HEAD: Piedmont yearbook recognized among best in nation


Anna Watson, Design Editor

The Yonahian yearbook received national recognition last week, earning a first place Pinnacle award from the College Media Association for a feature in the 2019-20 yearbook.


The spread, “See you on the Slopes,” highlighted a student activities ski trip to Wolf Ridge Resort in Mars Hill, North Carolina. The trip was organized by Justin White, coordinator of campus recreation and wellness.


“To be recognized among the best in the nation is a tremendous accomplishment for our student yearbook staff,” said Joe Dennis, chair of the mass communications department. “What makes this even more impressive is that there are no subdivisions for school size — Piedmont bested Texas Tech, a school with more than 36,000 students.”


The winning pages earned first place for “Best Feature Spread,” finishing ahead of entries from Rice University (2nd place), Texas Tech University (3rd place), the University of Miami and Southern Methodist University (both honorable mentions). Of the 12 schools recognized across six yearbook categories, Piedmont was the only non-Division I institution.


The pages were designed by last year’s editor-in-chief and alumna Alyssa Emmett and current editor-in-chief, sophomore Sarah Bittner. 


“This spread was a new idea we tried in the 2019-2020 yearbook — including an image to fill the whole page in the background as we compiled copy and other images to go with it,” Bittner said “Watching Alyssa Emmett, last year’s editor in chief, create this spread was mesmerizing. And it has helped me bring that same style and idea into other spreads and layouts in the same book.”

As this year’s editor, Bittner said she is looking forward to continuing experimenting with design in the 2020-21 book. “I look forward to promoting everyone’s creativity as we put it together,” she said. “Cause you don’t know if one person might just design an award winning layout.”

Melissa Tingle, adviser of Yonahian, attributed the innovative yearbook design to a recent collaboration between the mass communications and art departments. MCOM majors are now required to take a graphic design course in the art department, and graphic design majors are required to take a web design course in the MCOM department. Both Emmett and Bittner are double majors in graphic design and mass communications.

“I’m extremely proud of the work Alyssa and Sarah did in designing the 100th volume of the Yonahian,” Tingle said. “To be recognized as top content creators among some of the largest schools in the nation is a testament to the education these two students have received in their mass communications and graphic design courses here at Piedmont College.”