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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

UM School of Journalism and New Media announces 2019-2020 award winners

Posted on: April 23rd, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media recognizes the outstanding work of our students annually.

Every year, faculty are asked to submit names of top students in our integrated marketing communications and journalism programs. The list of nominees is long and the challenge is tough to narrow that list down to those deserving of school’s top awards.

“In a typical year, we would bring you and your guests together for a celebration of your accomplishments with a formal awards banquet,” said Dean Will Norton, Jr. “As you know, COVID-19 prevents us from sharing those moments with you.

Student Awards Student Awards

“However, nothing prevents us from thanking you for your hard work and dedication throughout your time at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism & New Media. You are some of our best and our brightest and you give us a reason to be proud. We hope you are proud of all you have done during your time with us.”

The awards are indicative of exceptional performance during a student’s time at the University of Mississippi. They are based on their achievements in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and the practical application of learning in our school and beyond.

The Dean’s Awards, in particular, were created to ensure that the school recognizes students who are poised to do great work in the broad fields of journalism and integrated marketing communication. 

Our awards list also includes new members of Kappa Alpha Tau, a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.

“Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work at one of the colleges and universities that have chapters,” said Nancy Dupont, Ph.D. “Selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor.”

Scott Fiene, assistant dean and associate professor of integrated marketing communications, said faculty members are proud of what our winners have accomplished.

“While it’s sad these outstanding individuals could not be recognized in person this year, they still represent all that is great about the School of Journalism and New Media,” he said. “While they’ll forever be known as the group that didn’t get an awards ceremony, they’ll also always be a reminder that even in difficult times, goodness reigns.

“Look out world – these kids are headed out, and it will be amazing to watch what they do.”

Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., a professor of journalism, noted that many of our students also win awards at the university level, including the prestigious Taylor Medal, the highest academic award at the university, as well as a series of excellence awards that are based on GPA and faculty endorsements.

“The Excellence Award winners are the type of students who can crank out an academic paper and then create a marketing campaign or report on hurricane recovery along the coast,” she said. “They perform with such grace and confidence that we know they are unstoppable.”

The following video shows our 2020 Taylor Medalists, Excellence and Dean’s Award winners:

Charles Overby Award

Daniel Payne

New Kappa Tau Alpha Members


Payten Coale
Julia Peoples
Tyler White
Jackson Sepko
Olivia Schwab
Kailee Ayers
Virginia Monssor
Lauren Wilson
Reagan Stone
Avary Hewlett
Cathryn Crawford
Andrew Gardner
Nicholas Weaver
Meredith Sills
Katherine Johnson
Anna Borgen
Hannah Rom
Hannah Williamson
Asia Harden


Nigel Dent
Alexandra Barfield
Matthew Brennan Hendley
Mason Scioneaux
Gavin Norton
Alexander Norris
McKenzie Richmond
Callahan Brooke Basil
Austin Parker
Sarah Neely Mullen


Loidha Castillo Bautista

MA in Journalism

Lucy Burnam

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