by McKenna Burchett, associate editor

In their spare time, The Hive students went on an informal tour of Kent State’s campus, guided by their adviser, Ms. Jenna Bates. Pictured from left to right are (back) Randall Hatfield, Daniel Swartz (who accompanied The Hive staff), Jesse Mitchell, Logan Cook, Cadence Gutman, Meadow Sandy, (front) Alex Levy, Camryn Myrla, Avery Livezey, Mallory Butcher, McKenna Burchett, Havann Brown, and Alyssa Cocchiola. Photo provided by Jenna Bates.

MAY 2022 — Bio-Med Science Academy’s newspaper, The Hive, won eight awards at the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) 2022 state conference. The conference was held April 22 at the Kent State main campus, where The Hive members each attended four informational sessions, followed by a banquet and awards ceremony. The Hive submitted 11 articles in six categories.

Each category of awards had three tiers: Superior Rating, Excellent Rating, and Honorable Mention. All articles submitted received a feedback page from OSMA.

Jesse Mitchell, a sophomore staff writer, won a Superior award for his article, “A Change in Class Time Teaches Students Valuable Lessons,” submitted in the general feature category.

Mitchell recalled his experience winning the award.

“I see my name, and I’m like, ‘Is that real?’ I forgot how to walk…. It was a very happy and exciting moment,” Mitchell said. “Going into it, I didn’t realize there’d be that many categories, so I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m going to win.[It’s my] first year [in newspaper].’ But then they announced it was like, 60 categories, so I thought, ‘There’s gotta be a way I won something.’”

Mitchell struggled with writing the article. “It was the fourth article I ever did. This topic was about a bigger issue…. This was like my first big break, and it was kind of overwhelming…. There were a lot of different personalities and perspectives going on.”

He also mentioned, “I didn’t think I’d done anything quality, or had stood out to me, so I guess I didn’t expect to see it, but when I did, I felt proud of it.”

In contrast, Mallory Butcher, a sophomore and next year’s associate editor for The Hive, felt more intimidated by the size of the competition. Butcher won an Excellent Rating on her news feature, “The Teacher and Substitute Shortage: More Education Problems Revealed by the Pandemic.”

“I didn’t know how big OSMA was going to me. I was thinking it was going to be smaller, so I thought, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll probably win. [It’s] basically a participation kind of thing.’ But then when some of the bigger schools came in, I was like ‘Oh, I’d be happy with a checkmark,’” she said. Articles that did not win anything, but were still reviewed by OSMA, received a certificate with a check mark.

Butcher felt similarly about winning, saying, “I felt good about it. I felt like, as much effort that went into the article — it wasn’t just me, it was all the editors who had touched the [article] — I feel like we earned [the award].”

Despite this, Butcher felt as if she shouldn’t have been the only one to win something, saying, “It feels like a bit of imposter syndrome in a way, like, ‘I wrote that,’ but at the same time, [it wasn’t all me].”

Cadence Gutman, a freshman staff writer, appreciated the constructive criticism that came with her excellent rating on her general feature, “Gender Neutral Bathrooms.”

“It was really helpful. I mean, one of the things with the transitions, I’d already [fixed],” she said. “I don’t want to keep doing the wrong thing, because that’d be so, so sad. It was nice to see people giving me this honest feedback, like they actually cared about what I was writing and helping me improve as a writer.”

Gutman was also surprised by seeing the variety of personalities in other schools’ journalism groups.

“I don’t want to say it’s a culture shock, because it’s not a culture necessarily, but it was a social shock,” she said. “I kind of forget sometimes that a lot of schools have journalism groups…. I’m so used to being in my own little newspaper bubble.”

Mitchell was particularly proud of his fellow writers, saying, “I think the real joy for me was when they moved on to the Excellent category and Cadence [Gutman] had won, so I went back and hugged her.” He continued, “It was less, ‘I did something great,’ but ‘We did something great.’ This is what The Hive’s best can look like.”

OSMA offered four sessions of conferences, discussing topics ranging from diversity in media, to improving as an editor. “I loved the conferences. It was a lot of fun…. Speaking with people in the field, especially those relating to journalism programs, it was really nice. I especially enjoyed the interview ones, like ‘how to do better interviews,’ or ‘how to connect with people,’” Mitchell said. Photo provided by McKenna Burchett.

Additionally, Havann Brown, the editor-in-chief, won an Excellent rating on her commentary, “Critical Race Theory Is Not The Enemy,” as well as Honorable Mentions for her news feature, “Striketober Spills Over Into November,” and her personality profile, “Canfora Discusses Her Experience on May 4, 1970.”

Randall Hatfield, a junior, won an Honorable Mention for his personality profile, “Bio-Med Senior Gains Experience in Theater.” Another Honorable Mention was won by Avery Livezey, a sophomore, for her in-depth reporting article, “Growing Up Gen Z Part One: Helicopter Parents and Why Kids are Growing Up More Slowly Than Ever.”

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