By Taylor Rapalyea
Over the summer, Simmons CommTracks Magazine was awarded Gold Medalist Honors by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for outstanding organization, content, and design. It is the fourth consecutive year the publication won the gold.
CommTracks exists to give a creative overview of the Communications Department at Simmons College, and since its creation in 2006 the magazine has received high honors from CSPA every year. Students begin brainstorming ideas for the theme of CommTracks in the fall in their Studio 5 class, and Communications students have the opportunity to participate in an independent study in the spring to work on the publication and gain internship credit.
Last year, seniors Morgan Grenier and Anne Karasek were the editors of CommTracks and Micayla Boari was the Art Director. Professor Judy Richland acts as the design consultant for the publication. When asked how much time the staff spent on the magazine, Editorial Consultant and Professor Andy Porter noted that Boari could be found working on the design on any given day in the comm lab.
CSPA awarded the magazine 124 points out of 150 for organization, 411 points out of 500 for content, and 324 points out of 350 for design quality, bringing the total score to 859 out of 1,000.
Judges specifically commented on the level of CommTracks’ visual content. “…opening the spread is a joy because it brings the issue to life,” read one comment.
The magazine’s design featured robin’s egg blue, beige, and shades of gray. Some of the pages sported gears, coinciding with CommTracks’ theme of convergence.
In reference to CommTracks’ design, one judge commented, “This is where your magazine shines in its polish and purpose.”
Stories for CommTracks are usually due around February or March so that the final product will be ready for the end-of-year show that the Communications Department holds annually. It does contain some standard stories, such as a letter from Department Chair James Corcoran, and profiles on alums and professors.
“I would hold up CommTracks against any organization’s publication that I’ve seen,” said Professor Porter when asked to what standard he holds the publication to.
The editors, writers, copy editors, designers, and photographers all put an impressive amount of work into the magazine last year, and are to be congratulated on their high achievement.