Chelsea Byers, a senior Ouachita Baptist University mass communications major from Campbell, Texas, recently was awarded Television Producer/Director of the Year at the 2014 Arkansas College Media Association (ACMA) annual convention at Central Baptist College in Conway, Ark. Ouachita student publications received a total of 51 awards at the convention.
“It’s a significant honor for not just myself, but for the school that I attend,” said Byers. “I would never have dreamed of getting this opportunity if it hadn’t been for the professors at [OBU] and the incredible communications department that I’m a part of. Being able to say that a student at Ouachita is the top producer in the state of Arkansas speaks volumes about the department as well as the university.”
Byers received this recognition for her role in Ouachita’s student-led sports program, The Rundown. The show covers news of Ouachita’s collegiate and intramural sports as well as discussions of current events in professional sports.
“I’m so proud of Chelsea,” said Dr. Deborah Root, chair of OBU’s Rogers Department of Communications and faculty adviser to the Ouachitonian yearbook. “She developed the idea of The Rundown, organized a staff and saw it become a reality. It was totally a student-led initiative, and it’s great to see her rewarded for her vision and her work.”
“It’s a great day when a student comes to a faculty member and wants to pursue a major project that isn’t a class assignment,” said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of OBU’s School of Humanities and faculty adviser to The Signal newspaper. “The Rundown has been a strong addition to the department, and Chelsea made it happen.”
Byers is also the Sports Editor for The Signal. She was awarded third place for her sports column “Mad for March.”
The Rundown also was awarded second place in the regularly occurring newscast category. Other OBU television entries that received awards include: first place for the feature “Arkadelphia Smiles”; first place in sports reporting for the Feb. 28, 2014, episode of the Ouachita Show; first place for the sports feature “Josh Myers” by Ben Cline, a mass communications and speech communication major from Little Rock, Ark.; and third place for the feature “Tiger Steel Drum Ensemble.”
The Signal received 13 awards overall, including second place for its feature page layout “The Creepy Tour” and third place for its sports page layout.
“Winning these awards, for us as a staff, is a great encouragement,” said The Signal Editor-In-Chief Emily Terry, a junior mass communications major from Bryant, Ark. “When we enter our best stories and designs from the past year, knowing other schools are doing the same thing, and we win awards for our work, it’s really encouraging to know that we have skilled people working for us and that we are putting out something to the student body that is good work.”
Terry received third place for her feature article “Horse rescue not just for animals.” Other staff members recognized for their individual work include:
Staff members from Ouachita’s 2012-2013 yearbook, the Ouachitonian, also were recognized for their individual work. The publication received 32 awards overall.
“The awards we received ranged from a variety of different categories, from photos to layouts to stories,” said Ouachitonian Editor-In-Chief Mauri Sparks, a senior Christian studies/Christian ministries and mass communications major from Queen City, Texas. “The many different students who received the awards in these categories show just how much manpower it takes to produce this publication.”
Sparks received five first place awards for her individual entries in introduction theme page/opening, divider, closing, portrait layout and typographic presentations; three second place awards for her individual entries in endsheets, feature layout and typographic presentations; and third place for her individual entry in the cover category.
Other Ouachitonian staff members and contributors who were recognized for their work include:
The ACMA is an organization of collegiate newspaper, yearbook, online, magazine and television staffs from across Arkansas. The annual convention rotates among schools each year and is organized by the publication advisers at the participating colleges and universities.
For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Root at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4186.
By Taylor Tomlinson