Lamar University students, faculty and staff won a total of 49 awards, including 18 first places, in the 2008 Excellence in the Media competition sponsored by the Press Club of Southeast Texas.

Lamar’s University Press campus newspaper, the offices of Public Relations and Alumni Affairs, Cardinal Cadence magazine, KVLU public radio and the Department of Communication shared in the honors, announced June 6 at the press club’s annual banquet. The event benefits the Press Club Memorial Scholarship, presented each semester to a Lamar communication student.

The Press Club also honored Brad Brown and Steve Forman as Newsmakers of the Year for their efforts to secure legislation requiring seatbelts on school and charter buses in Texas. Brown’s daughter Ashley and teammate Alicia Bonura died in an accident while en route to a West Brook High School soccer playoff game March 29, 2006. Forman’s daughter Allison and other students were seriously injured. Fifteen months after the tragedy, Gov. Rick Perry visited West Brook to sign the seatbelt bill into law.

The award honors the Southeast Texan who had the most significant positive impact on issues and events during the previous year, as determined in a vote of Press Club members.

Press Club President Melanie Dishman, station manager for advancement at Lamar public radio KVLU, presented the awards.

The University Press – produced by Lamar students – won 12 awards, including four first-place trophies, in competition with professional non-daily and daily newspapers across the region. The Lamar Public Relations staff and Cardinal Cadence magazine won 22 awards, including nine first places.

The UP staff won first place for overall excellence, special supplements/promotional publications/tabloids for UPBeat, April and November 2007, and basketball preview, “Taking flight.”

First-place honors also went to staff writer Sara Hemmenway of Port Neches for her headline, “God rescues man; man rescues dog”; to former photo editor Trish Coughlan of Orange, non-daily news photo, “Should intolerance be tolerated?”; and to former features editor Jennifer Moore, of Orange for non-daily feature page design/layout, “A guide to Oscar’s big night.”

The UP also garnered six second-place awards – to managing editor Julie Garcia of Port Neches and editor Lauren Wigley Helling of Lumberton for photo essay or picture page,  “Country in a town”; to Garcia for general column, “Eliminate the fourth meal”; to Helling and Garcia for overall excellence, page design/layout; to sports writer Desean Lucas of Houston for non-daily sports news, “Cards squeeze Cowboys 75-71”; sports editor Nick Cioci of Houston, non-daily sports feature, “Bus trip just the ticket for volleyball fans”; and Hemmenway, for the magazine feature story, “A long time coming,” written for UPBeat. Hemmenway also won third place among non-daily feature stories with “God rescues man, man rescues dog,” while the UP staff placed third in graphic/cartoon/illustration for “Hurricane Humberto.”

For radio public affairs program, Joe Elwell of Beaumont, KVLU music director, won first place for “Arts Report: Darrell Troppy” and second place for “Warning camera exhibit.” Dishman won third place in fine arts reviews and critiques for her movie review “No Reservations: New flick sets bland table,” which was published in The Examiner and aired on KVLU.

In addition to their first-place awards, Lamar Public Relations and Cardinal Cadence won seven second places and six third places.

Brian Sattler of Bridge City, director of public relations, and designer Mike Rhodes of Rhodes Design in Vidor won first place for magazine layout for Cardinal Cadence, while media specialist Louise Wood of Beaumont and Rhodes won second and third places in the category – for “Legends of Southeast Texas” and “Private to president,” respectively, also for Cadence.

Sattler earned second place for his writing portfolio, which included “An art for imaginative development,” “One of the trusted” and “Treasured teeth: Dental discovery yields new species.” Wood won second place for her personal profile “A cultural affinity.” The magazine won second place for overall excellence.

In public relations categories, first-place honors for brochures, four-color or more, went to publication specialist Cynthia Hicks of Nederland, College of Engineering marketing director Katrina Brent of Groves and designer Bill Anderson of Eugene Anderson Studios in Sour Lake for the College of Engineering recruitment package. Hicks and Anderson won third place in the same category for Lamar’s Recruitment Viewbook and Roadpiece. Hicks, Anderson and Sattler won first place in special-events materials for the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center grand-opening invitation, while Hicks and Anderson won third place in that category for the Fall Academic Open House invitation. Hicks and Anderson won first place in the open category of graphic/cartoon/illustration for the May 2007 Cardinal Cadence cover design.

Sattler and December 2007 communication graduates Laura Ibarra of Beaumont and Sarah Parker of Lumberton won first place in website content for their coverage of  Lamar’s Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

Wood earned first place for her feature release, “Gerald Block: Academic Star at 68,” and third place in that category for “Love Story: Susan and Jimmy Simmons,” written in conjunction with the Simmonses’ American Heart Association J.C. Crager Award.

Sattler won two awards for news releases – second place for “New primate species found in 42 million-year-old Laredo fossils” and third for “Hydrogen refueling station no pipe dream.”

Among television public service announcements, judges awarded a first-place tie – to Wood, Dishman and communication student Daniel McLemore of Nederland for their La Dolce Vita spot, and to Larry Acker of Beaumont, assistant director of public relations; Robert Fong of Port Arthur, production manager for Time Warner Cable; and Fulbright, for summer and fall 2007 television spots.

Sattler and Janna Fulbright of Beaumont won first place in radio public service announcements for their promotion of the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities. Wood and Dishman placed second among radio PSAs for their promotion of La Dolce Vita.

In the category of posters and fliers, Shannon Copeland of Nederland, coordinator of advancement information, and Destiny Romero, formerly of Port Neches, a public relations graphic design assistant and December 2007 graphic design graduate, won second place for Grad Fair 2007. Wood and Rhodes won third place for the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer poster on J. Lee Thompson, associate professor of history.

McLemore and faculty members O’Brien Stanley of Nederland and Larry Elliott of Beaumont, associate professors of communication, won third-place honors for television documentary (“Texas Wetlands”) and corporate/institutional video (“Lamar Department of Communication: Aspire, Engage, Achieve”).

Andy Coughlan of Orange , assistant director of student publications, won seven awards for his work in several media, including Issue Magazine, published for The Art Studio Inc. Those honors include three first places – for fine arts reviews/critiques for “Addenda”; magazine personal profile, “Andy Ledesma,” both for Issue; and news release, “Macbeth,” for Port Arthur Little Theatre.

Coughlan also won second places for overall excellence, special supplements/promotional publications/tabloids, for Issue and for graphic/cartoon/illustration, “Global Warming,” for The Beaumont Enterprise. He won third place for magazine news story, “Saving the music and The Art Studio too” and for magazine feature story, “Stagg ‘can’ build legacy.”

 Jesse Doiron, instructor of English, won first and second places, respectively, for his guest columns, “Lesson about right and wrong remembered” and “Memory gap should remain nameless,” both published in The Beaumont Enterprise. Doiron also won second place in fine arts reviews/critiques for “The colors of faith,” published in Issue Magazine for The Art Studio.

The Excellence in the Media competition attracted several hundred entries from across the nine-county area of Southeast Texas served by the Press Club.