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University of the Cumberlands’ student newspaper, The Patriot, recently received 21 awards at the Kentucky Press Association's annual awards banquet, including first place for General Excellence in Student Publications.

The paper was awarded seven first-place awards, nine second-place awards, three third-place awards, and one certificate of merit.

“It was an honor to see my student staff receive so many awards from the Kentucky Press Association this year,” mentioned Jeremiah Massengale, following the banquet. Massengale is the faculty advisor for The Patriot. “We were thrilled to bring home a first-place award for best college newspaper in the state.”

Eric Ford Edwards raked in seven awards, plus a certificate of merit for “Best Sports Picture Essay.” He won awards in the “Best Feature Picture,” “Best Sports Picture,” and “Best General News Picture” categories.

Of Edwards’ first-place entry in “Best Feature Picture,” judges wrote, “Wow, the emotions and clarity of their jump at the same time was mind blowing. EXCELLENT work! What the heck type of camera caught this?!”

“Well, honestly, it's incredibly humbling to be awarded at all,” said Edwards, a senior at Cumberlands and editor-in-chief of The Patriot. “At The Patriot, we're constantly trying to improve upon our previous work every year. That being said, it felt really validating.”

Other award recipients include:

Trenton Canada placed first in “Best Feature Story” and “Best Investigative Story,” and third in “Best Graphic.”

Ashton Rector received second place in the categories of “Best Editorial” and “Best Investigative Story or Series.”

Lydia Huggins won first place for “Best Picture Essay (Breaking General or Feature).”

Zane Ross took second in “Best Sports Feature Story.”

Sarah Rainous took first in “Best Sports Feature Story.” Megan Willoughby received a second-place award in the same category.

“I’m so proud of my staff and all that they’re able to accomplish,” said Massengale. “I think this awards ceremony was a really good way for them to be recognized for the hard work that they do all year.”

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at ucumberlands.edu