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Ouachita Stories


Ouachita yearbook one of five to receive national CSPA Crown Award

Ouachita yearbook one of five to receive national CSPA Crown Award.March 08, 2019 - Rachel Moreno

Ouachita Baptist University’s yearbook, the Ouachitonian, was one of five universities in the nation to receive a Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold or Silver Crown Award for its 2017-2018 edition yearbook, “Timeless,” at the 2019 Crown Awards held in New York City on Friday, March 8. The Ouachitonian yearbook was awarded the prestigious Silver Crown Award at the convention.


Dr. Deborah Root pictured with Ouachita’s 2019 Silver Crown Award.

The Crown Awards honor top student publications – chosen from CSPA’s members – judging them by their overall excellence as shown by design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. CSPA is an international student press association that brings together student journalists and faculty advisors at high schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

Dr. Deborah Root, advisor for the yearbook and professor of communications at Ouachita, attended the 2019 Crown Awards ceremony in New York City to accept the Ouachitonian’s award.

“Our students worked very hard, as every staff does, to produce a quality publication,” Root said. “From the theme and writing, to the design and photography, the staff was dedicated to telling Ouachita’s story, which, as the theme states, is timeless.”

The 2019 Crown Award entries were produced during the 2017-2018 academic year. From among the entries submitted, Crown Awards are considered at Columbia University by panels of invited judges who work in small groups to review each publication. Of the five schools whose yearbooks were selected for a Gold or Silver Crown, Ouachita has the smallest enrollment with 1,660 students. The other university finalists, including Baylor University, Indiana University, NC State and University of Miami, have enrollments ranging from 10,000 to 33,000 students.

The award is an indication of the quality of our communications program, our publications and, most importantly, our students,” Root said.

Taryn Bailey, a 2018 mass communications and speech communication graduate from Kyle, Texas, served as editor of the 2017-2018 yearbook.

“When I think of the 2018 Ouachitonian, I think of persistence,” Bailey said. “Not only did persistence ring true as a theme for my four years on staff but also as a motto for me as I worked on the book. There were many times I felt incapable or doubtful that I could accomplish a 256-page book, but with the help of an amazing staff, and a supportive and encouraging mentor like Deborah Root, I was able to push myself to create a book I am truly proud of.”

I am so proud of Taryn and of her dedication, leadership and perseverance,” Root added. “She accepted the editor position with a large learning curve, and she met that challenge every single day.”

For more information about the Ouachitonian or Ouachita’s Rogers Department of Communications, contact Dr. Deborah Root at [email protected] or (870) 245-5510.


By Rachel Moreno

March 8, 2019



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