UCA students win awards

by Taelor Pickett
College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

University of Central Arkansas student media outlets won five general excellence awards at the recent Arkansas College Media Association (ACMA) conference.

UCA student journalists and editors swept awards for Magazine Editor of the Year, Newspaper Editor of the Year, Television Anchor of the Year, Magazine of the Year and Television Outlet of the Year.

“The purpose of ACMA is to give college students working in media in Arkansas the opportunity to network with each other, to learn from each other and also to see how they stack up with other college journalists who work in the state,” said David Keith, adviser of the UCA student newspaper, The Echo. “The competition gives them the chance to showcase their work at a professional level. The people who judge these contests are from out of state and are either working journalists or other college media advisers. It’s a very balanced judging that you would expect to see at a professional media contest at any level.”

UCA general excellence winners included:

• Newspaper Editor of the Year

First place: Maggie McNeary (Charleston, Mo.) The Echo

• Magazine Editor of the Year

First place: Taylor Brady, Editor-in-Chief; Vortex

• Magazine of the Year

First place: Vortex, Staff, Vortex 42.

• Television Anchor of the Year

First place: Ashley Godwin (Little Rock) News6

• Television Outlet of the Year

First place: News6, Chandler Watkins (Little Rock,) Mitchell Morgan (Little Rock)

Individual awards went to:



First place: Allison Armstrong, Vortex, Building Character.

Second place: Leah Roddey, Vortex.

Honorable mention: Melissa Foster, Vortex, Rain on the Road.

Contents Page Design

First place: Staff, Vortex, Table of Contents.

Cover Design

First place: Melissa Foster, Vortex, Vortex 42.

Fiction Writing

First place: Audrey Bauman (Little Rock) Vortex, River Dragon.

Second place: Dylan Easton (Conway) Vortex, 8 Things to Never Say to Your Roommate.

Third place: Cassandra Vennerbeck, Vortex, The Global Operating Device.

Nonfiction Writing

First place: Campbell Shelton, Vortex, Jacob, My Brother.

Second place: Tyler Hauth (Cabot) Vortex, Fang.


First place: Elizabeth Gambertoglio (Houston, Texas) Vortex, Fenrir after Ragnarok.

Second place: Taylor Brady, Vortex, All That’s Inadequate, Letter to a Leaving Man.

Third place: Jessica Boyle, Vortex, Tulsa, a Slut.


First place: Hayden Pickens (North Little Rock) Vortex, The Rains.



First place: Morgan Embry (Cabot), The Echo, Post Secret.


Third place: Des’ree Dallmann (Little Rock), The Echo, Private option outcome may increase education costs.

Feature Photo

Second place: Monica Sanders, The Echo, Homecoming Queen Lauren Morris.

General Column

First place: Kayla McCullough (Berryville), The Echo, Arguments online not well-articulated or researched.

Third place: Julia Kramer (Conway), The Echo, Vaccinating children prevents disease, is not linked to autism.

Honorable mention: Des’ree Dallmann (Little Rock), The Echo, Climate change important when picking candidate.


First place: Morgan Embry (Cabot), Taylor Fulgham (Ash Flat), John Anderson (Hot Springs), The Echo, Board names Houston Davis UCA’s 11th president.

Second place: Brent Wilson (Quitman) The Echo, SGA discusses blackface.

Review Writing

Second place: Sophia Ordaz, The Echo, Chicago artist bears soul on mixtape with a unique twist.

Third place: Victoria LaFave, The Echo, “Snowden’”opens political debate.

Sports Page Layout

First place: Taran Meyer (Salt Lake City, Utah), The Echo, Sports, March 16.

Sports Photo

Second place: Lauren Swaim (Little Rock), The Echo, Women’s basketball.

Third place: Shiori Soya (Japan), The Echo, Bears Baseball.

Sports Story

First place: Denn-Warren Tafah (Dallas), The Echo, Bears win playoff game, head to second round.

Second place: Amanda Nettles (Little Rock), The Echo, Bears beat Arkansas State, look to continue streak.


