MSU Reflector takes Grand Prize awards at national journalism competition

Reflector Award

by Sarah Nicholas


MSU Reflector takes Grand Prize awards at national journalism competition

     STARKVILLE, Miss. – Two Mississippi State University students received Grand Prize awards at the 57th annual NBS-AERho Student Electronic Media Competition awards in Hollywood, CA, in March, edging out student entries from major universities across the U.S.

     The national competition recognizes university-level students in the fields of radio and television. The March 2020 competition was one of the last in-person awards programs to occur before COVID-19.

     Brandon A. Grisham, a Gulfport, MS, native and junior business information systems major and The Reflector’s online editor, won Grand Prize for best website for The Reflector. Visit to view the winning website. Prior to 2020, The Reflector had never entered the contest. Grisham also was selected as a finalist for the Best Academic Paper category for his article, “What Reflector Readers Want from their Paper.”

     Mary Madeline LaMastus, a 2020 MSU graduate in psychology from Cleveland, MS, won Grand Prize for best website news article, “Bob Swanson: instructor and ‘singing weatherman.’” The article is available at

     “Mary Mad went the extra mile working on her multimedia feature on Bob Swanson, a Mississippi State instructor and the ‘Singing Weatherman,’” said Josh Foreman, a communication instructor and adviser for The Reflector. “She attended his class, interviewed his students and brought him into The Reflector newsroom for a recording and photography session. The feature turned out great, and it was no surprise to me when she did well at the NBS-AERho competition. Mary Mad is driven by a natural curiosity and creativity, and I’m sure this will not be the first time she produces award-winning content.”

     “Brandon Grisham is one of the most competent students I have encountered,” Foreman said. “When there is a tech problem in the newsroom, he usually knows how to fix it. He works daily to improve the look and function of the website, thinking of small, novel ways to make it better. Somehow he finds time to take classes and write novels, too. I am so proud that his hard work maintaining our website is being recognized at a national level.”

     MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 325 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs, 14 master’s programs, and 27 undergraduate academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to the most diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. For more details about the College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of Communication visit or MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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