Student journalists earn 72 awards at state media conference




Contact: Dr. Donna Lampkin Stephens, (501) 450-5605;

April 23, 2014


By Taylor Woods

College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

University of Central Arkansas student journalists took home 72 prizes recently at the annual Arkansas College Media Association conference at Central Baptist College.

The Echo won 28 awards, including second place for Newspaper of the Year and Newspaper Editor of the Year Marisa Ketchum. The Scroll yearbook received 20 awards, including second-place cover by Jaison Sterling, and Yearbook Editor of the Year Callie France Sterling. The Vortex earned 19 awards, including Magazine of the Year and Magazine Editor of the Year Sarah F. Wilson. News 6 took home five awards, including first place in News Reporting.

“The students on all of these staffs spend a lot of time on these publications and do a great job,” said David Keith, faculty media adviser for The Echo and lecturer in Journalism. “It’s good to see them get some recognition for the excellent work they’ve done. These students are showing they have the skills to succeed professionally, and they also are filling an important role in making sure that people across campus are informed about what is going on at UCA.”

Brandon Riddle, The Echo’s graduating editor, shepherded a convergence of UCA’s student news outlets this spring.

“The ACMA awards are a tremendous honor as The Echo continues to push for more comprehensive coverage of the university in print and online,” he said. “Our staff and other UCA student publication staffs remain dedicated to producing quality work.”

Dr. Polly Walter, faculty media adviser for the Scroll and assistant professor of Journalism, said she was thrilled that Callie France Sterling was chosen as the 2014 Yearbook Editor of the Year.

“She certainly deserved the honor,” Walter said. “Callie is the only student, since I came to UCA in 1990, who I remember being the UCA Scroll yearbook editor two years in a row. Callie has a very fun personality and a strong work ethic … I was impressed with the other numerous awards the Scroll won.  Along with a first place for our cover art by Jaison Sterling, we won awards in design, photography and writing. Overall, I was very pleased with our results. I found out later that we ranked third place in overall yearbook general excellence.”

Callie France Sterling said that winning Yearbook Editor of the Year was a high mark for her.

“Receiving this award was one of the proudest moments of my college career,” Sterling said. “Being a part of the Scroll has taught me many things, including leadership and design, and it has allowed me to sharpen my photography and writing skills. Best of all I have formed strong bonds with fellow staffers and Dr. Walter, who I now call my friends.”

Garry Craig Powell, Vortex faculty adviser and associate professor of writing, also showed great pride in his students’ publication and the awards it received.

Vortex winning 19 awards, including the most prestigious ones, General Excellence and Editor of the Year, shows clearly that we remain the best undergraduate literary magazine in the state, in spite of significantly increased competition in recent years,” Powell said. “Needless to say, I am very proud of the staff and consider this a vindication of the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at UCA, which I don’t hesitate to call the best in the state, and one of the strongest in the region.”

The Vortex’s 2013-2014 editor, Taylor Lea Hicks, said that she was proud of last year’s staff.

“We knew at the launch party [last] April that we had something special, and it’s always nice to have others validate those feelings,” Hicks said. “I think it speaks of the talent at UCA that many of the awards we won were for content, generated by the students. I hope Vortex can continue to showcase that talent for many years to come.”

Central Baptist College hosted the ACMA event, providing breakfast and the awards luncheon at the Mabee Student Services Dining Hall.

Students had the opportunity to attend two of eight journalism sessions by various instructors, journalists and yearbook representatives during the conference in CBC’s new Watkins Administration Building. The sessions provided tips and tricks for today’s journalists in writing, photography and design.

“This is the first year that Ann Gardner has hosted the ACMA conference at Central Baptist College,” Walter said. “She assured the ACMA editorial board that once the [Watkins] building was completed that she would host the conference, and she did. CBC did a great job hosting the conference. I heard through several students from the various state colleges that attended that they really enjoyed the choice of workshops. They were a bit different from other conventions.”

Comprehensive Winner’s List for ACMA 2014

The Echo

Newspaper of the Year: 2nd: The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

Marisa Ketchum – Newspaper Editor of the Year

Feature Writing

2nd Place – Christina Huynh, “Senior signs to Nashville record label”

Honorable Mention – Stephen Reynolds, “Students, faculty clean oiled wildlife in Mayflower”

Meeting/speech coverage writing

Honorable Mention – Marisa Ketchum, “Faculty senators question Courtway’s decisions, seek answers about recent hires, salary savings”

In-Depth News

1st Place – The Echo Staff, “Dorm security ineffective”

Honorable Mention – Jeanette Anderton, “University lacks transgender student housing policy”

Editorial writing

1st Place – Echo Staff, “Push to confirm interim provost . . .”

