Story by Jim Bishop
Crossroads magazine at Eastern Mennonite University won a major award this year from the southeast district of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Competing against dozens of magazines produced by larger institutions, Crossroads received a “special merit award” in the category of “magazine publishing improvement.”
The other winners in this category were magazines produced in 2007 by Furman University in South Carolina, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, the University of Alabama, the University of Miami, Brenau University in Georgia and Barry University in Florida.
The southeast CASE district consists of 565 universities, secondary schools and other institutions involved in higher education fromWashington, D.C., to Florida. The magazine awards ceremony will be held at the CASE annual regional conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 19.
Crossroads is published quarterly and distributed to 16,000 alumni, students, parents and friends of the university.
The award confirms informal feedback sent by alumni, such as this Jan. 20 2008 e-mail to the editor from Daniel Lehman, a 1972 graduate who is now professor of English at Ashland University in Ohio: “I have really enjoyed Crossroads in the past year. You are doing an outstanding job (as one journalist to another), and I love the way that EMU is highlighting its distinctive mission as well as the peace and justice programs.”
Betsy Robertson, magazine editor at Auburn University in Alabama and one of the CASE contest organizers, said Crossroads emerged as a winner because “the judges were impressed with the change in editorial direction to focus on current issues and provocative topics rather than the usual mundane assortment of event snapshots, fundraising updates and ‘successful alumni’ profiles.”
Robertson added that the results were especially notable “for a small staff.” In last year’s contest, the winners in this CASE category included James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond.
Crossroads, which is printed by Good Printers Inc. in Bridgewater, also took first place for publications in an annual contest sponsored by Printing Industries of Virginia (PIVA). The spring 2007 issue of Crossroads, with a cover photo of EMU student teacher Josh Byler at Lacey Springs Elementary School, beat out magazine entries from all of the other printing companies in Virginia.
The Crossroads staff consists of editor Bonnie Price Lofton, who also writes most of the copy, and designer Matt Styer, who also takes many of the photographs. They are assisted by retired physician Paul T. Yoder, who assembles the alumni notes published in the magazine; public information officer Jim Bishop, who writes news items that appear in the magazine; and marketing and communications director Andrea Wenger, who supervises the operation.