MSU Communication students named best in media

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State Department of Communication faculty and students are celebrating their successes after receiving numerous awards this spring semester.

One of the largest departments in the MSU College of Arts and Sciences, communication majors received awards this year in all five concentrations: broadcast and digital journalism; communication and media studies; print and digital journalism; theater; and public relations. Recently, three students were recognized as the best in their respective fields in the state. Hannah Blankenship, a senior from Huntsville, Alabama, also majoring in Spanish, was named College Journalist of the Year at the 2022 Southeastern Journalism Conference awards; Flora Dedeaux, a senior from Gulfport, was named Television Student Broadcaster of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters and the Student of the Year by Public Relations Association of Mississippi; and recent graduate Ethan Foster of Hamilton was named MAB’s Radio Student Broadcaster of the Year.

For the second straight year, The Reflector, MSU’s student-led newspaper, earned first place in general excellence at the O.C. McDavid Journalism Summit, while its staff earned 12 first-place and 15 second-place awards. The newspaper also won awards for design, front-page layout, graphics and use of social media.

“We are now seeing the benefit of our hard work, via excellent teaching from our faculty, paying off in a multitude of awards across many disciplines. These awards show the magnitude of our growth and benefit of our campus media partnerships,” said Terry Likes, who leads the MSU Department of Communication.

Likes, too, received accolades at recent awards ceremonies, winning honors from the Broadcast Education Association and the MAB. His report, “Newsroom Need: How Demand Now Far Outweighs Supply For Hiring Young TV Journalists,” won Best of Competition in the radio hard news reporting category at the BEA’s national conference and a third-place MAB award for its use of sound. “Newsroom Need” aired late last year on WMSV-FM and can be accessed at

“Communication faculty strive for excellence in our teaching, research and service,” Likes said. “I vowed many years ago to keep current in professional practice. I tell my students the work in their classes, when excellent, can be entered in media competitions, which can enhance their portfolios. In this regard, I try to lead by example.”

For more information about the MSU Department of Communication, visit

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