By Alexis De La Rosa
Randy Stano, professor of practice in the Department of Journalism and Media Management at University of Miami School of Communication, has added the Society for News Design’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to his long list of accomplishments.
This past November, Stano attended the Associated Collegiate Press Conference where Sara Quinn, outgoing president for the Society of News Design (SND), invited him for an early morning breakfast. Quinn was the first person to tell Stano he was being recognized.
“Telling him [Stano] he had been chosen for the award was so fun. We were at an AP Collegiate Press conference in D.C., and I told him at breakfast. He was really happy. He had been waiting so long for this award, it was a long time coming. He was the obvious choice,” said Quinn.
Quinn was one of the SND officers who nominated Stano for the award. Every year, the organization’s president contacts board members and current officers to create an executive committee that is charged with finding a candidate for that year’s lifetime achievement award. The committee reviews select candidates from all over the world who have had a tremendous impact on the SND and on the news design industry.
SND is a professional organization dedicated to inventing, promoting, making, and teaching the world’s best visual journalists.
Randy Yeip, graphics editor for the national politics team at the Wall Street Journal and who has been a member of the SND for nearly 20 years, worked on the presentation for the award ceremony that took place April 21. According to Yeip, Stano’s long career is worthy of more than one Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Randy really has two lifetime-achievement-worthy halves of his career. He spent many years working in the newspaper industry doing phenomenal work at a number of newspapers. In his professional career, he was one of the leading lights in the industry, and he followed that half of his career with an equally influential role in the academic world. Every newspaper, magazine, or website that employs one of his former students is reaping the benefits of Randy's influence,” said Yeip.
Although Stano is no stranger to awards, being named the 2017 SND Lifetime Award winner has a special place in his heart.
“I have a soft spot for this award and the SND. Starting off as a member when the organization first began and eventually making it to president, I couldn't be more proud and excited,” said Stano.
For more than 35 years, Stano has been involved with the SND. He became a member in 1978 and, since then, worked extensively in the organization. In 1985, he was named contest/competition chair and, in 1992, Stano was elected SND president; the same year South Florida was devastated by Hurricane Andrew. That year, Stano, who directed the Miami Herald’s visual presentation of the storm and the communities Hurricane Andrew destroyed. His work, along with the work of Miami Herald staffers, helped the newspaper earn a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1993.
As president of the SND, Stano helped the organization grow internationally and academically. He also served as an editor for the SND’s annual Best of News Design book celebrating the year’s best in news design. Stano worked on the book’s sixth through 10th edition, which featured the top news and digital design work from 1983 through 1987. According to Stano, working on the books made for some interesting times in his career. When the SND’s international conference was held in Fort Lauderdale, Stano spent most of the conference at the printer helping with the binding of the book, working fervently to get it into the hands of attendees.
“In 1987, I was working on the book, and the pages had just come in from Hong Kong unbounded. We needed it ready for that year’s conference. So, in 5 o’clock traffic, I drove my convertible to the airport, piled boxes of loose papers that reached higher than the windshield, and drove them to the printer to get bound. Can you imagine?” said Stano.
Last weekend, Yeip presented Stano with the 2017 SND Lifetime Achievement Award during the SND’s annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to Stano, keeping his composure during his acceptance speech was tough.
"I am honored that SND recognized my academic and professional career. I am the 35th person to be honored by the design group over the past 39 years. I am lucky to be in the honoree group of top notch visual journalists from around the world. It was tough during the acceptance speech to keep my composure while feeling so humble,” said Stano.
Stano’s long list of professional accomplishments spans a career worthy of a lifetime achievement award. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Syracuse University and was director of editorial art and design for the Miami Herald. He is the recipient of numerous commendations including recognition from the National Headliners Club, Print, and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.
Stano served as director of editorial art and design at the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, New York, and assistant art director at the Kansas City Times and the Kansas City Star. He was named Texas High School Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Newspaper Fund of America funded by the Wall Street Journal, and, in 1974, was recognized as the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund’s National Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Stano has done numerous training sessions for the Poynter Media Institute and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, in addition to individual sessions at newspapers around the country and the world.
Stano is the editorial adviser to University of Miami’s Ibis yearbook and Distraction magazine, both national award-winning publications. He is a frequent guest speaker for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), Associated Collegiate Press, and College Media Advisers organization.
Stano has not only been influential in the art of news design, he has also inspired students. Stano’s former student, Rori Kotch, B.S.C. ’16, counts Stano as “one of the most influential people throughout [her] academic career.” They first met during a Distraction magazine meeting in 2012.
“Professor Stano helped me to expand my skill set and encouraged me to look into graphic design. Per his advice, I took a beginning level graphic design class and haven't stopped since. In the fall of 2014 I became the editor-in-chief of Distraction magazine. During my two-year editorship, he not only helped grow as a professional, but he helped me grow as a person. He has taught me some of my most valuable skills, and for that, I can't thank him enough,” said Kotch.
To read more on the SND Lifetime Achievement Award please visit, http://www.snd.org/clt2017/2017/04/21/snd-presents-lifetime-achievement-awards-to-darcy-greene-cheryl-pell-and-randy-stano/.