Mark Flores, Erinn Streckfuss, Rachel Brown, Lanae Gehring, Kate Schell, Megan Wozniak, Christena Brooks, Kelsey Shields, Ellen Kersey, and Tanner Froese pose with first-place awards in downtown Nashville.
At the 2008 Baptist Press Collegiate Journalism Conference, Corban’s 11-person journalism team embodied the conference’s theme of pursuing excellence. Despite its small size, Corban held its own against giants like Baylor, Biola and Liberty universities, coming out of the competition with 11 awards.
“I didn’t know there were so many specific categories of competition, but I was pleased at how well our small, unpaid staff did,” said Kate Schell, the online editor. Schell received a second-place trophy for the sports copy she wrote for the 2007-2008 yearbook.
At the mid-October conference, numerous colleges and universities competed for awards in three categories: yearbook, newspaper and online news publication. The three-day conference, held in Nashville, Tenn., not only recognized those who excel in college journalism, but offered students various seminars and presentations that encouraged them to pursue excellence in both their careers and their walk with the Lord.
The emcee of the event was Will Hall, vice president of news services, executive committee, at the Baptist Press, which is the media arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. The conference’s final awards ceremony was held at the SBC’s national headquarters in downtown Nashville.
One of the highlights of the conference was a seminar by speakers was Todd Starnes, a reporter from Fox News, who spoke in a seminar called “Extreme Makeover: Journalism Edition.” He focused on how journalists can remain faithful to God throughout their careers.
“I really respected that a high profile news correspondent would lend himself to teach youth,” remarked Mark Flores, a sports editor for the Hilltop News.
Although Corban has one of the smallest journalism teams among the competing colleges and universities, eight students and two advisors attended to the conference, a large group at the 160-person event. Each day some awards were given to the second and third place winners, to heighten the anticipation of the last night’s first-place award ceremony.
The closing ceremony brought five first-place trophies for Corban, including one to Hilltop News editor Rachel Brown for “best center spread design” for her arrangement of stories and photos covering the campus visit of the Matsiko Children’s Choir last spring.
Sports editor Tanner Froese also won a first-place news writing award for a piece chronicling last year’s pumpkin smash.
“I would have rather won for my sports articles,” remarked Froese, “but evidently a news story on half-naked men dressed in miniskirts, wrestling in pumpkin pulp caught their eye first. But I’ll take it.”