UNC Hussman students win big at the Society for News Design Awards
From visuals illustrating the lives of spiders to digital storytelling detailing the fates of South American immigrants, projects created by students from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media won big at the recent Society for News Design Awards.
UNC Hussman students took home almost a third of the 63 awards presented annually by the international organization for news media professionals and visual communicators, winning 19 awards, including firsts in infographics, alternative story format, digital storytelling and sports page design.
Taking top honors were:
• “One Small Step for Woman” (First Place, Infographics): A piece created by Valentina Arismendi `21 on women’s contributions to NASA’s space program.
• “Tianjin Jianbing” (First Place, Alternative Story Format): Mingxuan Shen `21 created this piece illustrating the history of a North Chinese breakfast food.
• “Uprooted” (First Place, Digital Storytelling): An interactive multimedia project produced by the “MEJO 584: Documentary Multimedia Storytelling” course, the project documented the challenges of Venezuelan immigrants in Columbia.
“In today's shifting news environment, news design is critical because it allows students and professionals to convey information as quickly as possible by smartly using the power of words and visuals in a number of concise, easy to understand ways to explain and educate the viewer,” said Reese Felts Distinguished Associate Professor Terence Oliver on the importance of visual communication.
Sixteen of the 19 SND awards won by UNC Hussman students came from the “MEJO 484: Informational Graphics” class Oliver teaches each semester, including Arismendi’s “One Small Step for Woman” design.
Arismendi’s piece centers around Project Artemis, which is NASA’s attempt at landing the first woman on the moon by 2024. Project Artemis inspired Arismendi to look at the impact women have had in the field of space exploration as a whole.
“Winning first place in the SND competition was one of the highlights of my semester,” Arismendi said. “I started jumping up and down when I got the email about the award notification.”
Before designing something, Arismendi said she always thinks: “What impact can the information have, and how do I compliment that with design?” That sort of thinking allows for the creativity of design and “for the subject to dictate the aesthetic, and not the other way around,” Arismendi said.
Will Hausen, a May 2020 UNC Hussman graduate who won second place in the alternative story format for his “The Tarantula” project, also relishes the creativity of design. In fact, a key design element of his piece detailing — you guessed it— facts about tarantulas came about through a mistake. He accidently spilled coffee on his work and liked the effect so much he incorporated the effect throughout the piece.
“I believe visual communication is very important because we as humans are very visual animals. We process images far faster than words on paper,” Hausen said. “Words alone do not always help someone fully realize the complete picture, because our mind's idea of an image may be incomplete.”
See the full list of SND award-winning UNC Hussman work below.
First: “One Small Step for Woman” Valentina Arismendi `21
Second: “The Tarantula” Will Hausen `20
Third: “El Clasico” Mingxuan Shen `21
Honorable mention: “Boom. The Ins and Outs of How a Firework Works” Valentina Arismendi `21
Honorable mention: “Tianjin Jianbing” Mingxuan Shen `21
Honorable mention: “Birdland Basics” Emily Sutton `21
Alternative Story Format
First: “Tianjin Jianbing” Mingxuan Shen `21
Second: “The Tarantula” Will Hausen `20
Honorable mention: “Flux Magazine Design In Nine” Emily Cunningham `20
Sports Page Design
First: “Birdland Basics” Emily Sutton `21
Second: “Simone Biles” Julia Johnson `20
Second: “Under Mind: A Look at Mental Health in College Students” Team
Valentina Arismendi `21
Melissa Fernandez `20
Julia Haynes `21
Will Hausen `20
Features Page Design
Second: “Dim Sum: The Ultimate Guide” Cecilia Sit `20
Art & Illustration
Third: “The Giant Sequoia” Erynn Affeldt `19
Honorable mention: “The Loch Ness Monster” Emma Barber `20
Honorable mention: “Under Mind: A look at Mental Health in College Students” Valentina Arismendi `21 and Elizabeth Bryant `21
Second: “Under Mind: A look at Mental Health in College Students” Caroline Norton `20
First: “Uprooted: The Faces of the Venezuelan Crisis” Team
Laura Andrea García Giraldo
Margarita María Restrepo
Second: “The Great State of Wilkes” Team
Abby Cantrell `20
Zayrha Rodriguez `20