Augusta communication students win media contest awards

AU’s Emily Garcia shows the Apple Award that the Phoenix won during the CMA Spring 2020 conference in New York; she is editor in chief of the Phoenix. (photo by Haley Knight)

Staff report |

Students majoring in communication at Augusta University recently won several media awards in competitions both on the state and national level.

St. Julian Cox and Justin Little took home first place in the Georgia Communication Association student video contest. Cox and Little won for their music video “July,” based on a song by Noah Cyrus.

In the Georgia College Press Association awards contest, Zack Hill finished in first place in the sports writing competition. Hill, whose winning Bell Ringer story was on the 2018 NCAA Division II cross-country nationals held in Pittsburgh, Pa., finished ahead of work by journalism students at the University of Georgia and Valdosta State University. Hill is now an alumnus. The award was given at the GCPA conference in Athens on Feb. 14.

Carlos Rodriguez, a freshman and a sports writer for the Bell Ringer, won two awards at the Southern Regional Press Institute at Savannah State University on Feb. 21. Rodriguez took second and third place in the sports writing contest. Rodriguez, who covers the AU basketball teams, was awarded for stories on the origins of the Peach Jam basketball tournament and on the 2019 Peach Belt Tournament that was held at AU last March.

Emily Garcia, editor in chief of the Phoenix magazine, worked in the student newsroom at the College Media Association conference in New York March 11-13. While she was there, Garcia picked up an Apple Award from CMA for best magazine cover.

“We are very happy for our students,” said David Bulla, chair of AU’s Department of Communication. “St. Julian and Justin made an outstanding video. They worked hard on it, and the video shows their expertise as young filmmakers.”

The video “July” stars Rachel Beal, an English major and communication minor. She plays the guitar and sings. Cox also has a role in the video, which can be seen at the following URL: “July”.

“Zack and Carlos brought a lot of energy and creativity to their sports writing,” Bulla added. “Zack’s article on the AU cross-country team’s participation in the Division II nationals paid attention to detail, and I think that’s what the judges really liked about his piece.”

Hill’s winning article starts as follows: “The ground of Schenley Park [in Pittsburgh] on Saturday, Dec. 1, the day of the NCAA Division II cross country championship, was soaked and covered with water-filled craters and traction-less mud. The conditions seemed better suited for a war film than a running competition; the expressions and attitudes on display, however, were perfectly suited for either. The parallel was obvious: a battle was about to be had.”

Bulla praised Rodriguez for his hard work as a sports writer.

“Carlos is only a freshman, but he comes from an outstanding high school journalism program at Grovetown High School,” Bulla said. “He actually started to work for the Bell Ringer as a senior at Grovetown. All the credit for his evolution as a sports writer should go to the Grovetown adviser, Christy Donovan.”

Bulla also praised Garcia, who has been focusing on coverage of this year’s election.

“She has been a dynamic leader for the Phoenix,” he said. “The Apple Award was for the cover of a mini-magazine the Phoenix did on this year’s presidential election.”

Justin Little (L) and St. Julian Cox (C) took home first place in the Georgia Communication Association student video contest. Giving the award is Dr. Amanda Respess (R), a professor at Georgia College and the director of the GCA film festival. (photo by Pamela Hayward)