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First-year Student Wins “Best Writer” at National Association of Black Journalists’ JSHOP 2017

Laurence Lundy also recipient of the first-ever Russell LaCour Legacy scholarship

First-year journalism student Laurence Lundy, center, with Rachel Graham, left, president of the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists and CNET reporter Terry Collins, right, who served as a mentor during NABJ’s JSHOP 2017 workshop.

New SMU Meadows student Laurence Lundy is starting his college years on a positive note. Just a few weeks before arriving on campus at SMU, he attended a journalism workshop in New Orleans hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). During the 2017 “JSHOP,” Lundy teamed up with fellow workshop attendee Hannah Monteilh to produce an article on InspireNOLA, a program that promotes academic excellence in charter schools. Lundy wrote; Monteilh was in charge of photography. As part of their research, they interviewed and photographed educators at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School in New Orleans and captured their views on the new school year.

For his efforts, Lundy was awarded “Best Writer” at JSHOP 2017.

“When deciding who has earned this particular honor, we take into account a student’s writing on two projects they are assigned that week,” says JSHOP Chair Sheryl Kennedy Haydel. “Laurence wrote a 15-second script for a video package he put together as well that received rave reviews from our JSHOP faculty.”

On top of that honor, Lundy was also awarded NABJ’s first-ever Russell LaCour Legacy Scholarship, named after longtime NABJ member, JSHOP director and Oklahoma-based news editor Russell LaCour. According to Kennedy Haydel, the award, which was funded in its inaugural year by Capital One Bank, is given to a JSHOP participant who has just completed high school and is heading into their freshman year of college in the fall semester of that same year.

“Recipients possess the qualities of our JSHOP founder Russell LaCour,” says Kennedy Haydel, “which include passion for the field of journalism/mass communication, leadership skills, respect for teammates and is a visionary when it comes to writing/telling stories that give a voice to those underrepresented in mainstream media.”

Love of writing

At this point in his life, Lundy’s goal is to write novels; he is fond of science fiction in particular.

“I’ve always loved writing,” says Lundy. “It’s a mental release of ideas that allows thoughts to flow freely in a way that talking may not always fulfill. Books are a grand way of experiencing new things and new places.”

Learning journalism’s techniques and skills would expand his writing style, says Lundy. “You have to give the public the information and allow them to process it however they see fit,” he says. “Or at least that’s how I hope journalism works outside of opinion pieces or writing geared toward a specific purpose. I’m still beginning my forays into journalism as a whole, and of course have much to learn.”

In addition to pursuing a journalism degree, the first-year Meadows student has his eye on creating friends and connections while at SMU. “Getting a bachelor’s degree simply can’t be the stopping point for me in this day and age,” he says. “I’ll need a strong group of people around me to get through the trials that I know will be set before me.”

SMU Meadows Division of Journalism practices convergence journalism, whereby students learn to package news and entertainment pieces across broadcast, print and digital platforms. Students create several kinds of programs in the HD broadcast studio, covering news (they receive the same raw video feeds as CNN and CBS), sports, politics and more. Students can also write for the print edition of SMU Campus Weekly or the annual SMU Rotunda yearbook. Fashion students create the student-led SMU LOOK magazine, producing one issue per semester.

Learn more about the Division of Journalism at SMU Meadows and its B.A. in Journalism; B.A. in Fashion Media; and the William J. O’Neil Program in Business Journalism.

Read Laurence Lundy’s winning article and more about NAJB’s JSHOP 2017.

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