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Morgan Journalism Students Recognized for Work

Morgan Journalism Students Recognized for Work on ‘Bridging Selma’ Project

Last spring, students from Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication (SGJC) collaborated with fellow journalism students from West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media on a unique social justice-reporting project called “Bridging Selma.” In the wake of that transformative experience, which included traveling to Selma, Ala., to gather stories firsthand, Morgan students have been recognized for their role in the project’s success.

Senior Emily Pelland was honored for her editing work on the project’s “Fractured Tour: An Immersive Virtual Realty Tour of Selma’s Divides,” when she was named as a co-recipient of a Broadcast Education Association (BEA) “Best of Festival” award. Pelland’s award was in the category of Faculty Interactive Multimedia Competition using entertainment and emerging technologies. The recognition took place at the 14th Annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Awards Ceremony, held in Las Vegas this past April. BEA is the premier international academic media organization for educators, students and professionals.

In addition, Morgan’s SGJC students were recognized for their work on the Bridging Selma project with a first place honor in the Best Use of Multimedia category at the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards, held this past April in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result of their win, they are moving on to compete for SPJ’s national contest honors, which will be presented during the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Conference this September in New Orleans. The SPJ awards honor the best in student journalism and are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience.

Along with Pelland, the other students who worked on the project were senior Ahjanae LaQuer and juniors Benjamin McKnight III and Camille Harrison (SGJC students Maya Gilmore and Asha Glover have since graduated from Morgan.). The team’s advisers at the time were former assistant professor Karen Houppert and Ron Taylor, SGJC Knight Fellow for 2014–15.

Congratulations to all for their efforts in this exciting endeavor!

With the historic site of Selma as their classroom, student journalists relied on text, photos, video and virtual reality to tell revealing stories from the town’s past, present and future. Learn more about their work by visiting

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