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Five Howard Graduates and Senior Named Finalists in the National Association of Black Journalists 2019 Salute to Excellence Awards

Graduates from the NewsVision Capstone Fall 2018 cohort


WASHINGTON – Five Howard University class of 2019 graduates, Tayler Adigun, Evan Brooks, Sommer Hill, Bria Patterson, Bre'onna Richardson, and Arfie Ghedi, a rising senior, make up Howard's six finalists in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 2019 Salute to Excellence Awards. The awards will be presented during NABJ's Annual Convention & Career Fair in South Florida on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.

“We are so proud of our stellar student and graduates for their accomplishments,” says Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D., dean of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications.  “To learn that six of the School of Communications' finest are nominated as finalists for the NABJ student awards is a testament to their preparation and commitment; they are exemplars."

The recent graduates produced content under the instruction of former CNN News Producer and Associate Professor Jennifer Thomas during their Fall 2018 news production course titled, NewsVision. The course is in partnership with WHUT-TV and Howard University News Service, which allows students to report on and publish real news stories in the Howard community and beyond. At the end of each semester, the cohort is responsible for a newscast. The Fall 2018 cohort’s newscast was one of the finalists selected for Television Undergraduate - Best Newscast.”

“I am so excited for Evan, Taylor, and my NewsVision Capstone Fall 2018 class for their nomination as finalists for best reporting and best newscast by NABJ,” says Thomas. “The students work very hard and this award recognition is a wonderful way for them to be acknowledged for their efforts.  Each nominee is a recent graduate, and is either already in the industry or will be starting graduate school in the fall. I’m very excited and honored to have been their professor and see them exemplify our motto of ‘excellence without excuse.’”

According to NABJ, the awards ceremony is the only event in the United States that honors exemplary coverage of African/African-American people or issues exclusively. The Salute to Excellence Awards Gala highlights the work of media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast and online journalism, marketing and communications. Award categories include college, digital, print, television, radio, photojournalism and public relations. NABJ's Convention & Career Fair is the largest of its kind in the nation with more than 4,000 participants expected this year. 


The finalists and their projects include:

Television Undergraduate - Television Feature Reporting

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Makes Sure Kids Don't Strike Out

Evan Brooks – Class of 2019

Howard University News Service


Television Undergraduate - General TV News Reporting

March for Our Lives Brings Hundreds of Thousands to Nation's Capital

Tayler Adigun – Class of 2019

Howard University News Service


Television Undergraduate - Best Newscast

NewsVision Newscast Fall 2018

Sommer Hill, Bria Patterson, Evan Brooks, Bre'onna Richardson – Class of 2019

Howard University News Service


Digital Media Undergraduate – Online Feature Reporting

How D.C. is Failing its Black Moms

Arfie Ghedi – Class of 2020, senior journalism student

Howard University News Service, Washington, D.C.


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(Photo of recent graduates from the NewsVision Capstone Fall 2018 cohort who are now 2019 NABJ finalists. Source: Jennifer Thomas/Howard University)

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.  For more information on Howard University visit www.howard.edu

Media Contact: Imani Pope-Johns, Imani.popejohns@howard.edu