NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Jessica Webb of Gardner-Webb University and Dale Peacock of Houston Baptist University were named recipients of the inaugural President’s Award for Excellence in Student Journalism Sept. 29.
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, announced the recipients at the Baptist Press Student Journalism Conference banquet at Belmont University in Nashville.
Webb and Peacock were presented framed medallions commemorating the honor.
“The President’s Award for Excellence in Student Journalism is given to a student who has shown sustained excellence in scholastic journalism,” Chapman told a crowd of over 160 in the Neely Dining Hall. “But this first year we have the honor of announcing two individuals who overwhelmingly meet the criteria for this award.”
The banquet featured a keynote address by Fox News Channel personality Fred Barnes, dinner music by the Chris Gregg jazz trio and the presentation of more than 100 awards for excellence in student journalism.
Chapman encouraged the student journalists to consider careers in mainstream media “where they can make a difference.”
Webb is photographer who worked in the newsroom of the SBC annual meeting in New Orleans in June and whose See You at the Pole photos appeared in Baptist Press in September.
In her essay, Webb said she frequently finds herself in the newsroom at 2 a.m. wondering why she is interested in journalism.
“The career is tough,” she said. “And it has long and sometimes unusual hours. But whenever those questions come, the Holy Spirit gently reminds me that I love the work and he has gifted me to do the work.”
Webb said her ultimate goal is to glorify God with her photography, writing and design.
She is an honor roll student who was nominated for the award by her Gardner-Webb faculty advisor, Bob Carey.
Peacock was nominated by his Houston Baptist University adviser, Alice Rowlands.
He submitted entries in photography, writing, design and layout.
Peacock has worked for three years on the staff of the HBU Collegian and has been on the dean’s list for seven quarters with a cumulative grade point average of 3.73.
In his essay, Peacock said he plans on spending his life affecting change in the world through bearing witness through his photography.
“Where people are being afflicted, I want to be there,” he wrote. “Where people are hurting, I want to be there. Where people are celebrating the joy of life, I want to be there.”