Abby Simons, a Storm Lake native now majoring in journalism at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., won the Missouri College Media Association Journalist of the Year Award on April 12 at the MCMA's annual conference in Springfield, Mo.
"I was absolutely shocked, but thrilled. It actually took awhile for it to all sink in," Simons said. "There was tough competition for this award, being that there were some very impressive student journalists entered. Being only a sophomore, I didn't really put much stock in winning, so it was such a pleasant surprise."
Laura Widmer, Northwest Missourian adviser and assistant professor of mass communication, nominated Simons for the award. She was among eight other nominated college journalists who had to submit a resume, three pieces of journalism work and an essay. Simons also had to go through an interview process before being selected by members of MCMA and other college newspaper advisers as the journalist of the year.
"Winning this award is very important to me, and I'm so proud to have won it," Simons said. "Journalism is a craft to which I'm very passionate and dedicated, and I spend the majority of my time toward it. I try to put all that energy and passion into every story I write, and I want readers to know that, award or no award."
A former staff member of the Storm Lake Hi-Breeze student newspaper, Simons was also an intern for the Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune last summer, and is planning to intern at the St. Joseph News-Press in St. Joseph, Mo., this summer.