UW Staff Members Honored for Communications Excellence

January 28, 2013
Man and woman with animals
In a recent article, Josh and Sarah Smith were featured on wanting to sustainably raise natural, grass-fed Highlands cattle on the family’s Meadow Ranch near Rawlins. The photo is in “Barnyards and Backyards,” a UW Extension publication that won first place in the publications category at the recent Wyoming Press Association’s associates group contest.

University of Wyoming communications specialists received eight awards during the Jan. 18-19 Wyoming Press Association's (WPA) annual associates' group communications contest.

Winners were announced at the WPA's annual winter meeting in Cheyenne. The convention attracts Wyoming's newspaper professionals and the WPA's associate members for two days of workshops, seminars and speakers.

Approximately 250 WPA and associate members attended the convention, which culminated with the awards banquet where the top newspapers in three divisions (daily, Gillette News Record, and large, Jackson Hole News and Guide, and small weekly, Lovell Chronicle) were named. Individual award winners also were announced in several categories.

UW staff members won one first place award in the associates' contest, four second places and three thirds. This year’s contest drew a high number of entries from communications specialists from around the state.

UW Extension public relations Coordinator Steve Miller and Tana Stith, Extension technology and communications manager, swept the top two publications positions.

Miller and Stith produced the winning “Barnyards and Backyards” publication, which the judges said had, “Great photos. Love the colorful layout. I now want to subscribe!”

Their second place “Ag News” publication was described as, “I liked the layout. Nice photography. Easy to read.”

Miller also picked up a runner-up award in the magazine article category for his submission “Blue-collar roots…” Judges commented, “Well written piece and an interesting feature. My favorite part was the experience of the father and how that shaped the subject’s future.”

Institutional Communications Specialist Milton Ontiveroz was awarded second place in the three features on one issue competition for “UW Health Care Camps Give Students Options.” Judges commented, “Nice job of tailoring the stories depending on the students and tying them to the university.”

In the same category, Institutional Communications Director Chad Baldwin, Institutional Communications Specialist Jim Kearns and Ontiveroz combined to share third place for their series highlighting some of UW’s new facilities and the faculty who help students succeed in the classroom. Judges commented, “A solid job of making routine stories become much more engaging with the people behind them.”

Placing second was Bernadette van der Vliet, UW Extension graphic designer, in the page layout and design category for her entry “Water, not dry subject….” Judges noted, “Nice use of fonts, easy to read.”

Baldwin picked up third place in the three releases on one issue competition for his series on UW writer-in-residence Mark Jenkins’ effort to climb Mount Everest. Comments from judges said, “Nice approach making a scientist’s work really approachable and exciting.”

Next year’s WPA convention will be at the UW Conference Center -- marking the second time in three years the state's newspaper group will hold its major convention in Laramie.

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