Tar Heels dominate 9th consecutive international Society for News Design contest

For the ninth consecutive year, student designers from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media won the most overall awards of any university at the Society for News Design's annual international student design competition.

"The power of presenting clear and accurate information visually is more important than ever in today’s media environment,” said Susan King, dean of the Hussman School. "Our students, with the guidance and support of faculty like Terence Oliver, are demonstrating a consistent mastery of design concepts and continue to lead the way forward into the future of media and journalism."

Tar Heels accounted for 13 of the 61 awards in the 2019 competition. Of the 13 awards, four were secured by recent graduate Erynn Affeldt '19.

"I transferred to UNC from a small community college and was worried I would become just number at such a large and prominent university," said Affeldt. "So, it’s really exciting to be recognized for my design on an international platform. And seeing how many of my classmates won awards speaks to the caliber and individualized support of the faculty at the Hussman School."

The 2019 design contest is the 20th time the Society for News Design has held the international contest, and for the past nine years, the Hussman School has taken home the most awards of any university. Winners from those nine contests can be viewed on the Society for News Design website: 201920182017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 20132012 and 2011.

"Like any teacher or coach, you want them all to win," said Reese Felts Distinguished Associate Professor Terence Oliver, who facilitates the Hussman School's entries in the Society for News Design competition each year. "I’m so incredibly proud, and it’s an honor that we get to teach and nurture them. It’s such a blessing to see so many students, year after year, consistently step up to the plate. It’s a teacher’s dream."

Students from Oliver's "MEJO 484: Information Graphics" course are just a few of the many Hussman School award recipients each year. Through the course, students are taught to use the principles of visual representation of data, design and illustration intended to convey information and basic cartography for news.

In total, Hussman School students received two first place, two second place, three third place and six honorable mentions in the 2019 contest. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) earned the second-most awards in the 2019 contest with 10 awardees total.

The Society for News Design was founded in 1979 and is an international organization for news media professionals and visual communicators. It established its student competition in 2000 to recognize outstanding work done by young visual journalists. Through its annual competition, the Society for News Design encourages ethical journalism and storytelling across mediums.

Congratulations to the 2019 student award recipients:

Society for News Design 2019, Alternative Story Format, First place

  • Alternative Story Format: Katelyn Mottesheard (pictured above)
  • Standalone Multimedia (tie): Peyton Chance, Danielle Chemtob, Matt Couch, Hanna Davison, Alexis Fairbanks, Kaia Findlay, Rob Gourley, Kaitlin Harlow, Jasmin Herrera, Alice Hudson, Connie Hanzhang Jin, Nathan Klima, Alex Kormann, Marissa O’Neil, Gabrielle Palacio, Aubrey Patti, Katie Rice, Elle Sommerville, Maria Elena Vizcaino, Madison Walls, Avery Williams, Darian Woehr, Justin Wynn, Ruijia Zhang (Click here to view)


Society for News Design 2019, Special Sections, Second place

  • Alternative Story Format: Carter Frye (Click here to view)
  • Special Sections: Jason Armond, Lauren Wilkinson, Mary Carson Wells, Haley Hodges, Thomas Squire Jr., Tyler Trocinski, Samantha Beltran, Anna Bradsher, Katelyn Mottesheard, Asia Chou, Irene Zhou, Joy Lackey, Sam Collins, Sally Dillon, Zita Voros (pictured above) 


Society for News Design 2019, Feature Page Design, Third place



Society for News Design 2019, Sports Page Design, Honorable mention



For more information on the Society for News Design contest, contact Reese Felts Distinguished Associate Professor Terence Oliver.