Articles-Arts & Entertainment

First place: Lauren Swaim (Little Rock), The Echo, Shakespeare’s First Folio Displayed in Baum Gallery.

Third place: Lauren Swaim (Little Rock), The Echo, Courtway announces hanging bear sculpture.

Honorable mention: Kirby Smith (Conway), The Echo, The Uh Huhs Win Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.

Feature Writing

First place: Michael Benzmiller, The Echo, Sustainable Living Roots Planted Behind Faulkner County Library.

Meeting/Speech Coverage

First place: Darian Whitmore, The Echo, Courtway Announces New Coding Academy.

Second place: Hunter Moore, The Echo, Faculty Hosts Teach-in Event to Discuss Upcoming Election.


First place: Maggie McNeary (Charleston, Mo.), Amanda Nettles, John Anderson, The Echo, Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity Suspended by National Chapter.

Third place: Maggie McNeary (Charleston, Mo.), The Echo, Sen. Rapert, Ministries Supported Student Arrested in Rape, Assault.

Honorable mention: Denn-Warren Tafah (Dallas), The Echo, Fraternity reports alleged slurs by Sigma Tau Gamma.

Reviews/Arts & Entertainment

Third place: Maggie McNeary (Charleston, Mo.) The Echo, Panic! At the Disco’s ‘Death of a Bachelor’ is Smooth, Lacks Substance.

Honorable mention: Taylor Fulgham  (Ash Flat) The Echo, 5 Funny Twitter Accounts To Follow Immediately.

Sports Writing

First place: Joe Kramer (Conway) The Echo, Baseball tops series against Lumberjacks.

Second place: Denn-Warren Tafah (Dallas) The Echo, Bears End Regular Season Undefeated in Conference.


Academics Layout

Third place: Sarah Hocott (Fort Smith), UCA Scroll, Around the World in 30 Days.

Academics Photo

Third place: Bethany Thweatt (Palestine), UCA Scroll, Sitting in the Street.

Academics Writing

Honorable mention: Audrey Bauman (Little Rock), UCA Scroll, Chinese Immersion.


First place: Scroll Staff, UCA Scroll, Opening Page.

Second place: Scroll Staff, UCA Scroll, International Spread.


Third place: Bethany Thweatt (Palestine), UCA Scroll, Yearbook Closing – Scroll Staff.


Second place: Scroll Staff, UCA Scroll, Yearbook Divider – Campus Life.


First place: Bethany Thweatt (Palestine), UCA Scroll, Yearbook Endsheets.

Feature Photo

Second place: Vijay Reddy (International Student), UCA Scroll, Large Donor.

Introduction Theme Page/Opening

Second place: UCA Scroll, Yearbook Introduction Theme Page/Opening

Portrait Layout

Third place: Bethany Thweatt (Palestine), UCA Scroll, Yearbook Portrait Layout – Freshmen.

Sports Layout

Third place: Sarah Hocott (Fort Smith), UCA Scroll, Cheer.

Sports Photo

Third place: Heather Hyson, UCA Scroll, Baseball Background Photo.

Sports Writing

Third place: Mariam Dosso (International Student), UCA Scroll, Talented Beginnings.

Honorable mention: Davijon Watson (Conway), UCA Scroll, Bears Battle Injuries.

Student Life Photo

Honorable mention: Isabella Barnello, UCA Scroll, Volleyball.

Student Life Writing

First place: Yennifer Lopez (Conway), UCA Scroll, Yearbook Student Life Writing – Hallowed Homecoming.

Typographic Presentation

First place: Scroll Staff, UCA Scroll, Letters from the Editors/Table of Contents.

Second place: Scroll Staff, UCA Scroll, Men’s Soccer.


First place: Jaylin Ware (Conway), UCA Scroll, Yearbook Writing-Organization/Greek – Pie a Sigma Tri philanthropy event.

Second place: Sarah Hocott (Fort Smith), UCA Scroll, SOS.