating schools, the MSU squad earned 3rd place in individual events, 4th place in debate, and 4th place overall.

MSU students win numerous awards at regional journalism competition

February 15, 2020 (Saturday)
The 2020 awards presentation for the best in broadcast, print and online journalism was held Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Southeast Journalism Conference, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS.
MSU students from three different Communication concentrations won sixteen total awards. SEJC has two competitions. Its "Best of the South" contest features student work from throughout the past year. These awards include twenty-three individual awards along with eight school categories.
The sixteen awards represent the third highest total for MSU in the last twenty years and the most since 2005. According to Dr. Terry Likes, Head of the Department of Communication, "These phenomenal students have had a stellar year. It is nice to see their hard work paying off with this kind of recognition. I'd also like to commend the faculty, and those that oversee campus media (Reflector, WMSV, Take 30 News, PRISM) for their hard work for preparing our students for excellence."
The Southeast Journalism Conference is a vibrant learning community of journalists honing their craft through professional development and the Best of the South Collegiate Journalism Competition. An organization comprised of nearly 50 member colleges and universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, SEJC was created to encourage greater interest in student journalism and to form closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States.

Two communication professors win national broadcast awards

February 12, 2020 (Wednesday)
The 2020 Broadcast Education Association awards have been announced and two faculty in the Department of Communication have earned honors for their creative scholarship. Instructor Jason Hibbs, and Department Head Terry Likes, were among over 1,700 who entered the BEA Festival of Media Arts.
In the category of Television Hard News Reporting, Hibbs won Best of Competition for his multimedia compilation from his freelance work for WCBI-TV. For Hibbs, it is his first BEA award. Earlier this month, Hibbs was also honored by the National Broadcasting Society for his work on a screenplay.
In the category of Feature News Reporting, Likes won an Award of Excellence for his report, Fake News Blues: A Credibility Crisis for Journalism. The report aired in December on WMSV-FM. For Likes, it is his fifteenth BEA award in the last twenty years.
The BEA Festival of Media Arts represented over 300 colleges and universities in the following competitions: audio, documentary, film & video, interactive multimedia, international, news, scriptwriting, sports and two-year colleges. BEA's Festival of Media Arts winners will be spotlighted at the BEA annual convention in Las Vegas, April 18-21.

Several communication students on The Reflector staff awarded at Mississippi Press Association conference

February 10, 2020 (Monday)
Reflector journalists -- past and present -- showed they are leading the state in journalism excellence at the 22nd O.C. McDavid Journalism Summit in Jackson on Feb. 7.

The Reflector staff took several top awards at the conference, including for general news reporting, sports photography, and commentary. In all, the Reflector won seven first place awards and 16 second and third place awards, the most in the senior college division.

Hannah Blankenship, a junior communication major from Huntsville, Alabama, and the Reflector's news editor, won one of the most prestigious awards at the conference: 1st Place in the General News Story category. Blankenship won for her coverage of a police chase that occurred on campus last fall.

Blankenship also won one of the top design awards at the conference: 1st Place in the Best Front Page category.

"It's very validating," Blankenship said. "It's nice to be recognized for your hard work."

Mary Georgia Hamilton, the Reflector's photo editor and a junior from Atlanta, Georgia, took home four total awards for photography, including 1st place and 2nd place in the Sports Photo category.

Dylan Bufkin, a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, and the Reflector's opinion editor, won 1st place in the General Interest Column category. The Reflector swept the category, earning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Rosalind Hutton, a senior from Tchula, and the Reflector's graphics editor, won 1st place in the Best Cartoon category.

The Reflector's online editor, Brandon Grisham, collected two 1st place awards in the Website and Use of Social Media categories. The Reflector's website was the "clear winner," judges wrote, with a "beautiful and fluid" design. The Reflector has been named a finalist in the Best Website category in the 2020 National Electronic Media Association competition in Hollywood, California, and staff members will learn in March whether the Reflector is honored by the association for having the best college media website in the country.

A panel discussion with Jamie Patterson of the Yazoo Herald and Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today was a highlight of the conference. Wolfe, a former Reflector news editor, told the audience how she went about collecting data for an investigative story on unethical medical billing practices. Wolfe won the Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism in 2018 and 2019.

"I just feel extremely proud of everything we've accomplished," said Mia Rodriguez, the Reflector's editor-in-chief. "It gives me a sense of pride just knowing what I've done for the paper is paying off."

Communication students awarded at this MPA conference include junior Hannah Blankenship, junior Hunter Cloud and sophomore Jordan Smith.

MSU instructor's screenplay to be featured at broadcasting society's national convention

January 29, 2020 (Wednesday)
The LGBTQ dramatic screenplay "The Reverend," written by MSU Communication Instructor Jason Hibbs will be featured during the Professional and Alumni Competition presentations at the National Broadcasting Society's Annual Convention in Burbank, California this March.

Hibbs, who is a former television news reporter and newsroom manager, teaches broadcast news and media writing at Mississippi State. He said he is flattered that his first major creative endeavor outside of broadcast journalism was so well received. He hopes to eventually see the screenplay made into a movie, and looks forward to sharing his writing experience with students. He hopes the screenplay and writing process behind the screenplay inspires others.

In "The Reverend," months before his death, a closeted bigoted southern minister is unexpectedly reunited with his childhood friend and crush. The now openly gay friend indirectly forces the minister to confront his own sexuality, mortality, and legacy. Knowing time is running out, the minister suddenly leaves his conservative family and church to experience the life he never had.
This turns an already dysfunctional family on its head. While most family members doubled down on their homophobic ways, one grandchild is emboldened by what happens.