2nd Place – Echo Staff, “Rushed executive hire . . .”

3rd Place – Echo Staff, “Football player’s punishment . . .”

Election/Political writing

1st Place – Spencer Griffin and Peyton Olsen, “Arkansas concealed-carry act debated”

2nd Place – Stephen Reynolds, “Bills affect university finances, policies”

Sports Story Writing

1st Place – Spencer Griffin, Andy Robertson, and Misti Hollenbaugh, “Linebacker violates NCAA rules”

Honorable Mention – Andy Robertson and Misti Hollenbaugh, “Athletic department cracks down on drug poligy”

Honorable Mention – Mason Addison, “Sugar Bears beat Oral Roberts”

Front Page Layout

Honorable Mention – University of Central Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2013 – Vol. 106, No. 14

Feature Page Layout

Honorable Mention – Christina Huynh, UCA, October 23, 2013

Sports Page Layout

1st Place – Spencer Griffin

Honorable Mention – Cara Pritchard

Honorable Mention – Andy Robertson

Editorial Page Layout

1st Place – Brad Smith

3rd Place – Brad Smith

The Echo Online


1st Place – Stephen Simpson, “Opossum Caught in Burdick Hall Ceiling”

2nd Place – Brandon Riddle, “Student died from cerebral aneurysm Faulkner County coroner says”

Breaking News (w/in 24 hours of event)

1st Place – Christina Huynh, Brandon Riddle and Collin Lingo, “Student Death Reported at Hughes Hall”

Online Topical Reporting/Blogs

1st Place – Logan Miller, “Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Cosmic Perspective”


1st Place – Peyton Olsen, “The English Channel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

2nd Place – Peyton Olsen, “The English Channel: Wants and Needs”

The Scroll

Yearbook Editor of the Year:  Callie France Sterling


2nd Place – Jaison Sterling, Life In Color

Introduction Theme Page/Opening

3rd Place – Callie France Sterling


3rd Place – Carley Dangar and Erica Galarza


1st Place – Callie France Sterling and Jaison Sterling

Academic Layout

Honorable Mention – Callie France Sterling and Jessica Wells, “Bear Hall open and ready for residents”

Portrait Layout

3rd Place – Taylor Woods and Elizabeth Souter, Entry #1

Honorable Mention – Taylor Woods and Elizabeth Souter, Entry #2

Honorable Mention – Taylor Woods and Elizabeth Souter, Entry #3

Student Life Layout

3rd Place – Callie France Sterling

Yearbook Sports Layout

Honorable Mention – Annie Bodiford, Men’s basketball

Yearbook Sports Writing

Honorable Mention – Jordan Briley, Entry #3

Organizations/Greek Writing

1st Place – Paige Turner, Entry #2

Honorable Mention – Paige Turner, Entry #1

Student Life Writing

HM      Jeanette Anderton, Entry #2


1st Place – Jaison Sterling, Cover Photo Illustration

Feature Photo

Honorable Mention – Jaison Sterling

Sports Photo

1st Place – Jaison Sterling, UCA vs. Lamar, page 178

Student Life Photo

2nd Place – Jaison Sterling, Bear Fever: Get Some


Magazine of the Year:  Vortex, University of Central Arkansas

Magazine Editor of the Year:  Sarah F. Wilson

Photographer of the Year:  Brooke Harton

Designer of the Year

2nd Place – Ashley Thomas

Magazine Cover Design

1st Place – Vortex


1st Place – Sara Cervantes

2nd Place – Alli Muller

Honorable Mention – Lisa Ference

Magazine Nonfiction Writing

Honorable Mention – Alli Muller, When I Say “Lesbian” My Shrink Hears Sex Addict

Magazine Fiction

1st Place – Chase Night, The Old Man and the Wolf

3rd Place – Candace Baker, The Road to Death

Honorable Mention – Jonathan Randle, Solar system family story


1st Place – Sarah F. Wilson

2nd Place – Matt Martens

3rd Place – Taylor Lea Hicks

Illustrative Narrative

1st Place – Sara Cervantes

2nd Place – Katie Chesen

3rd Place – Rachel Stripling

Magazine Feature Photo

Honorable Mention – Brooke Harton, Love Locks

News 6

News Reporting

1st Place – Brake for Bears


2nd Place – Baum Gallery Opening


1st Place – Seth Stephenson

Sports Feature

2nd Place – Abigail Hodgson

Regularly Occurring Newscast

3rd Place – News 6 Staff, News 6