Jessica Flores

Georgetown, KY – Five real mainstays of the 2011 staff of The Georgetonian, the campus newspaper, brought home awards Saturday (Jan. 21) from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association (KIPA) conference at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.

Jessica Flores, a senior from Taylorsville who graduated in December, won a first place for a personality profile of GC Provost Rosemary Allen.

And, Victoria Engelhardt, a senior from Paducah who is studying at GC’s University of Oxford partner (Regent’s Park College) this semester, captured three awards. She took a second place for Continuing News for her ongoing coverage of the construction of our new student housing facility, Rucker Village.

Victoria Engelhardt

Two of Victoria’s awards were for Sports News Reporting of a pair of very important issues for the College – third place for her article on the trustees’ decision not to pursue Division III status; and Honorable Mention for her coverage of (then) possible changes to the partnership between Georgetown College and the Cincinnati Bengals.  

The others recognized for outstanding examples of college journalism from the previous year were:

Andy Russell, a senior from Richmond, took second place in Sports Column category for his reflections on life, mortality, and sportsmanship, following the death of racing driver Dan Wheldon. 

Ethan Smith, a senior from Cynthiana who’s also studying at Oxford this spring, took third place for his Commentary on reactions to the allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the resultant institutional misconduct.

Kristen Snyder, a senior from Lexington, had an honorable mention for Best Feature Headline.

Last year's editor Tori Bachman-Johnson, left, with Georgetonian web editor and photographer Laura Strange

Obviously, some very heady, senior leadership played a large part in The Georgetonian’s success in 2011 – especially with Tori Bachman-Johnson at the helm. A product of Scott County High School’s good newspaper program, Tori was a “go-to” writer her first three years at GC before becoming editor. She graduated in December (in 3 ½ years) and was an Oxford Scholar last summer to boot.

Georgetonian advisor Jamie Ratliff said, “Tori as editor is definitely one of the reasons we had such a good year. She was very involved in collaborating with the page editors and writers, offering ideas and directions. Tori’s a great writer too, and she’s won some KIPA awards in the past, but this year as editor, it seemed as if she really embraced her role as a leader, delegating to and supporting/encouraging her staff.”

Ratliff almost can’t imagine a Georgetonian newsroom without the tandem of Tori and Victoria.

About the latter, she said, “(Victoria) had become the go-to writer for front page news stories. She has a great knack for cultivating relationships with not only other students but also faculty and administration, which has served her well as a reporter. She’s a bold personality.”

Ratliff hinted that Victoria Engelhardt might contribute some stories from Regent’s Park/Oxford.  “I think she’d be great at really capturing the experience from a student’s perspective.”

Tori Bachman-Johnson wrote that she was proud of her whole staff – noting that without a Journalism program here, staffers are largely self-taught. She particularly valued Victoria – “hard-working and reliable. She’s someone we could always count on with difficult stories, to both get the information and know what to do with it;” and, Sports editor Andy – “a talented and passionate writer who has carried that section single-handedly for years.”

Last year’s editor also gave a shout-out to advisor Ratliff. “We certainly couldn’t do it without Jamie,” Tori said. “I don’t know how many times she’s saved the day, but people don’t realize how much time and energy she has dedicated to the paper since she never has a byline.”

Tori, whose family moved to Richmond, IL, when she was a freshman, is back home and planning to look for writing opportunities in the Chicago area. And, Jessica Flores (our 1st place winner) starts a long-term substitute position teaching English at Scott County High in March and plans to once again work for the Governor’s Scholars Program this summer. She hopes to have her first full-time teaching position in the fall back home in Bullitt County.

Meanwhile, after significant turnover, a new Georgetonian staff is getting organized and preparing for their first issue of 2012 in early February. News editor Evan Harrell, a junior from Middlesboro, takes over as editor and managing editor Kristen Snyder will be arts & entertainment editor.