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Student Printz Staffers Win Awards at MPA Better Newspaper Contest PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Contact David Tisdale - 601.266.4499   

Writers and photographers for The Student Printz, the student-run newspaper at The University of Southern Mississippi, brought home 11 individual awards and a third place finish in general excellence from the annual Mississippi Press Association (MPA) Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented March 25 as part of the MPA’s O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference, held at the Mississippi Craftsman’s Center in Ridgeland.

“I was very pleased to see that every entry we made in the contest won an award. This is a great feat for the student journalists on The Student Printz staff,” said Maggie Williams, adviser to The Student Printz.

The Student Printz was one of six senior college competitors in the Better Newspaper Contest, sponsored annually by the MPA. Others in the competition included Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Millsaps College and Mississippi State University.

Writing awards went to Sports Editor Tyler Cleveland,a senior from Jackson, Miss., who earned first place in the Sports Column category, second place in the Sports Feature category and third place in the Sports News Story category.

The writing team of Lesley Walters, a senior from Gulfport, Miss., and Mike Blount, a senior from Hattiesburg, took home first and second place in the Investigative Package category for two stories on textbook prices. The judges praised the stories as “well-researched” and “well written.” The pair also earned a third place certificate in the Feature Story competition.

“This was pretty satisfying, I have to say,” said Blount, who was on hand to pick up the three awards. “Lesley and I worked really hard on those stories and were proud of our efforts. To have others in the industry praise it is really nice.”

Photographers for The Student Printz also brought home a number of awards, including:

• First place in the Sports Photography category for Jordan Moore, a freshman from Columbus, Miss.

• First place in the Feature Photo category for Jesse Bass, a senior from Poplarville, Miss.

• Second place in the General News Photo category for Topher Bostick, a junior from Bay St. Louis, Miss.

• Honorable mention in the General News Photo category for Samantha Stanford, a sophomore from Grenada, Miss.

• Third place certificate in the Spot News Photo category for Casey Clingan, a senior from Hattiesburg.

Sebe Dale, a senior from Columbia, won a first place plaque in the graphics category of the contest for his design that went with a story about the Nook Kindle. The judges said “nicely done – very creative idea that goes so well with the story.” The newspaper’s staff also took home third place in the general excellence competition.

The Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism operates The Student Printz under the direction of the Student Media Center. Visit The Student Printz online at To learn more about programs offered through the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, online visit

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at

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