Herald wins 17th Pacemaker, Talisman ‘Best of Show’

The College Heights Herald won its 17th national Pacemaker Award and the Talisman was named Best of Show for feature magazines at the National College Media Convention in Louisville.


The College Heights Herald and the Talisman were honored with top awards during the National College Media Convention in Louisville Oct. 25-28.

The Herald won a 2018 Newspaper Pacemaker, the second year in a row the Herald has won the award, and Talisman magazine placed first in the ACP Best of Show competition for collegiate feature magazines.

In addition to the newspaper Pacemaker, the Herald’s WKUHerald.com was a finalist for an online Pacemaker, as was the website for the Talisman, WKUTalisman.com.

The Pacemaker, awarded by the Associated Collegiate Press, is regarded as the nation’s highest honor for a student-run publication. The Herald’s win was its 17th and the 37th for WKU Student Publications. Talisman has 20 Pacemakers – two in its current format as a life and culture magazine for its website and 18 from its years as a yearbook.

Andrew Henderson, a May 2018 graduate from Olive Hill, Kentucky, was editor of the Herald in 2017-18 and now works for The Oldham Era in LaGrange, Kentucky. Helen Gibson, a May 2018 graduate from Cadiz, Kentucky, was the 2017-18 editor of the Talisman and is a content and marketing communications fellow at Q Ideas in Franklin, Tennessee.

Displaying awards at the National College Media Convention are: (left to right) Nicole Ziege, Evan Heichelbech, Andrew Henderson, Brandon Edwards, Laurel Deppen, Mason Davis, Sam Oldenburg, Julie Sisler, Olivia Mohr and Hannah Good.

Talisman and Herald students were also recognized with 11 individual awards during the Associated Collegiate Press awards ceremony Saturday:

  • Alexandria senior Hannah Good placed second in Four-Year College Reporter of the Year for a portfolio that included “It happens here: Honors freshman tells her story of sexual assault,” “WKU introduces LGBT-friendly dorms,” and “Behind the scenes with drag kings and queens.” Good is the current editor-in-chief of the Talisman.
  • Bowling Green junior Phi Chu placed third in Feature Story of the Year for “Reaching Redemption” published in Talisman magazine.
  • May 2018 graduate Emily Johns of Bowling Green placed third in Yearbook/Magazine Page or Spread Design of the Year for “Reaching Redemption” in Talisman magazine.
  • Louisville sophomore Chloe Cooper, Naperville, Illinois, sophomore Chris Kohley and Somerset junior Lillie Eastham placed third in Multimedia Sports Story of the Year for “Backwards and on Roller Skates” published on WKUTalisman.com.
  • Henderson and Morning View senior Nicole Ziege placed fifth in News Story of the Year for “Fearing for my Life” published in the Herald.
  • Georgetown junior Hayley Robb placed fifth in Sports Story of the Year for “Game, set, unmatched” published in Talisman magazine.
  • Louisville senior Evan Heichelbech, the current Herald editor-in-chief, received honorable mention in Sports Story of the Year for “For Life” published in the Herald.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, senior Michelle Hanks, Evansville senior Grace Pritchett and Louisville junior Hannah LeBoeuf received honorable mention in Multimedia Sports Story of the Year for “Sights and sounds of Fight Night 2018” published on WKUTalisman.com.
  • Louisville junior Lydia Schweickart received honorable mention in Photo Slideshow of the Year for “Faces of BG Pride” published on WKUTalisman.com.
  • Atlanta junior Nic Huey and May 2018 graduate Brook Joyner from Chattanooga, Tennessee, received honorable mention in Illustration of the Year for “Side of Fees” published in the Herald.
  • Cooper received honorable mention in Sports Photo of the Year for “Tug” published on WKUTalisman.com.

In the Best of Show competition, WKUTalisman.com placed seventh among large-school websites.

In the College Media Association Pinnacle Awards announced Friday at the convention, the Talisman placed first for Best Online Main Page. Portland, Oregon, senior Silas Walker, a Herald photographer, placed second in Best Sports Feature Photo, and the Herald received honorable mention in Best Online Sports Section.

Representing the Talisman at the convention were Good and Nicholasville junior Olivia Mohr. Representing the Herald were Louisville sophomore Laurel Deppen, Louisville senior Brandon Edwards, junior Mason Davis, Ziege, and junior Julie Sisler from Clive, Iowa.

Talisman Adviser Sam Oldenburg also participated in the conference and presented a session, “Photo editing: more than meets the eye.”

Talisman, WKUTalisman.com win CSPA awards

In a separate contest, Columbia Scholastic Press Association named Talisman a Crown Finalist for hybrid print-digital magazines and Talisman staffers won 14 awards for individual excellence.

Being a Crown Finalist means Talisman will receive either the Gold Crown, CSPA’s top national award, or a Silver Crown. The awards will be announced in March 2019.

In CSPA’s Gold Circle competition, Talisman staffers won the following awards:


  • Alternative Story Form: Zora Gordon, EhtanVannatta, Sam Flick, “Paving the Way,” Talisman
  • Single News Feature Photo: Silas Walker, “The Right to Dream,” Talisman
  • Single-Subject Feature Package Double-Truck: Sam Flick, “Balancing House and Home,” Talisman
  • First-Person Experience: Hannah McCarthy, “Flesh Memories,” Talisman


  • Headline writing, staff, Talisman
  • Single-Subject Feature Package, 3 or More Pages: Emily Johns, “Cash Cows,” Talisman


  • Single News Feature Photo: Chris Kohley, “Come Together,” Talisman
  • Sports Feature: Hayley Robb, “Game, Set, Unmatched,” Talisman


  • Cover Design: Emily Johns, “Power, Issue 03,” Talisman
  • Single News Feature Photo: Silas Walker, “Cash Cows,” Talisman
  • Design of Single Spread: Sam Flick, “Shrimp and Grits,” Talisman
  • In-Depth News/Feature Story: Delaney Holt, Hunter Frint, “Passing the Towel,” Talisman
  • Personality Profile: Phi Chu, “Reaching Redempton,” Talisman
  • General Feature: Max Zambrano, “Cash Cows,” Talisman