Ouachita Baptist University recently hosted the 2013 Arkansas College Media Association (ACMA) annual convention, a conference recognizing the achievements of college publications across the state. The department brought in professionals to hold workshops ranging from print and broadcast journalism to social media. Ouachita’s student publications won nearly 65 awards total.
Most notably, The Signal newspaper won second for Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year, the Ouachitonian yearbook won second for Yearbook of the Year and Tanner Huffman won Designer of the Year for his work as editor of the yearbook.
Additionally, The Rundown sports news show was recognized in addition to some of Ouachita’s more traditional television segments. The online portion of the competition also saw considerable growth this year, according to Dr. Jeff Root, dean of OBU’s School of Humanities and faculty adviser to The Signal newspaper.
“We had quite a bit more involvement from the online Signal than we had previously, and they did very well,” Root noted. “Traditionally, this has been a newspaper and yearbook competition, and The Signal and the Ouachitonian always do well, but to win the number of awards we did in both of those categories this year was unusual. The yearbook won multiple awards in several categories and the newspaper had a great day. Our editors should be proud.”
“I am so proud of my staff for all the hard work they’ve done this year,” said Signal Editor Tanner Ward. “The newspaper and the website have really grown this year, and being named the second best in Arkansas was an amazing honor.”
This was the first year the ACMAs were hosted at Ouachita, and a number of OBU alumni returned to lead breakout sessions.
“It was a pleasure to host the ACMAs on campus,” said Dr. Deborah Root, chair of OBU’s Rogers Department of Communications and faculty adviser to the Ouachitonian yearbook. “It was an honor to have eleven schools represented on our campus for the ceremony.”
Alumni session leaders included columnist and broadcaster Rex Nelson of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities, Lannie Byrd of UAMS, Mitch Bettis of Arkansas Business Publishing Group, Sonja Keith of 501Life magazine; Tony Ranchino of KATV and Alyse Eady of THV11. They were joined by Chris Hooten of Hooten’s Arkansas Football, Danielle Kloap and Desiree Paulhamus of Herff-Jones and Natasha Durham of Jostens.
“They really offered some good advice and insight to our students, as well as other students who were on campus,” said Dr. Deborah Root.
The Ouachitonian received 36 awards overall (more than any other school competing), including second place in Yearbook of the Year, Huffman’s first place in Designer of the Year and first place awards in the following categories: divider, closing, feature layout, academic layout, portrait layout, academics writing, organizations writing, student life writing and special features writing. The staff also earned eight second place awards, seven third place finishes and four honorable mentions, and they shared six awards with the Photo Lab staff. Huffman, a 2012 graduate, was the editor of last year’s yearbook, which was recognized at the conference. Mauri Sparks, a junior Christian studies/Christian ministries and mass communications major from Queen City, Texas, serves as editor of the 2013 yearbook.
The Signal received 24 awards overall, including second place for Newspaper of the Year, second place for Website of the Year and first places in the following categories: personality profile, sports column, online feature, online personality profile and online video podcast. The staff also earned one second place award, six third place awards and four honorable mentions, and they shared six awards with the Photo Lab staff. Tanner Ward, a senior mass communications and business administration/management and finance major from Bryant, Ark., serves as editor of The Signal and obusignal.com.
The student-directed Photo Lab produces photography for use in all of Ouachita’s publications and is directed by Nicole McPhate, a senior mass communications and graphic design major from Conway, Ark. The Photo Lab earned 12 awards, including first place and honorable mention in newspaper feature photo; first, second and third place in yearbook academics photo; first place and honorable mention in feature photo; second place and honorable mention in yearbook sports photo; second and third place in online news photo; and third place in yearbook feature photo.
The Ouachita Show the university’s regular television broadcast, won four awards total, including first, second and third place in the feature category and first place in the sports feature category. Rachel Gilmer, a junior mass communications and mathematics major from Princeton, Texas, is the video production editor.
To see a complete list of winners, visit http://arkcma.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/2013-acma-contest-results/. For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Root at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4186.
By The Signal staff