Union University’s student news publication, the Cardinal & Cream, won eight awards in the 2015 Best of the South competition sponsored by the Southeast Journalism Conference, including first place for both best college magazine and best public service journalism.
The annual conference, held Feb. 18-20 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, draws journalism students from more than 45 member colleges and universities in all states across the Southeast. These universities include both large state schools such as University of Memphis, Mississippi State, University of Alabama, Louisiana State University and Georgia State University as well as private institutions like Belmont University, Samford University and Harding University.
It was the second straight year for the Cardinal & Cream to take top honors for best college magazine.
“I feel like our writing is showing increasing depth, maturity and focus as our students are really pushing themselves to work beyond ‘obvious’ story ideas and really create the kinds of articles they would choose to read,” said Ted Kluck, assistant professor of communication arts and Cardinal & Cream adviser. “I was especially proud of our Public Service Journalism award, as it highlights some of the creative friendships we’ve been able to cultivate with faculty and students at Lane College.”
In the Cardinal & Cream’s informal partnership with Lane College, Lane students and their professor, Siobahn Stiles, occasionally come to Monday meetings on the Union campus with the C&C staff. Kluck said the C&C staff also hopes to help Lane start its own student newspaper and has been discussing logistics, challenges and advantages of doing so.
Lane student N’Dezha Robinson and Danica Smithwick, editor-in-chief of the Cardinal & Cream, co-wrote an article in the fall edition of the magazine about the partnership and racial reconciliation.
“Bringing home first place for the magazine that we put so much time into was really rewarding, and I am especially proud to be able to share recognition with Lane College for our partnership,” Smithwick said. “Awards aren’t everything, but of course it’s exciting to have our work validated and place in some competitive categories next to much larger schools.”
In individual awards, Smithwick placed ninth in the “college journalist of the year” category and seventh for best feature writer, Andrew Graham took third place for best magazine layout designer, Ali Renckens won fourth for best magazine writer, and MiKalla Cotton placed ninth and David Parks finished 10th for best press photographer.
The Cardinal & Cream is available online at www.cardinalandcream.info.