Two Trevecca journalism students have been nominated for awards at this year’s Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors (APME) College Contest. The winners will be announced at the Tennessee AP’s annual College Career Day and Awards event, set for April 27.
Senior Brooklyn Dance and junior Maria Monteros were each nominated for one award. Dance is competing for the title of best college newspaper reporter, an award she won last year. Monteros was nominated in the news story category for her TrevEchoes cover story, “Want your chapel credit? Put away your electronic device.”
“I'm very proud of Brooklyn and Maria,” said JoEllen Werking-Weedman, assistant professor of communication studies and faculty adviser for the TrevEchoes, the University’s student newspaper. ”They are both thorough and thoughtful reporters who work hard to tell important stories on campus.”
Held each year, the College Career Day and Awards event allows students to learn from and meet with news professionals. The awards competition pits Trevecca’s student journalists against college reporters from across the state, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Memphis and Middle Tennessee State University.
The nominations point to the quality of Trevecca’s growing multimedia journalism program, Werking-Weedman says.
“Our entire program is centered around teaching students to think and practice like professional journalists, so it's validating for our students when professionals from around the state choose their work for awards," Werking-Weedman said.
Dance, the editor of the TrevEchoes, has taken part in the contest for several years, bringing home awards for best newspaper/specialized topic reporting and best online spot coverage, in addition to garnering the title of best college newspaper reporter last year.
“This is the second year Brooklyn has been a finalist for the best college newspaper reporter,” Werking-Weedman said. “This award is based on a large body of her work from the past year. She won this award last year as a junior and to be nominated again as a senior is indicative of her on-going commitment to excellent journalism on campus.”’
Dance, who interned with the Nashville Scene last summer, says her experiences in and outside of the Trevecca campus have helped to shape who she is as a journalist.
“Jo Ellen Werking-Weedman has been such a mentor since my first class with her,” Dance said when asked about the experiences that have helped her grow as a journalist. “She cares about me and helps me navigate what it means to be a Christian and a journalist. [Also] interning with the Nashville Scene allowed me to grow a lot. I was able to covers stories pertinent to Nashville as a whole instead of just Trevecca.”
Monteros was excited to learn of her nomination, describing the nomination as “validating.” Currently studying journalism in New York City through Trevecca’s partnership with King’s College, Monteros is an entertainment news intern at Newsweek.
“I think it’s a very important story to write, because a lot of people really care about it,” she said, talking about the article for which she is nominated. “Going to a Christian school, the topic of religion is very controversial, and it is our job as student journalists to cover those stories, even though some people may have reservations about it… If something is happening on campus, it’s our responsibility to write about it.”
Reflecting on her college career, Dance offered a few pieces of advice to other journalism students.
“Always say yes to story assignments. Stretch yourself and don't just fall into a rhythm or formula,” she said. “Read a lot of news and figure out what beats you're interested in and good at. Ask a lot of questions, always be curious about things on campus or in your community.”
The awards ceremony will take place on April 27 at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville. See the entire list of finalists.