Photos taken at The Red & Black Banquet on April 29, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Katie Tucker)

Each spring, The Red & Black holds an awards banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of the student staff over the past year and to recognize student leaders and exceptional contributions to our student news organization.

In 2021, to safely comply with social distancing policies, we moved from a formal banquet to a casual outdoor gathering, held April 29, 2021 at The Red & Black building.  

As an independent, nonprofit student news organization, The Red & Black is driven by twin missions: to train students for future careers in journalism organizations and to provide our audience with timely, thoughtful, balanced and deeply reported news and information.

We succeeded on several levels over the past year. The Red & Black was awarded a Pacemaker for general excellence by the Associated Collegiate Press, was named the best student news website in our Southeastern region by the Society of Professional Journalists, and won the general excellence category in the Georgia College Press Association annual contest. 

On the business side, The Red & Black team of student account executives set digital sales records while working in a very challenging pandemic environment. We achieved new records for online traffic and grew our audience through social media, podcasting and the launch of a new mobile app: Red & Black NOW.

The success of The Red & Black is due to the teamwork of the entire organization, but at the annual banquet we recognize individual student leadership and accomplishment. Here are the student awards for 2020-2021:

Student Leadership Awards

These recognize students who have taken on key leadership roles over the past year, helping to mentor and train their peers while helpingThe Red & Black achieve its overall goals.

  • Rudy Dey — Student Ad Manager, 2020-2021

  • Spencer Donovan — Managing Editor, Fall 2020; Executive Editor, Spring 2021

  • Sherry Liang — Managing Editor, Summer 2020, Editor in Chief, Spring  2021

  • Megan Mittelhammer — Editor in Chief, Summer 2020

  • William Newlin — Managing Editor, Spring 2021

  • Savannah Sicurella — Executive Editor, Fall 2020

  • Augusta Stone — Editor in Chief, Fall 2020

Individual Sales Awards 

These recognize excellence in our student sales team. As an independent organization we rely on ad sales and donations to fund our operations.

  • Olivia Mandeville — Sales MVP 

  • Shawn Pollack — Sales Rookie of the Year 

  • Cameron Reamer — Top Seller 

Individual Editorial Awards 

These recognize excellence in our student newsroom. Over the past year, The Red & Black staff documented a pandemic, a social justice movement, a historic election and an exceptional eventful year on campus and in Athens.  

  • Sydney Dangremond — Editorial Rookie of the Year 

  • Katie Fugett — Special Publications Leadership 

  • Taylor Gerlach & Kathryn Skeean — Editorial All Stars

  • Dania Kalaji — Editorial Innovation 

  • Simran Kaur Malhotra — Editorial MVP

  • Zachary Tate — Creative Person of the Year

Fields Scholars for 2021-2022

The William Fields Scholarship program was created in the 1980s to support students who make the time commitment to take on challenging roles at The Red & Black, while recognizing the financial impact this work requires. Fields Scholars are selected based on their past work at The Red & Black and their planned roles in the year ahead.

  • Liset Cruz

  • Jacqueline GaNun

  • Sophia Haynes

  • Erin Kenney

Assistant campus news editor and Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Dania Kalaji is a passionate 21-year-old Syrian American junior attending the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Kalaji is a journalism major, film studies minor, Chips Quinn Diversity in Journalism Scholar and Grady College ambassador.