Webster University’s student magazine, The Ampersand, was awarded the Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) March 13 at the College Media Convention in New York City. More than 1,400 student publications in the nation were eligible for the CSPA’s contests.
The two Ampersand editions that earned the coveted award were the 2009-10 issues, edited by then School of Communications seniors, Alice Telios BA ‘10 and Emily Schmutz BA ‘10.
“I’m pleased and delighted for the students and faculty that the consistent quality of the student media in the School of Communications continues to be recognized by outside professional associations,” says Debra Carpenter, dean, School of Communications.
Ben Farrar, current co-editor of the magazine, was sent by the School of Communications to the New York convention to accept the award. “I am more than honored to have received the Gold Crown award on behalf of last year’s editors and am grateful to be a part of a student-produced magazine that generates such professional and high quality work,” says Farrar.
This is the second Gold Crown won by The Ampersand staff; the first was awarded in 2005. The excellence of the magazine also earned a second place Silver Crown in 2008 and the coveted Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press in 2009 and 2010.
“When I think about the success of The Ampersand, I think of the dedication of the students and how hard they work to maintain the quality the magazine,” says Karen Burch, Ampersand adviser and adjunct professor, School of Communications.
“Hearing this wonderful news brings back fond memories of my time at Webster,” says Telios, one of the editors in 2009-10. “It’s a nice feeling to know you have made your mark in the School of Communications’ history, and I look forward to watching what comes next for The Ampersand.
“This student publication deserves recognition for its quality. No other university in the area offers this type of educational opportunity. The Ampersand is one of the reasons why I attended Webster and it will be one of the reasons why I will visit my alma mater.”
“When I first got to Webster, I knew the magazine was something special, and I wanted to be a part of what made it better every year,” adds Emily Schmutz, the other 2009-10 editor. “Although working on The Ampersand didn’t fulfill any major, it became my passion at Webster.
“It’s clear that I was not the only one on staff with a passion for the production. Without everyone else’s drive for the best, we couldn’t have pulled it off. It’s great to know that all of the hard work and extra time we put into the magazine was appreciated and recognized by professionals in the industry.”
Crown Awards are the highest recognition given by the CSPA to a student print or online medium for overall excellence. Both Gold Crown and Silver Crown Awards are given each year.
No set number of Crown Awards is required; the awards are discretionary, based on the evaluation by the Crown Judges. Decisions of these judges are final. They consider all aspects of value to the reader or viewer: content, design or presentation, coverage, photography as well as writing and editing.