Ouachita Baptist University’s 2011-2012 yearbook, the Ouachitonian, was awarded the title of Silver Crown by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at the 2013 College Media Convention in New York City on Sunday, March 10.
Last December, the CSPA judged 1,344 digital, newspapers, magazines and yearbooks as well as the new category of hybrid publications at Columbia University. By earning a Silver Crown, the Ouachitonian was ranked in the top nine yearbooks in the nation.
“The Ouachitonian has been an award-winning publication for decades, but this was indeed a rare honor from the nation’s leading organization for college journalists,” said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of Ouachita’s School of Humanities. “To be the only book so honored from a small liberal arts university says a lot about the quality of Ouachita students and the quality of their instruction.”
Edmund J. Sullivan, executive director of the CSPA, presented plaques to the award winners who were able to attend the convention. Ouachita, with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students, was the only crown winner with fewer than 7,000 students. Other Silver Crown winners include North Carolina State University, the University of Oklahoma and Northwest Missouri State.
“The crown award was such a great accomplishment for the Ouachitonian and all those involved in its production,” said Tanner Huffman, a 2012 mass communications and graphic design graduate and editor of the yearbook, which celebrated Ouachita’s 125th anniversary. “Seeing it rank in the top of the nation speaks wonders for the program and for OBU and assures us that our talents are being used for a greater purpose.”
Additionally, the Ouachitonian was awarded 14 individual Gold Circle Awards.
“For the Ouachitonian to win 14 Gold Circle Awards is amazing,” said Dr. Deborah Root, chair of OBU’s Rogers Department of Communications and faculty advisor for the yearbook. “These awards are literally the first, second, third place and merit awards in the whole nation. For us to win 14 awards is outstanding.
“Tanner is a very gifted designer, and I knew from the beginning he would take us to a new level in yearbook design,” Root continued. “This is a student publication, and our students should be commended for their work. We have incredibly talented and dedicated students and it’s obvious by the work they produce.”
“It has been exciting to see students embrace the yearbook’s strong tradition and take it upon themselves to reach new heights,” Dr. Jeff Root added. “Producing a yearbook with consistent quality on every page is quite a challenge. It requires both individual talent and coordinated teamwork … to create a beautiful book that celebrates a single year while paying tribute to the history of Ouachita.”
First place awards were given to Ben Cline, a junior mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark., for caption/cutline writing and Tanner Huffman for headline writing, theme and concept, opening and closing spread design and “Who’s Who” in the people spread (single spread) division.
Two second place awards were given to Huffman for division page design and “Who’s Who” in the people spread (multi-page) division.
Third place awards were given to Heather Ellis, a junior early childhood education major from Texarkana, Texas, for her academic photo “Comedy;” Huffman for the index and “Tidbits” in the student life spread (multi-page) division; and Huffman and Hannah Shull, a sophomore mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark., for “The real difference makers” in the people spread division.
Merit awards were also given to Tori Abellera, a junior mass communications major from Garland, Texas, and Huffman for “Post spring” in the student life spread (single spread) division; Emily Coles, a junior mass communications major from Plano, Texas, for “Connecting in the classroom” in academic writing; and Huffman for design portfolio.
For more information about the Ouachitonian or Ouachita’s Rogers Department of Communications, contact Dr. Deborah Root at email@example.com or (870) 245-5510.
By Ryleigh Salmon