Seniors selected to lead Herald, Talisman, Cherry Creative

Three seniors have been selected to lead the student-run divisions at WKU Student Publications during 2020-21.

Lily Burris

Lily Burris, a journalism major from Bowling Green with a minor in anthropology, will be editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald for Fall 2021. Burris is now assignment editor of the Herald and has been on staff since her freshman year. She joined the Herald staff as a reporter in 2019, attended the Danish School of Journalism during Spring 2020 and interned at the Bowling Green Daily News. She will hold the College Heights Herald Endowment Fellowship this summer at Louisville Public Media and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

As Herald editor-in-chief, Burris will be responsible for all coverage, content and production of the Herald’s daily email newsletter, which goes to nearly 24,000 subscribers, as well as the website, the Herald print edition, social media and other operations that deliver news and information to the WKU community. The Herald was founded in 1925 and is one of the most honored student-run news organizations in the country, with 18 national Pacemaker awards, and is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame.

Jess Brandt

Jess Brandt, a journalism major with a minor in creative writing, will be editor-in-chief of Talisman magazine and website for the 2021-22 academic year. Brandt, from Rineyville, is now writing co-editor for the magazine. She joined Student Publications in Fall 2018 and previously wrote for the Talisman magazine and website staffs and also worked for Cherry Creative.

As editor-in-chief of Talisman, Brandt will oversee Talisman magazine, a high-end life and culture publication that is issued each semester, as well as the companion website and Talisman email newsletters. Talisman was founded as a yearbook in 1924 and became a magazine in 2016. Talisman also is a member of the ACP Hall of Fame and has won 21 national Pacemaker awards.

Ashlyn Crawford

Ashlyn Crawford, a visual arts and user experience double-major, was selected as creative director of Cherry Creative, the top position in our branded content studio. She is now art director at Cherry Creative and joined the staff as a designer in Fall 2019. Crawford is from Lanesville, Indiana. She will hold the Carla and Chad Carlton Fellowship this summer at C2 Strategic Communications in Louisville.

As Cherry Creative director, Crawford will lead a team that generates sponsored content and helps clients get information to the WKU community through Student Publications operations. The team creates print, digital and video content, hosts events such as the annual WKU Housing Fair and produces the annual View of the Hill magazine for all incoming first-year students. It also manages the and websites as well as engaging in other revenue-generating activities. Cherry Creative launched in 2018 and won the first Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker for innovation in Fall 2020.

The fourth student-lead position, manager of Student Publications Advertising, has not yet been filled for Fall 2021.

The editors-in-chief of the College Heights Herald and Talisman are selected by the Student Publications Committee, an 11-voting-member group that includes faculty, staff and students from across Western Kentucky University and a representative of the Kentucky Press Association. The creative director and the advertising manager are hired by the professional staff at WKU Student Publications.

WKU Student Publications is one of the nation’s most honored student media groups, with 40 national Pacemaker awards, the nation’s highest honor for student-run media, from Associated Collegiate Press. Fifteen of those Pacemakers have been earned since 2010.