Stanford Medicine magazine draws top national awards

Illustration by Jason Holley
Illustration by Jason Holley

Stanford Medicine magazine earned six awards, including top prize in the category of “best articles of the year,” in a national competition.

In all, the magazine took home a platinum, three golds, a silver and a bronze in the 2015 Circle of Excellence Awards Program, a contest held by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE. The magazine is produced by the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs.

Writer TRACIE WHITE earned the sole platinum award in the best-articles category for “Almost without hope,” a look at the heartbreakingly scarce medical resources on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. The judges wrote that they “admired the author’s handling of a subject ripe with standard conventions and hackneyed writing. The author never fell into this trap, capturing the story and delivering it creatively. With a strong fact/narrative balance, the author got this one right. Job well done.”

Stanford Medicine earned a gold award in the special-constituency magazine category. One judge described herself as “drooling over the stories.” The judges added that “the writing makes the technical and medical topics understandable by lay readers.” The magazine is edited by ROSANNE SPECTOR.

The magazine also earned its fourth consecutive gold award for periodical staff writing. Following are the five stories submitted in this category:

  • Immune system disruption,” by KRIS NEWBY, tells the story of a young woman felled by chronic fatigue syndrome who is now recovering and taking part in a trailblazing Stanford study.
  • Fresh starts for hearts,” by KRISTA CONGER, describes the potential for stem cell research to help patients, such as the children in one family stricken by a life-threatening heart disease.
  • Her left hand,” by TRACIE WHITE, recounts the experience of a Stanford surgeon who temporarily lost the full use of her hands.
  • Rethinking Alzheimer’s,” by BRUCE GOLDMAN, captures the advances in research into the disease.
  • Brain attack,” by ERIN DIGITALE, focuses on a controversial psychiatric disease that devastates children’s lives.

The judges said they were “particularly blown away by the depth of the reporting and the degree of access the reporters had to their sources.”

The magazine earned a gold award for periodical design for its Spring 2014 issue, whose theme was mysteries of the heart. The judges said the theme “was carried through the entire magazine in an exceptional way, and we especially loved the variety of interpretations of the theme seen in the illustrations, each of which was compelling, a wonder to look at and a strong partner to the editorial in terms of conveying the subject.” The magazine’s art direction is provided by David Armario Design.

The illustration for “Fresh starts for hearts,” a story in the Spring 2014 issue, earned a silver award. The artist who created the image is JASON HOLLEY. “The illustration for this article was beautiful in an artistic way, yet told a story that complemented the article completely,” the judges wrote.

The cover for the Spring 2014 issue, also drawn by Holley, earned a bronze award. Judges praised the cover as “a beautiful, artful, understated cover.”

CASE is a professional organization for those in the fields of communications, alumni relations and development at educational institutions. It includes more than 3,600 colleges and universities, as well as independent elementary and secondary schools in 77 countries. To recognize the best work in these fields, CASE sponsors its annual Circle of Excellence Awards.

This post was originally published on Stanford Medicine’s news website.