Members of Stephens Life magazine at Stephens College recently returned to campus following a successful trip to the Associated College Press/College Media Association National College Media Convention, where they won numerous awards.

Stephens Life Magazine Editors Hannah Dorey ’18 and Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20 as well as faculty adviser Mikkel Christensen represented the student-run magazine at the convention, which was held from Oct. 25-28 in Louisville, Ky.

The following is a breakdown of the awards received by Stephens Life for the 2017-18 school year: 

  • Second place: Feature Magazine Best of Show Award.
  • Fourth place for the 2018 Design of the Year: Best Magazine/Special Section Cover. Alexandra Martin ’18 created the winning design for the Fall 2017 issue.
  • Honorable mention for the 2018 Story of the Year: Best Diversity Series. Recognized stories were “Love, etc.” by Mary Kate Hafner ’18 in the Fall 2017 issue and “The A-Team: Navigating Nonexistence” by Erika Westhoff ’18 in the Spring 2018 issue
  • The magazine also was among 34 finalists for the 2018 Magazine Pacemaker Award, which is known as the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate publications.


“I’m really proud of all the Stephens Life students,” said Christensen, an assistant professor. “That they, again, finished second in the Best of Show category ahead of outlets from some of the biggest and best journalism schools in the country is outstanding!”

During the convention, students benefited from networking opportunities, informative panel discussions, hands-on tutorials and access to media professionals.

“Attending the College Media Convention was a great opportunity to learn from media industry professionals and to network with students from around the country,” said Alfaro, a fashion communication major. “I attended workshops regarding journalism, visual trends and social media.”

The event covered all aspects of college media, from rapidly changing multimedia platforms to newspaper, broadcast, yearbook and magazine journalism.

“We were proud to represent Stephens Life and Stephens College, and to show the country who we are and what we can do,” said Dorey, who is majoring in digital filmmaking with a minor in graphic design. “We were immersed into an environment surrounded by creatives, all of whom were focused on telling important stories, providing quality content and authentically connecting with one another. It was impossible not to learn, grow and strengthen our leadership skills.”

Both are excited to apply the knowledge acquired at the convention to this semester’s magazine, which is all about togetherness, inclusivity and human connection — all things that the world is very much in need of right now.

“We’re beyond excited to be able to implement all that we’ve learned about engagement, reliability and honest storytelling,” Dorey said.


Top photo (pictured L-to-R): Mikkel Christensen, faculty adviser; Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20, copy editor; and Hannah Dorey ’18, editor-in-chief. Photo by Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20.

Tags : Student Success, School of Design

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