Huntís Award Brings More Than Just Pride To UNCW

by Mat Batts
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Staff photo by Allison Potter

Angela Hunt, a communications major at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, won the Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism Award for her story "Sand, in sanity." Hunt is editor-in-chief of the universityís newspaper, The Seahawk.

When Angela Hunt completed her application last April for the Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism contest, she did it as more of a favor to her professor, Shirley Mathews, than as an attempt to actually win the grand prize. Lucky for Hunt, Mathews knew what she was talking about.

As a communications major at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the
editor-in-chief of the schoolís newspaper, The Seahawk, Hunt has always found success in her ability to write passionately about the military, but rarely did she entertain the idea that her stories might matter to anyone outside of the greater Wilmington area. With the inclusion of her story "Sand, in sanity," to her contest application, Hunt proved to herself and her entire Seahawk staff that small programs donít always net small results.

UNCWís student media coordinator, Bill DiNome, noted that with the increased accessibility the Internet offers, a studentís work could now reach nearly anyone. DiNome was quick to give Hunt the credit, saying, "With Angela, it came down to her own self motivation."

Hunt is now reaping the benefits of that motivation, forging a path that she hopes fellow UNCW writers will follow.

"It means to me that people are actually reading my stories, showing my staff that just because they are part of a small newspaper doesnít mean their writing is small," Hunt said.

As the wife of a Marine, Hunt has been exposed to every element of the war, both good and bad. Because of this intimate relationship with soldiers and the lifestyle that military service requires, Hunt has become fascinated with the stories soldiers have to tell.

"I know the jargon well," Hunt said about her ability to help soldiers open up. "It helped the people I was talking to tell their story."

It was no coincidence that Hunt decided to apply for the Breindel Award. Its theme was "love of country and its democratic institutions as well as the freedoms that allow such institutions to flourish."

She admitted that the contest struck her eye more than other contests because of her experience with military writing. "It was much easier for me to understand these guys and get out what is going on," Hunt said. "Iím the only one who has seen that side."

With the award, Hunt received a $10,000 prize along with the invitation to a paid internship with the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, or Fox News.

Because of her aspirations as a writer, Hunt has no hesitation in choosing the Wall Street Journal.

"I chose Wall Street Journal because itís the most read newspaper in the country," Hunt said. "Their reporting is really respectable."

Hunt will make the move to New York City in May 2013 and begin her internship with hopes of jump-starting her career.

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