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The Forum earns 18 awards, including ‘Reporter of the Year,’ at annual media conference

Submitted by Jacob Ellerbee on April 5, 2014 – 12:12 am5 Comments

A total of eight staff members attended the annual Arkansas College Media awards luncheon at Central Baptist College in Conway. Their efforts for The Forum and The Forum Focus spurred 18 awards for the growing organization. (Pictured from left to right: KenDrell Collins, Byron Buslig, Alexis Williams, Pauine Mothu, Shahsank Avvaru, Jacob Ellerbee, Antonio Gayden and Alton Young.

The Forum attended the annual Arkansas College Media Association awards luncheon Friday, April 4 at Central Baptist College in Conway, bringing back a total of 18 awards to UALR, including the coveted “Reporter of the Year” award. 

KenDrell Collins, who has served as News Editor for The Forum since August 2013, earned the hardware for the best college newspaper reporter in Arkansas. Collins won the award over journalists from more than 10 colleges in Arkansas, including the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University and the University of Central Arkansas. This is the second consecutive year someone from The Forum has won the Reporter of the Year award. Last year, then-News Editor Cameron Moix won the award. Moix currently works as a reporter for the Colorado Springs Business Journal in Colorado Springs, Colo. Collins also won third place in the “News Photo” category for this front-page photo.

The Forum won several staff awards, including second place in the “Magazine Cover Design” category for the cover of our annual magazine, The Forum Focus. The staff was also recognized with a third place award for “Magazine Special Features Reporting.”

The Forum also earned third place in the “Front Page Layout” category for our Feb. 12 – 24, 2014 edition. This is one of the front pages featuring Chief Graphic Designer Byron Buslig’s new design for The Forum. Buslig swept the Art/Illustration category for newspapers, earning an award for his artwork on Dr. King and JRPG.

Executive Editor Jacob Ellerbee brought back two awards from the ACMA awards, a second place award in “Personality Profile” for his front page interview with comedian Gabriel Iglesias and an honorable mention in “Magazine Special Features Reporting.”

Sports Editor Alton Young picked up a second place award in the “Sports Feature Writing” category for his story on Leah Thorvilson, one of the best distance runners in the United States. Young also earned an award for third place in the same category for his feature on men’s basketball player, Leroy Isler. Young also received an honorable mention for one of his sports photos. This photo was of men’s basketball player Josh Hagins shooting a jump shot during a home game against the UT Arlington Mavericks.

Staff writers Shashank Avvaru and Antonio Gayden each won an award. Avvaru, an honorable mention for his politically charged editorial “Your data or your life,” and Gayden, a second place award for this sports photo.

Staff artist Paige Mason rounded out the awards for The Forum, earning first place for her “UALR Girl” comic strip, which can be seen each week in the newspaper and another first place for her editorial cartoon work. Mason also received an honorable mention for her work in The Forum Focus.

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