2020 L’Acadien yearbook earns first-place national award

In January, UL Lafayette’s L’Acadien yearbook earned a first-place award from the American Scholastic Press Association in New York. Competing against universities from across the country, the 2020 L’Acadien yearbook, entitled Focus, tied with Michigan State’s yearbook for a first-place finish.

The staff of L’Acadien earned high marks in content presentation, general page design and publication structure. The staff also earned a perfect score in creativity.

“The time and talent needed to take on the challenge of covering stories of a university community for the entire year is evident in the pages of your publication,” the American Scholastic Press Association wrote in a review of the book.  “The theme is carried out very well throughout the book, both visually and verbally. Copy is written in a strong journalistic style.” 

“Coverage of all areas of school life is well done. Academics, athletics and student life are well represented. Your university should take pride in this publication, especially due to the extra challenges created as the pandemic began in 2020.”

The 2020 L’Acadien yearbook was led by co-editors James Mays (photography) and Andre Bourgeois (layout and design). Other 2020 L’Acadien staff members were Andre Broussard (photographer); David Reed, Maddy Myer Aaron Gonsoulin and Zack Nagy (writers); and Amelia Markezich, Danielle Kemp, Katie Latour and Ashley Marshall (designers).

“This recognition indicates the yearbook staff is doing an excellent job of serving the needs of the campus community,” Matthew Tarver, director of UL Lafayette Student Publications, said. “Working in the Office of Student Publications affords students the opportunity to gain real-world experience that puts the skills they learn in the classroom into practice. The experiences they have in publishing a yearbook will be beneficial in their careers as journalists, information managers and media leaders.”

L’Acadien yearbook has been published by UL Lafayette students since 1912 and is distributed on campus and online each fall, usually during Homecoming.

The APSA award is one of several marks of excellence the Student Publications office at UL Lafayette has received recently. In 2020, The Vermilion earned a second-place overall award for a university student newspaper at the Southeastern Journalism Conference (SEJC) held in Hattiesburg, Miss. The paper, led by editor Melissa Watson, was recognized for excellence in several categories: news judgment and value, organization of information, creativity, use of color, use of photos and graphics, accuracy and overall quality. The paper also earned high marks in quality of writing, ease of reading, page layout and campus coverage.

“It was an honor to receive our highest placement in the overall college newspaper category in at least nine years,” Watson said. “We put so much hard work into our redesign and special issues. The writers, editors, graphic designers and photographers all stepped up to deliver high-quality content to students, and it paid off.”

In 2021, under the leadership of David Reed, The Vermilion finished fourth overall at SEJC. Additionally, Reed had previously placed first in the Best News Writer category in the 2020 SEJC Best of the South competition.

“I am immensely grateful to receive this award. This has been an incredible honor, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Reed said.

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