Students' Insights: 2019 AJHA Southeast Symposium a Resounding Success

20 Mar 2019 1:44 PM | Melony Shemberger (Administrator)

By Jordan Stenger, Augusta University

Undergraduate and graduate students from universities in Alabama, Florida and Georgia presented their research at the American Journalism Historians Association’s Southeast Symposium in Panama City Beach, Fla., on Feb. 1 and 2.

The Symposium kicked off on Friday, Feb. 1, with Leonard Teel’s talk on his book, Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists. Teel recounted how he found his topic from a short newspaper topic and answered questions from students about the research and writing process.

On Saturday, 21 students, many of whom were first-time presenters, shared their research and answered questions from the other Symposium attendees. Students said they found the Symposium to be a friendly and supportive conference setting, especially for beginners.

Alex Sigars, a senior at Augusta University, was the first to present on Saturday.

“I found the experience eye opening,” Sigars said. “It revealed to me the great diversity of journalism history research and the implications it can have on us today as a society.”

Another undergraduate student from Augusta University, Alexis Parr, also found the experience to be rewarding.

“The Panama City Research trip gave me the college experience that I’ve always wanted,” Parr said. “I loved getting to know my peers better while also improving my resume.”

After a long day of presentations, conference co-coordinator Dianne Bragg from The University of Alabama presented awards for the best graduate and undergraduate papers.

Mackenzie Bryan, an undergraduate student from the University of Florida, won first place for his paper, “How the Media Shaped the Political and Racial Narratives of the Louis vs. Schmeling Rematch.”

“Winning first place was a huge honor,” Bryan said. “It’s the academic achievement that I’m most proud of, and I have to thank my professor, Dr. Bernell Tripp, for her guidance, her encouragement, and for simply believing in me and my writing.”

Sigars, who won third place for her paper in the undergraduate division, said regarding her experience at the conference, “The tools I gained from going to this conference I will most assuredly continue to use in the future."

Here is the complete list of paper award winners:

Undergraduate Student Paper Winners

1. How the Media Shaped the Political and Racial Narratives of the Louis vs. Schmeling Rematch — Mackenzie Bryan, University of Florida.

2. The Augusta Chronicle’s Coverage of the Seminole Wars: How it Changed Over Time — Jordan Stenger, Augusta University.

3. Progressive Era Georgia Suffrage Journalists Enforce and Utilize Social Contract Theory — Alex Sigers, Augusta University.

Graduate Student Paper Winners

1. Can A Flapper Be A Wife? A 1920s Marriage Editor Asks — Serena Bailey, University of Alabama.

2. Sexist Sports Coverage and Commentary in The Times-Picayune (1891-1994): A Longitudinal Qualitative Analysis — Nicole Morales, Universiy of Alabama.

3. Incident or Massacre: Race, Riot, and Representation in The Palmetto State — Tanya Ott-Fulmore, University of Alabama.

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