Ouachita Baptist University’s Ouachitonian yearbook was awarded numerous honors at the recent Arkansas College Media Association (ACMA) Awards, with editor-in-chief Audra Hinson taking home the prestigious title of Yearbook Editor of the Year. The awards were hosted by the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
“It really is an honor,” Hinson said, “and I am very thankful for the faculty in the mass communications department because the judges had a lot of great things to say in their notes about the recommendations I was given, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the faculty’s support.”
Hinson, a senior mass communications and Spanish double-major from Little Rock, Ark., is serving her second year as editor of the yearbook. She previously served as assistant editor and student life editor. Dr. Deborah Root, chair of OBU’s department of mass communications and faculty advisor for the yearbook, said, “Audra winning the award is a reflection not only of the quality of work she produces, but the type of leader she is.”
ACMA officials said of Hinson, “The faculty at OBU heaped heavy praise on her, using words like ‘dedicated,’ ‘committed’ and ‘standout’ to describe her. They note her ability to balance not only the yearbook and schoolwork, but outside responsibilities as well. Above all else, they note that her leadership is unparalleled, as she has found ways to make her staff work with her, not for her.”
Root added, “She’s a great motivator, and the staff works together as a team to produce the book.”
That team mentality paid off for the Ouachitonian staff, as the yearbook received 18 awards, including tying for third place in general excellence with Harding University’s Petit Jean. The University of Central Arkansas’ The Scroll took first place and the University of Arkansas’ The Razorback was awarded second place.
“I know I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all this without my great staff who worked so hard on this book even into the summer last year,” Hinson said.
The following staff members received recognition for their work on the Ouachitonian:
Danny Brown, a senior mass communications and speech communication double-major from Mesquite, Texas, received second place for a feature photo and honorable mention for a sports photo.
Megan Gentry, a senior mass communications and English double-major from Alexander, Ark., received third place in academic writing for her story “Paradigm Shift.”
Alan Greenwood, a December 2008 mass communications graduate from Arkadelphia, received second place in sports writing for his story “Unchartered Waters.”
Cassie Harrell, a sophomore mass communications major from Springhill, La., along with Hinson received first place for their organization page layout.
Megan Lindsey, a junior mass communications major from Camden, Ark., and assistant editor of the yearbook, received honorable mention in special feature writing for “No Monkeying Around.”
Hayriddin Ravshanov, a senior mass communications and political science double-major from Uzbekistan, received third place in organizations writing for his story “Creating a Diverse Sense of Fellowship.”
Brittney Selvidge, a senior mass communications and speech communication double-major from Hot Springs, Ark., received honorable mention in academic writing for her piece “Diverging Paths.”
Katie Simmons, a senior mass communications and Christian studies major from Mesquite, Texas, along with Hinson received second place for their academic page layout.
Becca Watts, a junior mass communications major from Smackover, Ark., along with Hinson received third place for their student life page layout.
Hinson received several other awards including second place for her introduction theme page “On the rise” as well as for her closing theme page “On the rise” and feature page layout “Who’s Who.” She received third place for her organization page layout and for her typographic presentation “Table of Contents.” She also received honorable mention for her divider theme page “Academics” and for her special feature writing piece “Feels Like Home.”
These ACMA awards are based on the 2007-2008 edition of the Ouachitonian. Hinson and her staff currently are hard at work on this year’s book, which will be the 100th edition.
“She’s taken the book to a new level this year with the 100th edition, all-color book,” Root said. “It’s presented new challenges, and she’s worked hard to make it a unique publication.”
“As impressive as her work has been, a sneak peek into the 100th anniversary volume Audra is overseeing shows her continued growth and excellence,” ACMA officials noted. “The proofs of the upcoming book are outstanding and demonstrate her commitment to making the 100th anniversary book exceed everyone’s wildest expectations.”
The staff of The Signal, Ouachita’s weekly student newspaper, also received two ACMA awards. Emma Smith, a junior mass communications major from Paron, Ark., received first place in sports feature writing for her article, “Dealing with tragedy makes Grams stronger,” and Annette Whitehead, a senior graphic design major from Malvern, Ark., received honorable mention in general column writing for her column, “Relationships are not the only focus at Ouachita, be proud to be single.” The awards for newspaper layout will be announced at a later date.
By Brooke Showalter