SEJC announces “Best of the South” 2013 contest winners at 28th annual convention

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Southeastern Journalism Conference named University of Alabama senior Abbey Crain as 2013 College Journalist of the Year, and The University of Mississippi led all eligible schools with 19 awards in the SEJC’s annual “Best of the South” contest.

The awards, chosen from 440 qualified entries from 35 universities, were announced at the SEJC’s annual convention, hosted by The University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Feb. 20-22.

Crain, a senior majoring in journalism, was honored for her reporting on a series of articles, most notably her work on the “The Final Barrier,” a story detailing allegations of racism within the sorority recruitment process at The University of Alabama. She received a $1,000 cash prize from SEJC as part of the award.

The SEJC also chose Tomi Parrish, journalism instructor and coordinator of the Office of Student Media at The University of Tennessee at Martin, as Educator of the Year.

Overall, 169 students from 34 universities were ranked in the 30 “Best of the South” categories. The SEJC consists of 51 member universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

The University of Mississippi led all schools with 19 awards, followed by Tennessee State University with 17, and The University of Alabama and Georgia State University tied with 16 each. Others with students in the final rankings included: Troy University (13 awards); University of Louisiana at Lafayette (12); Georgia College and State University (10); Samford University (11); Southeastern Louisiana University (9); Lipscomb University (9); University of Tennessee at Martin (8); Louisiana Tech University (6); Florida A&M University (6); Mississippi State University (5); University of Memphis (5); Austin Peay State University (5); Arkansas State University (5); Grambling State University (5); University of South Alabama (5); Nicholls State University (5); University of North Alabama (5); University of West Alabama (5); University of West Florida (4); Union University (4); University of Louisiana at Monroe (4); University of Alabama at Birmingham (4); Harding University (4); Belmont University (3); Middle Tennessee State University (2); Mississippi College (1); Xavier University (1); University of Tennessee (1); University of Louisiana at Shreveport (1); and Arkansas Tech University (1).

For a complete list of winners, please click here.