March 16, 2004

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

VSU Mass Media Students, Society of Collegiate Journalists WinNational Awards

Valdosta State University's Society of Collegiate Journalists Chapter has received the national organization's highest honor with the recent presentation of the 2004 Edward E. McDonald Award for Outstanding Service for College Journalism. The award was presented at the Society of Collegiate Journalists National Convention in Virginia.

"You don't submit work for the award, so you don't nominate your own chapter," said Associate Professor Frank Barnas, who coordinates VSU's Mass Media Area in the Communication Arts Department. Barnas and Assistant Professor Mike Savoie attended the convention where both received a plaque and picked up special honors for the VSU group.

"The award is presented by the SCJ National Office in Pennsylvania after its Executive Council reviews the work of the 141 SCJ Chapters nationwide," said Barnas. "This is a great honor for our VSU students and faculty," he added.

Valdosta State broadcasting students also received the following special SCJ National Awards:

Broadcast News-Second Place National Award, "VSU Update." Daniel Thomas,

Broadcast Features-Third Place National Award, "Vote 2003." Kendra Aldinger and Elizabeth Battaglia, Producers.

Broadcast Sports-First Place National Award, "VSU Football vs. University of North Alabama." Angelena Washington, Producer.

"The Mass Media Area is indebted to everyone who made this possible," said Barnas. "It is difficult to take weekends off to cover sports, our production courses require extensive hours, and 6 a.m. classes for news are earlier than anyone else in the state, let alone just about anyone in the country," he added.

Barnas said the National Executive Council is exceptionally impressed with the work of VSU's collegiate journalists and the supporting faculty.

"There is literally no higher honor we can receive," Barnas acknowledged VSU Technical Assistant Walter Rollenhagen's large contribution for "all of our success." Barnas said Rollenhagen's "attention to detail and ability to handle the technical aspects of our productions helped us produce television programs worthy of national juried awards."

Barnas said the awards will be on display soon and that a SCJ victory party is being planned.

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