By: Ellen Laws
For the second year in a row, the Gardner-Webb Magazine (Vol. 50, No. 2) has earned the “Gold Award,” by the Collegiate Advertising Awards (CAA), for excellence in higher education communications, marketing and advertising.
According Matthew Tessnear, a public relations specialist and staff writer for Gardner-Webb’s NewsCenter, said, “Schools have the opportunity to submit promotional materials for consideration by contest judges, in categories based on the type of publication and the size of the institution.”
“Only three Gold Awards were presented to institutions for an individual magazine issue, and those awards were presented after judging based on creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal,” according to a press release in the NewsCenter. “GWU received a gold award for the category of institutions with 2,000 to 5,000 students.”
The magazine production team is compromised of several individuals, but six in particular: Noel Manning, Niki Bliss-Carroll, Matthew Tessnear, Matt Renfer, Ryan Gunter and Mark Houser.
Noel Manning serves as the managing editor and associate vice president for the Office of Communications and Marketing, overseeing the entire production. “I felt humbled when I learned of the honor. We have such a tremendous team, and this award is a salute to their efforts.”
Niki Bliss-Caroll is the associate editor. Tessnear said, “She writes for the magazine, provides leadership in story planning, content collection and editing.”
Matt Renfer is the editor of each online edition. “He takes elements of the print magazine and turns them into a digital edition online,” said Tessnear.
Ryan Gunter is the design editor, providing the magazine with its layout and design for print production. From the stories written by Bliss-Caroll and others to the photos, taken mostly by Mark Houser, photo editor for the magazine. The other photos not taken by Houser, are provided by the “GWU sports information office, the GWU student photo team and other photographers,” said Tessnear.
Not only are stories produced and edited by these six individuals, the magazine allows students to contribute. “We are always looking for student writers and photographers to get involved in our process. We encourage students to share with us story ideas, and feature concepts as well,” said Manning.
“The magazine team is always exploring new, creative ways to share Gardner-Webb’s story,” said Tessnear. “We will continue to seek even stronger ways to connect with the University family and the greater community, through stories about the people, the programs and the achievements that highlight GWU’s commitment to Christian higher education.”
Manning says it all comes back to the people of Gardner-Webb. “Without the students, alumni, faculty and staff we feature in the Gardner-Webb Magazine, there would be nothing worth sharing. So, at the core of this recognition, is the pure reflection on that amazing population.”