The Roar Takes Home the Gold


Cameron Graham, News Editor

The Georgia College Press Association Awards were announced Feb. 19, 2021. The awards ceremony is typically held in Athens, Ga., but was done virtually this year due to the pandemic. Piedmont College’s newspaper, The Roar, received numerous accolades from their outstanding writing. 

The Georgia College Press Association website states, “Individual awards are separated into two groups. Group 1 is for freshman/sophomore. Group 2 is for junior/senior. All awards are for work produced in the calendar year 2020.”

The Roar had six different writers receive individual awards. Lesley Randall placed third for the “Best Column,” Anna Watson placed second for “Best Review Writing,” and Sage Shirley placed first for “Best News Photograph” for group one. Laura Alyssa Plate and Presley Field placed second for “Best Review Writing,” and Nate Roys and Laura Alyssa Plate placed third for “Best Investigative Reporting” for group two.

The GCPA website states, “Overall awards are separated into two divisions. Division A is schools over 8,000 students. Division B is for schools under 8,000 students.”

Piedmont College is in Division B, being under the 8,000 student limit. The Roar placed first for “Best Website” and “Best Campus Community Service, Editorial.” This is the fifth consecutive year The Roar has won first place for “Best Website.” Adding to these great accomplishments, The Roar placed second in “General Photography Excellence,” “Advertising Excellence,” “Best Campus Community Service, News,” and placed third in “Best Campus Community Service, Features.”

“I’m very proud of the work the students of The Roar continue to produce,” said Joe Dennis, chair of the mass communications department and faculty adviser for The Roar.

The Roar did a spectacular job in 2020 with the awards they received. However, the main award that made The Roar shine was for “General Excellence.” “General Excellence” is the top award, which means the “best in the state.” The Roar finished second during a challenging year for all college newspapers. This year, finishing first was The Stallion from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and third was Campus Carrier from Berry College; last year Berry placed first, and ABAC was third.

 “I’m especially impressed that this is the first time The Roar has been named a ‘General Excellence’ college newspaper in back-to-back years. This demonstrates consistent excellence, even across two different editorial staffs,” said Dennis.

Dennis specifically praised the work of The Roar’s top editors over the past year: spring 2020 graduates Nathan Blackburn and Nate Roys, fall 2020 graduate Laura Alyssa Plate, and current senior Abby Cox.

“Watching them develop into strong leaders was a point of pride for me,” Dennis said, noting the challenges faced in 2020. “The pandemic didn’t stop them from producing quality content. And when we came back in the fall, the students picked up where they left off.”