University of Miami’s printed editions of the 2014-2015 Distraction magazine and 2015 Ibis yearbook were named Gold Crown winners by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at Columbia University during the College Media Association conference in New York City on March 13. 

“This is a wonderful tribute to the two staffs. I am thrilled and honored to be able to work with such a talented and dedicated group of University of Miami students,” said Randy Stano, the editorial adviser for the two publications.

Ibis was one of three college Gold Crown yearbook winners and Distraction was one of six printed college magazines to receive a Gold Crown.

Rori Kotch is Distraction’s current editor-in-chief and was also the editor of the winning editions. The 2015 Ibis yearbookwas edited by School of Communication alumna Holly Bensur.

“I am beyond excited that Distraction won a Gold Crown,” Kotch said. “The staff has worked so hard on every issue, so the fact that our efforts were recognized is such an honor.”

This is the second Gold Crown for the printed edition of Distraction and the fourth total for both the print and online editions combined. Distraction has previously won two Gold Crowns as a hybrid publication, which is when the printed and digital issues are reviewed together. The last time Distraction won a Gold Crown for its printed edition was in 2010.

“I am so proud that Rori, Holly, and their staffs continued the Gold Crown tradition for student publications at the University of Miami. It is wonderful to see the staff receive the recognition from Columbia University,” said Stano.

Ibis won its 10th Gold Crown this year. The yearbook has won three Silver Crowns in the past 14 years.

“What an incredible honor it is to receive another Gold Crown award,” current Editor-in-Chief of the Ibis Emily Eidelman said. “We put in countless hours of work over the course of one year to make a beautiful book and it’s great to see that not only is our book appreciated on campus, but it’s appreciated nationally as well.”

The CSPA has three annual competitions that recognize excellence in student media: Crown Awards, Medalist Critique, and Gold Circle Awards.

Crown Awards summarize overall excellence in the entire publication. They function as a “top-down” view of general excellence and are the highest honor a publication can receive from CSPA.  

“I think winning the awards helps strengthen the presence of Distraction and the Ibis. This coming year, both incoming editors came to the university to work on these publications because of their recognition. I think winning helps recruit future staffers and gives current staffers recognition from their peers and the magazine industry,” said Stano 

Alumni from both Distraction and Ibis have gone on to become editors for Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Home Improvement, and other nationally recognized publications.