The 2007-2008 edition of the student magazine Panorama at The University of Texas-Pan American received a top honor recently at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) national student magazine competition. The publication received first place in design, honorable mention for editorial content, and honorable mention for a service and information article. The Panorama staff will be presented with the awards in Chicago Aug. 7.
The AEJMC competition included 316 entries from 29 universities in the United States and Canada. The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Christian University and Texas State University, to name a few, submitted publications. Publishers, editors and writers for consumer and specialized business magazines judged the competition entries in 13 categories. This is the second time the Panorama wins first place for design, following the 2006-2007 edition.
"The designers aren't just putting words on the page and 'decorating the page;' they are designing with a capital 'D,' which entails not only art and organization, but conceptual thinking as well. Additionally, you can see the elements travel throughout the publication. It is really hard to get a group of five designers to work together to create a style that looks cohesive and not like five different designers did the magazine -here's where planning and a style guide come into play. We have all of the designers involved from the beginning on what the publications style will be like, so they are invested; they are the creators from day one," said Panorama co-adviser Dr. Kimberly Selber said.
UTPA students generally start working on Panorama during the second week of the fall semester every year and are overseen by Selber and co-adviser and communication professor Donna Pazdera. Editorial staff is hired first, and are instrumental in hiring the rest of the writers, designers and photographers. Panorama's staff includes an editor in chief or co-editor in chiefs, a design editor, a photo editor and a copy desk chief. An average of five designers, four photographers, and five to 10 writers are also included in paid positions. The publication also includes some submitted content by students including short stories, photos, art, and poetry.
"I like to consider our design as 'unity in diversity,' a perfect blend of differing viewpoints and techniques to create an eye-catching, well composed masterpiece. Our photographers and designers understand their role in making the story grab the viewer, and actively study our contemporary visual environment to gain inspiration. It is the design/photo staff's passion for aesthetic that make the Panorama stand out amongst other university magazines," said 20-year-old senior design editor Christopher Ramirez from Mission.
The Panorama magazines are distributed annually during the last week of the spring semester, and are placed in newspaper bins around campus and distributed to some off-campus locations such as Barnes and Noble.
"I believe that the award is leading recognition not only to UTPA, but to the Valley. It shows that there is a lot of talent in South Texas," said Santa Hernandez, 21-year-old senior graphic designer from Mission.
The campus community can assist with story ideas for the Panorama's 2008-2009 edition by calling the student publications office at 956/381-2541, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.