Communication students at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) won top awards at the 70th annual Southern Regional Press Institute (SRPI) virtual conference last month. Jada Roberts, George Francis, and Kalyna Nielson received third place for ‘Best Public Service Announcement’ for their video presentation on the Jerusalema Dance Challenge. Kendrekus Jackson received third place for ‘Best Radio Podcast’ and M’Kayla Sullivan received second place for ‘Best Photograph’ in a feature story. The conference, hosted by Savannah State University, had participations from Bethune Cookman University, Georgia Highlands College, Augusta University and North Carolina Central University.
“I am grateful and thrilled to know that SRPI believed our video was deserving of an award,” said Jada Roberts, senior biology major and communication minor. “I am happy I had the opportunity to attend this conference and I look forward to future conferences.”
“I give all the glory to God firstly. I didn’t really expect to be nominated and chosen, so I am grateful to represent the University in such a wonderful way,” said Kendrekus Jackson, senior communication major.
“Who knew that pressing buttons on a camera could be so fun and rewarding,” said M’Kayla Sullivan, senior communication major. “I’m overly excited and grateful.”
Dr. Juliana Trammel, interim chair and professor for the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Savannah State University, welcomed UVI to the conference. “We are so honored to welcome UVI and are excited to see all of you, participants, guest speakers, and volunteers.” Kareem McMichael, director of the 70th SRPI conference also offered special greetings to UVI students and congratulated the winners.
“It was extremely exciting and encouraging to help UVI students register to participate in the 70th annual SRPI conference. I was proud to watch them accept the challenge to be judged against other journalism and communication programs,” said Dr. Sharon Albert-Honore, associate professor of Communication and faculty advisor at the University. “Many competitors have active student populations of three to four hundred majors with publications that are more than 50 years old. Our UVI student participants should be commended for their research, writing and confidence to showcase their talents."
Founded in 1951, SRPI is the third oldest scholastic journalism institute founded at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) after the establishment of press associations at Florida A&M University in 1950 and Lincoln University in 1949.