The Southern Takes Second Place in SPJ’s Sunshine State Awards

Aug 22, 2014

by Cary McMullen | Publications Editor

Florida Southern College’s student newspaper, The Southern, has earned a pair of second-place awards in the Student Division of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards. 

The Southern placed second in the Best Student Newspaper category, as well as second place in the Best Website category. The competition included entries from the spring and fall 2013 semesters.

The recognition was announced Aug. 16 at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens during the annual Sunshine State Awards ceremony. SPJ Florida has recognized and celebrated Florida’s finest journalism for two decades.

“I am so proud of my staff and the hard work they put in on the paper,” said Dr. Mike Trice, adviser of The Southern. “It is always great when an outside organization such as this recognizes the skills, time and energy that these students put in. Coming at the beginning of a new school year, these recognitions will encourage us to make this year’s student media even better.”

William Allen, who teaches online media courses and was instrumental in the development of the website (, said he was particularly pleased that both the traditional and new media were recognized.

“From conversations with industry professionals, we know that our students need to understand how to work in multiple media platforms,” Allen said. “It is gratifying to see the students getting that.”

FSC graduate Kelly Lamano served as editor for the spring, and she served as co-editor with senior Leah Schwarting in the fall. In addition to Lamano and Schwarting, other members of the staff included Rebecca Padgett, Danielle Burch, Sam Penizotto, Maggie Ross, Bethany Schram, Valeria Sabate and Raven Leverett.

The Southern is published every other week during the fall and spring semesters. The paper and the website are produced by students through the Department of Communication.

For a complete list of the winners, see