Student magazine, yearbook, newspaper win awards in national competition

The University of Miami’s Ibis Yearbook and Distraction Magazine were both awarded the Associated Collegiate Press’s (ACP) highest award, the Pacemaker. The awards were for the work they produced during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Mariah Keith, the contest and critique coordinator for the ACP said that the Pacemaker is awarded to top student-run media organizations across the country that excel in both content and design.

“We want to find and honor student works, whether that is the yearbook, student website or any kind of broadcast platform. We aim to recognize students and advisors on the work they have put into the publications through contests and critique services,” Keith said.

Distraction is a lifestyle magazine that focuses on student-body culture of the University of Miami. This year they won Pacemaker awards for magazine and online work.

The staff of Distraction are all unpaid volunteers, though some receive class credit for their work on the magazine. Editor-in-Chief Asmae Fahmy is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology.

“It’s such an honor to win these awards … I am so happy to see the long hours and late nights paying off” said Fahmy.

Fahmy was the managing editor last year under Editor-in-Chief Rori Kotch, who is an interactive media graduate student at UM.

“We had an amazing group of extremely talented people who worked hard and made the magazine even better. I am extremely proud,” said Kotch.

Fahmy said Distraction has qualified for the finals in the past, but has won only one other Pacemaker before.

“I think the magazine excelled last year because it broke so many barriers and changed so much in content and design. We did multiple covers for every issue, and we did the boldest thing the magazine has ever done, which is making a 100-page issue,” said Fahmy.

The Ibis Yearbook, first published in 1927 and published annually since, is known nationally for its work. The staff won the Pacemaker award – what some call the “Pulitzer of Scholastic Journalism” – this year for the tenth time, ranking it among the top 10 yearbooks in the country.

Kaitlin Castillo, the editor-in-chief for the Ibis Yearbook, is a sophomore majoring in marketing and advertising. She said the win always serves as welcome recognition of the high standard the Ibis staff has for its work, but she is still striving to make the yearbook even better.

“At the conferences we attend, the Ibis Yearbook is a household name and the standard other schools put themselves up against,” Castillo said. “I hope that under my leadership, the staff and I can continue taking risks with designs, venturing into new territories with stories and improving on the things we already do well to continue enhancing the quality of our work.”

The Miami Hurricane won nine Columbia Scholastic Press Association 2016 Gold Circle Awards and was a finalist in 15 categories: editorial writing, personal opinion (on-campus issues), news feature, general feature, entertainment reviews, alternative story form, photo illustration, typography, feature page design, on-campus personal opinion issue, single-subject news or feature package, single sports photograph, photo illustration and photo slideshow.