UA’s CW, Vida Win Student Pacemaker Awards

UA’s CW, Vida Win Student Pacemaker Awards

A photo of a parrot in Costa Rica.
Mary Kathryn Carpenter’s photos were featured in Vida, the award-winning online travel magazine.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two University of Alabama publications have won Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker awards for 2019.

The Crimson White, published by UA’s Student Media in the Student Life Division, received a Newspaper Pacemaker Award. Fifteen publications were recognized in the four-year-school category. The CW is the student news organization and paper of record for The University of Alabama.

Students work in all areas of the publication, from production to editing, and daily circulate 15,000 papers throughout the UA campus and the Tuscaloosa area.

“It is an absolute honor to have earned a Pacemaker Award this yea,” said Savannah K. Bullard, editor-in-chief of the Crimson White. “I served as the lead page designer and production editor of the paper for its winning year, so I’m especially grateful to have had a part in delivering captivating content and managing a staff that loves this publication just as much as I do,” said Bullard, of Huntsville. I especially owe everything to last year’s editor-in-chief, Jake Stevens, for all the encouragement and trust he put in our staff to make winning this award possible.”

She also credited the paper’s adviser, Mark Mayfield, for contributing to the honor.

“He provided us with opportunities like making the trip to Washington D.C. to accept the award,” she said. “Without his ambition and enthusiasm toward setting a high standard for us, we could never have accomplished all we did last year.”

In addition, UA’s Vida magazine, published by UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, received an Online Pacemaker Award. Sixteen publications were recognized in this four-year-school category.

Vida is an online publication written, designed and developed by UA graduate and undergraduate students. Every two years a team of writers, photographers and designers travels to a Latin American country to gather content for an issue. The 2018 edition, which won the award, looked at Costa Rica.

An animal in a tree
Vida is written, designed and developed by UA graduate and undergraduate students (Mary Kathryn Carpenter).

“In my time working with the international publications at UA, I’ve seen us bring home Marks of Excellence, Hearst feature writing awards and several others, but to finally win a Pacemaker proves to me that all the effort put into this magazine was worth it,” said Mary Kathryn Carpenter, the UA student who was the director of the project. Carpenter, of  Natchez, Mississippi, and who has since earned her master’s degree, is now a photographer for UA’s Division of Strategic Communications.

She credits Dr. Kim Bissell, UA’s Southern Progress Endowed Professor in Magazine Journalism and faculty adviser for the magazine, with leading their way to success.

“Dr. Bissell really deserves the most recognition for this award,” Carpenter said. ”She’s dedicated more hours and resources into her students than I’ve ever seen out of another professor. Having now traveled internationally with her three times, she’s become one of my most trusted mentors and a very close friend. She supported, encouraged and pushed every member of this team to be worthy of winning such an award, and we couldn’t have done it without her.”


UA communications, 205-348-5320