“Youngstown State University Magazine: A Magazine For Alumni and Friends” earned the top award — the Gold Award — in the national 2013 Collegiate Advertising Awards competition.
“It’s the first time we’ve applied for an award in quite a while, and it was pretty thrilling for us to win it. It gives you the feeling that what you’re doing is being recognized,” Cynthia Vinarsky, editor of the magazine, said.
The competition was mediated by a panel of judges who recognized marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in various categories like print, design, typography and creativity.
YSU’s magazine was deemed the best university magazine publication in its size bracket. Mark Van Tilburg, executive director in the marketing and communications department, said the award shows the progress in the quality of the magazine.
“It confirms that we’ve made great progress in both the quality and frequency of the magazine. We went to a quarterly magazine, and it’s been a big success. To have a peer-reviewed award like this, the Gold, it’s neat. I’m very pleased for our staff because they work really hard,” Van Tilburg said.
The magazine is issued four times a year to 88,000 recipients. These recipients include YSU alumni and magazine donors.
Vinarsky explained that receiving the magazine is a benefit of graduation from the campus and a way to stay in contact with all of its students.
“When you graduate from YSU, it’s one of the benefits that you receive,” she said. “We keep in touch with our alumni. We do have articles about students; we write about the outstanding students, and we have a special section that’s called student success where we write about these students. It’s more of an emphasis about what’s happening at YSU, the new projects, the new programs, the buildings and about our great alumni and how successful they are. It’s a way of the university to keep in touch with our graduates with no strings attached.”
Vinarsky said she felt the award was an honor to the staff and their writing abilities.
“It was a great honor. Part of the reason that we have succeeded … is because we have a really talented staff, and we have good writers,” Vinarsky said. “I feel that all the hard work we put in to the magazine to make it a beautiful and excellent representation of the university was rewarded by getting an award that compliments what we’ve done.
We are all excited and feeling proud about it, and our hard work has paid off a little bit.”
She expressed gratitude toward Bruce Palmer, the university photographer; Renee Cannon, layout designer of the magazine and Ron Cole, the university public information officer.
“We have a great designer who is largely responsible for the beautiful appearance of the magazine, and we have a great photographer who takes a lot of the beautiful pictures. They deserve a huge portion of the credit for the beautiful and informative magazine we produce,” she said.
The magazine has been updating its material and has included a new segment entitled “Penguin Mates,” where YSU alumni couples that were married out of college can share their stories of love. The magazine also has approximately 800 online subscribers.