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Talisman wins 17th Pacemaker

The 2013 Talisman was awarded a Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press on Saturday (Nov. 1) at the National College Media Convention in Philadelphia.

It was the 17th Pacemaker for WKU’s yearbook, an honor reserved for the nation’s top student publications.

The 2013 Talisman was edited by Amber Plunkett, a Clarksville, Tenn., native who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in news/editorial journalism. Other editorial board members were managing editor Lauren Cherry, a Louisville graduate; writing editors Elizabeth Beilman, a Louisville graduate, Sam Osborne, a Bowling Green senior, and Allyson Beasecker, a San Diego, California, graduate; design editors Houston Harris, an Evansville, Indiana, graduate, and Julie Washer, a Bowling Green graduate; and photo editors Sam Oldenburg, an Owatonna, Minnesota, graduate, and Abby O’Bryan, a Louisville senior. Charlotte Turtle was the adviser.

The Pacemaker for the 2013 Talisman was its seventh in a row, and the 10th earned by the yearbook since 2003.

Also at the conference, the College Heights Herald student newspaper and the Talisman were among the Best of Show honorees for their current editions.

The Herald, under Fall 2014 editor-in-chief Taylor Harrison, a Lexington senior, placed ninth in the Best of Show competition among all college news organizations represented. The 2014 Talisman, edited by Katie Honadle, an Owensboro graduate, placed fourth among all yearbooks in the Best of Show competition.

College Heights Herald staffers also won several individual awards in the Associated Collegiate Press Story of the Year competition:

  • Feature story of the year: Third place, Jacob Parker, a Madisonville senior.
  • Sports story of the year: Third place, Elliott Pratt, a Springfield, Tennessee, senior.
  • Multimedia sports story of the year: Fifth place, Jonah Phillips, a Louisville sophomore, Kreable Young, a senior from Birmingham, Alabama, Tyler Essary, a senior from Prattville, Alabama, and Cameron Love, a Mount Washington junior.
  • Feature picture of the year: Honorable mention, Ian Maule, a Johnsburg, Illinois, graduate.

 The College Height Herald also received several Pinnacle Awards from the College Media Association:

  • Best feature photo: First place, Adam Wolffbrandt, a Lexington senior.
  • Best photo package: First place, Ian Maule.
  • Best portrait: Second place, Jabin Botsford, a graduate from Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Best sports multimedia story: Second place, Jonah Phillips, Kreable Young, Tyler Essary, Cameron Love.
  • Best online sports section: Second place.
  • Mobile App of the Year: Third place.
  • Best sports feature story: Elliott Pratt.

The Talisman and the College Heights Herald have legacies of being ranked among the best in the nation. Each of the student-run publications now has 17 and 15 Pacemaker awards respectively, for a total of 32 Pacemakers held by WKU Student Publications.

The Pacemaker is considered the most prestigious award for a student publication.

The Talisman is a fall-delivery yearbook first published in 1924. It chronicles the academic year in a narrative format with an emphasis on exceptional photojournalism, strong writing and design. The 2014 edition, which had a press run of 3,000 copies, is currently in distribution.

The College Heights Herald is published in print every Tuesday and Thursday during the academic calendar, and is available any time in its digital formats at WKUHerald.com online and through the WKUHerald apps for Apple and Android mobile devices. The Herald was founded in January 1925.

Charlotte Turtle is the adviser to the Talisman. Carrie Pratt is the adviser to the College Heights Herald. Chuck Clark is the director of WKU Student Publications.

About Student Publications

College Heights Herald

Founded in 1925, the College Heights Herald is recognized nationally as one of the top college newspapers. The Herald has received 14 national Pacemaker Awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. In 1989 the Herald was inducted into the ACP Hall of Fame. The Herald has also received five Gold Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and seven Silver Crowns.

The first issue of Jan. 29, 1925 announced the newspaper's beginning. "This newspaper was born at one of the greatest chapel exercises ever heard on College Heights, on Thursday, Jan. 22, and the acclaim with which the announcement was received would have stirred the heart of every former student and filled every atom of his body with renewed vibration of school loyalty and patriotism ..."

The Herald began as a broadsheet, but has been a tabloid most of its life. The paper converted from letterpress to offset in 1968 and became a twice-weekly publication in 1969. In August 2002, the Herald returned to its broadsheet size, and the staff began sending the paper electronically.

The Herald also revamped its Web site, and began posting news daily, as well as using multimedia techniques in coverage. The site, wkuherald.com, won a Pacemaker in 2010.

The Herald returned to a once-weekly print publishing schedule in January, 2018, while expanding its digital journalism.


The Talisman was founded in 1924 as the school's official yearbook and was published continuously until 1996. The Talisman resumed publication with the 2003 yearbook. The publication started winning national awards in the 1970s and was the only recipient of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Trendsetter Award until it was discontinued. The Talisman was named to the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2009.

The final Talisman yearbook was published in 2016. During the 2016 - 2017 school year, the Talisman transitioned to become a news, culture and lifestyle magazine and website. The magazine was recognized as a Pacemaker finalist in its first year and the website received a Pacemaker each of its first two years.


Herald and Talisman writers and photographers contribute significantly to Western's top finishes in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation overall national championship.

Here is a complete list of Herald, Talisman and advertising awards:


1989 – Inducted into Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame

Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award: 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012. (Finalist: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 2006, 2008).

Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Crown Award: 1998, 1999, S2000, F2000, 2002.

Columbia Scholastic Press Silver Crown Award: F2002, S2003, F2003, S2004, F2004, S2005, S2006.


2009 – Inducted into Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame

Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award: 1978, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. (2014 not yet determined)

Columbia Scholastic Press Trendsetter Award: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977. Retired after five years with no winners other than Talisman.

Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Crown Award: 1982, 1995, 2010, 2011.

Columbia Scholastic Press Silver Crown Award: 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009.


Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award: 2010. (Finalist: 2004).


College Newspapers Business and Advertising Managers awards

1999: Best display spot ad (2nd).

2002: Best in Category for newspaper promotional campaign (1st); best training program (2nd); best electronic banner house ad (3rd).

2003: Best in Category for newspaper promotional campaign, best newspaper promo ad-color (1st); best electronic display ad, best training program, best rate card (3rd).

2004: Best display ad-spot color (1st); best newspaper promotional campaign (2nd); best back-to-school or orientation section/issue (3rd).

2005: Best of Category for rate card (1st); best display ad campaign (2nd); best newspaper promotional ad-black and white (3rd).

2006: Best in Category for media kit/rate card (1st); best newspaper promotional ad-black and white (3rd).

2007: Best in Category for media kit/rate card (1st); best newspaper promotional ad-black and white (3rd).

2008: Best display ad campaign (2nd).

2009: Best special section (2nd).

2010: Best online newspaper promotion (2nd).

2011: Best special section (1st); best sales increase (2nd).

2012: Best in Category for back to school or orientation section (1st); best classified page, best newspaper marketing/promotional campaign (3rd).


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 Last Modified 10/11/18