The Mainstream receives three ONPA awards
Despite funding disadvantages, UCC newspaper remains competitive among Oregon college publications

UCC may be a relatively small community college, but the students who attend it still accomplish great things.

This year four students have been honored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association with three awards for their contributions to The Mainstream, the student newspaper.

The ONPA holds an annual newspaper contest for both Oregon commercial publications and state collegiate newspapers. This year 603 collegiate entries were submitted in the contest; many of these competitors had a significant advantage over The Mainstream in funding. The Mainstream, for example, received $3,000 this year from UCC for publication costs for the entire year whereas Lane Community College’s The Torch received upwards of $65,000 for half a year of production.

The awards won this year were for Best Website, Best Special Section and Best Graphic. The ONPA gives out a first, second and honorable mention award for each category, but placements have not been announced yet.

“We are really proud of these awards as they represent approval by industry leaders of our students’ work,” says Mainstream adviser Melinda Benton. “The goal is to continually improve and find better ways to connect with our community.” 

The Special Section award was given for two pages about Abnormal Psychology which highlighted Suzanne Schultz’s class on that topic. The award was given to designers David Young and Jesse Proctor along with writer Ryan Blocker.

Although the hard work of writing the article and laying out the page was done by these three students, the section was somewhat of a team effort as many other staff members and students contributed assistance and ideas.

This same section also won Young and Proctor the Best Graphic award.

Young and Proctor are both students in UCC’s Visual Communications program. Young is a senior designer in his third term with The Mainstream and Proctor served two terms.

“David and Jesse are both very gifted designers, and The Mainstream is extremely fortunate to have them on staff,” says Benton.

The final award for Best Website was awarded to Angela Churchill, the Mainstream’s web editor, and Tatyana Wahlman, the web assistant. Churchill was awarded second place in this category last year as well. 

Unlike most college newspaper websites, The Mainstream’s is created entirely by UCC students without the use of commercial templates. 

The ONPA competition also provides a way for students to view the work of other newspapers around the state; The Mainstream aims to glean from these ideas to further improve future publications.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.