2019 Editors’ Choice Awards

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2019 Editors’ Choice Awards

The Editorial Board

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“On Nov. 5, 1919, a group of young journalists created what they called, “the most democratic institution a body of students can establish… It belongs to one group as much as the other and enters into every activity known in the college.” 

Throughout the year, The Sou’wester has had the privilege to report on the Rhodes community and has paid careful attention to the achievements of its members. It is the purpose of the Editors’ Choice Awards to recognize these accomplishments. The Sou’wester Editorial Board selects the recipients through a majority consensus process with advisement from members of the college community.”
-The Editorial Board



Aylen Mercado ’19

Recognized for the second year in a row, Aylen Mercado has been a pillar for advocacy and equity her entire college career. 

Tony Eskridge ’20

Tony Eskridge has been a fixture in every part of campus life and student governance for the past three years.

Mary Thomas ’21

Recognized for the second year in a row, Mary Thomas has tirelessly pursued social justice—both from within and beyond Rhodes’ gates.

Mi’Destini Victorian ’22

Mi’Destini Victorian has served in BSA, volunteered with KIPP and was recognized as a Bonner Scholar. She does great hair, too.



Dr. Russ Wigginton

In recognition of his decades of service to the college, it seems fitting for us to say farewell to him with this honor. Dr. Wigginton has served with surpassing excellence in two essential administrative roles: Dean of Students and Vice President for External Programs.



Dr. Loretta Jackson Hayes

Dr. Hayes has conducted research related to the regulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism and genes required for fungal cell wall synthesis and maintenance during development. She has been awarded major grants and is well established as a leader in her field.



Black Student Association

For its 50th anniversary, BSA hosted dozens of events recognizing the significance and potency of the organization’s history. Its tagline for the year, #BeenEssential, could not be any more apt.

Culture of Consent

In the midst of campus crisis, Culture of Consent attacked rape culture head on—making some of the most significant   progress in recent memory. The organization propelled and led campus conversation for the entirety of the fourth quarter. It is time for change. IFC must hold itself accountable, mandate training and use its voice.



Zeta Phi Beta

In a year marred with Greek life controversy and stunning failure, the chartering of the Numinous Nu Phi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, was a ray of sunshine, diversity and hope. 



Mock Trial

For the second year in a row, The Sou’wester recognizes Rhodes’ mock trial team. The college’s historically award-winning team is still, as we said last year, “a force to be reckoned with.” Through their hard work, the team is known throughout the nation as one of the best—doing the Rhodes name proud.



India Nikotich

“Throughout my entire career with The Sou’wester, India Nikotich has been the most dependable, thoughtful and bright managing editor I have worked with. Without the countless hours she put forth, we would simply not be able to produce a newspaper.”
-Jordan Hulseberg
Editor-in-Chief 2017-2019



Spotlight: Aramark

The last Spotlight piece written by former Editor-in-Chief Jordan Hulseberg, founder of the Spotlight Team, received the most circulation of any issue in the paper’s history. In an historic first, news racks across campus ran out of the issue. The sprawling 3,000-word article crossed six pages and documented alleged health code violations and Aramark employee mistreatment.



Aramark’s food: Getting to the root of the problem

The accompanying opinionated editorial to the ‘Spotlight: Aramark’ story was penned by Jamarr McCain. McCain called for universal better treatment of Aramark employees—from both Aramark management and the college community. McCain identified employee treatment as one of the ‘root’ causes of Aramark’s dismal food.