Lumination Network brings home seven awards from the Southeast Journalism Conference

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Over the past eight years, top students from Lipscomb’s Lumination Network have been attending, competing and bringing home awards for their work submitted to the annual Southeast Journalism Conference Best of the South contest.

The Best of the South contest is held annually to foster greater student interest in journalism as well as develop closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States.SEJC_SIDE

This year’s conference, held Feb. 16-18 at the University of Mississippi, had a total of 469 entries from 29 colleges. Lipscomb took home five student awards and two awards for Lumination Radio.

This year’s winners include:

  • Becca Risley, Third Place, Best Arts and Entertainment Reporter
  • Whintey Smith, Fifth Place, Best TV Hard News Reporter
  • Brooke Dorris, Fifth Place, Best TV Feature Reporter
  • Erin Turner, Second Place, Best Multimedia Journalist
  • Charissa Ricker, Third Place, Arts and Entertainment Writing (On-site)
  • Lumination Radio, Second Place, Best College Audio Program
  • Lumination Radio, Third Place, Best College Radio Station

“Students on our Lumination Network staff do great work year-round; it's so rewarding each year to see them recognized at some of the best collegiate journalists in the Southeast - particularly when they're up against students from SEC schools,” said James McCollum, professor of communication and journalism at Lipscomb.

During the conference students have the opportunity to compete against one another in onsite competitions as well as attend workshops, panels. networking opportunities and the Best of the South awards dinner. Media and journalism professionals judge onsite and submitted work from students.

Ricker, a sophomore journalism and new media major, said her opportunity to attend this year’s SEJC was the inspiration she needed to excel in the on-site competition and ultimately take home the award.

“Journalism is a pretty competitive field and it's easy to feel insecure about your work and your writing, and sometimes you just wonder ‘do I have what it takes?’ said Ricker. “Winning an award for my writing was another affirmation that I am in the right place pursuing the right career, and it inspires me to continue to work and become a better writer.”

Risley, a senior journalism and new media major, says she is grateful for the opportunities SEJC offers to students in attendance and the way it allows Lipscomb attendees to stand out professionally.

“Attending this conference sets Lipscomb apart from other schools or other programs that don't attend conferences of this caliber,” Risley said. “It gives us a chance to view our work as part of the greater good and also learn how we can be better journalists by comparing our work to those from different schools, backgrounds and career aspirations.”

Lumination Network is the student media outlet of the Department of Communication and Journalism at Lipscomb. Lumination allows students the opportunity to work on a weekly TV newscast- both on-camera and behind-the-scenes, being part of the broadcast team for sporting events on the streaming radio station and contribution to ongoing web coverage of campus events.

For more information on Lumination Network visit,