The student-run magazine was honored by the annual Michigan State University Design Contest for College Students.

“Nip and Tuck.” That provocative title coupled with a similarly edgy picture of a woman ready for plastic surgery was one of several covers that helped garner a top award for the University of Miami’s student-led Distraction magazine.

The magazine was chosen as “Magazine of the Year” by the 20th Annual Michigan State University Design Contest for College Students. The fall, winter, and spring printed issues of Distraction were named “Magazine of the Year” in the overall design category.

“Putting out this magazine is a lot of work but getting this award shows that it is worth it,” said Teddy Willson, a rising senior in the School of Communication who was editor-in-chief of the magazine for the past academic year. 

“This is super,” said Randy Stano, editorial adviser to the magazine and professor of practice in the Department of Journalism and Media Management. “All the hard work and determination paid off for the staff in this contest. It is great to see the staffers receive the recognition.”

Distraction also received several other awards:

  • Magazine Spread (two facing pages):

Willson said that the mission of the publication is to cover issues that resonate with students. “We are always out there talking to students and trying to capture what they are interested [in] so they feel they have a voice,” she said.

The student body perspective is present throughout the pages of the publication. Recent articles included one on addiction, another one on the meaning of power and a third on gender identity. But many of the pieces are also fun filled. Photography and graphics are prominent. Every issue has a section on health and wellness, food, and fashion. Students act as models in the fashion pictures sometimes using their own clothes or fashion lent by local vendors, Willson said.

About 60 students participate in the publication of the magazine, which comes out four times a year, but a core group of 10 is responsible for the editing and last minute work of getting it published, said Willson.   

Joey Haas, who took the second place for Student Designer of the Year in the competition, said she found a passion and love for Distraction during her sophomore year at UM.

“I always loved telling stories and Distraction gave me the outlet of mixing my visual creativity with journalism in an awesome way,” she said. She also found the camaraderie among fellow journalists inspiring.

“It is a lot of work and it means a lot of hours of working together and it is a great way to make friends because of all the time we spend together,” said Haas. “We are all working with the same passion and love.”