August 10, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Dr. Pat Miller, Journalism Adviser and Professor of English at VSU

Nine VSU Students Earn Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University journalism students just keep getting better — and they have national credentials to prove it.

Nine students were recently awarded the Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing.

Poynter, a global leader in journalism education, partnered with ACES: The Society for Editing to give students the opportunity to learn and demonstrate their editing prowess.

Students in Spring Semester 2021's JOUR 3080: Editing for Publications had the opportunity to earn the certificate by completing a series of online Poynter courses.

“What’s remarkable is that nearly two-thirds of the students in the class were able to complete this certificate during the middle of a pandemic — no small feat,” shared Dr. Pat Miller, journalism adviser and professor of English who teaches JOUR 3080. “Beyond the editing skills they learned, these students showed remarkable self-discipline and tenacity.”

That has paid off for three of the students — Jonnie Brewer, Austin Bruce, and Kilie Huckleby. Each have used those newly learned skills in internships for area publications this summer. Brewer worked as a copy editor for ITG Next, Bruce worked as a reporter for The Quitman Free Press, and Huckleby worked as a reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.

Their success attests to the caliber of VSU students.

“We are very proud of the nine students who went above and beyond the normal class expectations to complete the Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing,” said Dr. James LaPlant, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at VSU. “The commitment to excellence by these students in their field of study reflects our college-wide emphasis on the powerful benefits of experiential learning. These students are a role model for others in the college.”

The ACES certificate gets employers’ attention, Miller said.

“I had a student several years who interviewed with major publishers like Politico and National Geographic. She told me that she was asked about the certificate in nearly every interview.”

The Poynter collaboration represents just one of many options students are exposed to at VSU. The university is unwavering in its commitment to provide students with transformational and experiential learning opportunities. 

“This certificate is just one of the ‘value-added’ opportunities students can take advantage of in nearly every journalism course,” Miller said. “Other examples might include the opportunity to present at state and national conferences or to publish in professional outlets.”

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