News Story

The Communique ranks second place in PRSSA national competition

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

The Communique, the Oral Roberts University Communication, Arts & Media Department alumni magazine, was entered recently into the Public Relations Student Society of America national competition called the Zenith Awards. The periodical ranked second (honorable mention) in the nation in the publication category. This year's competition was tough with a record number of submissions, 36 submissions from 14 universities nationwide.

The winners of several categories were featured via the virtual awards ceremony page at http://jmc.ou.edu/zenith/Zenith_Awards/Publications-Winner.html.

The Communique is no stranger to winning awards; the publication has won three individual Zenith awards two years ago in their nationwide competition and won the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association's Best in State placement two years in a row in the statewide competition.

The magazine is produced by students. Writers enrolled in the Publications Workshop class generate the content under the direction of Assistant Professor of Media Chris Putman. Stories feature campus news and the department's graduates. Alumnus and actor Tom Hillmann graces the cover of the award winning issue. Hillmann has an impressive body of work. He can be seen in a movie that is showing in theaters nationwide, "Battlefield: Los Angeles." Hillmann has played opposite Denzel Washington in the movie "Out of Time" and has a reoccurring role in "CSI Miami" and "Army Wives."

ORU students interviewing and writing about ORU alumni make for a winning combination and an interesting read. The magazine has expanded its circulation from the original 2,500 copies mailed to the department alumni to another 5,000 copies distributed by the Admissions Office to potential students and another several hundred copies used by Alumni Relations for fundraising and recruitment purposes.

It takes a keen eye to pull together a quality publication. Senior Rebekah Hardy serves as editor in chief for the magazine and wrote the cover story for the winning publication.

"It's been a fantastic year, and we have been able to feature a number of alumni who are flourishing in many different areas including journalism, advertising and acting," Hardy said. "We are so excited to get out the news of what our alumni are doing."

For more information on the College of Communication, Arts and Media, go to http://www.oru.edu/academics/college_of_arts_and_cultural_studies/communication_arts_and_media/.