Northwest journalism students bring home awards

    Northwest Mississippi Community College journalism students were recognized for their work on the college’s newspaper, The Ranger Rocket at the Mississippi Press Association’s (MPA) Better Student Newspaper Contest 2011 in Jackson on March 29. The contest winners were announced at the 13th annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference, held at the Mississippi Children’s Museum.

    Northwest competed with other community and junior colleges in Mississippi, including East Central Community College, Itawamba Community College, Jones County Junior College, Copiah Lincoln Community College, Natchez and Southwest Mississippi Community College.

    Northwest students received awards in the following categories: General News Story, Will Whaley of Nesbit and Stacia Schommer of Lake Comorant, third place; Sports Feature, Brian Lentz of Coldwater, third place; General Interest Column, Shelby Louwerens of Senatobia, second place. Louwerens also won a first place award in the General News Photo category for her photo of the Northwest play, “Smoke on the Mountain,” and Lentz won a second place in the Sports Photo Category for a Northwest women’s soccer game photo. Whaley received a second place in the Feature Photo category for his photo of the “William Charles Band.”

    Northwest Graphic Design student Andrew Bartalotta of Southaven received a first place award in the Miscellaneous Advertisement category for his advertisement of “Smoke on the Mountain,” and second place in the Single Advertisement category for the ad “Dancers.”

    Additionally, The Ranger Rocket won first place in the Graphic Category and third place in General Excellence. "We are so proud of the fine work our instructor, Carroll Gunn, and her students produce each month in The Ranger Rocket," said Director of Communications, Sarah Sapp. "It is always a great feeling when an organization of such high profile, such as the Mississippi Press Association, recognizes your students' work as some of the best in the state."

    Gunn, the college’s journalism instructor, is the adviser of the Ranger Rocket and the Northwest yearbook. The newspaper’s sponsors are Sapp, Julie Bauer, assistant director of Communications, Kevin Maloney, coordinator of Sports Information and LaJuan Tallo, communications assistant.

    The conference, which is underwritten by the O.C. McDavid Memorial Fund and administered by the MPA’s Education Foundation, is to promote journalism in the state.  McDavid was the former managing editor of the Jackson Daily News, who actively pursued a second career as an artist and sculptor after retiring from journalism.

    For more information on Northwest’s journalism program, contact Gunn at 662-562-3275 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

    Northwest Journalism students show off three of the 10 awards they received on March 29 at the Mississippi Press Association’s Better Student Newspaper Awards ceremony during the 13th Annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference in Jackson. The college’s newspaper, The Ranger Rocket, competed against community and junior colleges all over the state. Left to right are Caroll Gunn, journalism instructor, Brian Lentz of Coldwater, Shaneka Flowers of Clarksdale, Shelby Louwerens of Senatobia and Andrew Bartalotta of Southaven. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)