MSU sweeps Grand Awards during annual CPRAM competition

Contact: Mary Pollitz

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Office of Public Affairs swept the senior division Grand Award categories during College Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s annual competition.

CPRAM is a consortium of public relations professionals employed at Mississippi’s public and private colleges and universities. During the annual CPRAM conference last month, OPA Senior Associate Director Harriet Laird was elected to serve as president of the CPRAM board for the 2024-2025 academic year.

2023 Alumnus Magazines

A Grand Award in print media and first place in the institutional magazine category went to the 2023 issues of MSU’s Alumnus magazine edited by Susan Lassetter, OPA publications editor, and published by OPA and the MSU Alumni Association. Additional OPA staff contributing to this win include Heather Rowe, digital design editor; photographers Grace Cockrell and Beth Wynn; Carl Smith, multimedia specialist; Harriet Laird; Sid Salter, vice president for strategic communication and director; and former staffers Megan Bean, Robby Lozano, Emily Grace McCall and James Carskadon.

MSU Foundation and Alumni Association staff also furthering the magazine’s merit are Erica Way, marketing manager; Chad Hathcock, communication specialist; Cathy Lammons, communications and donor relations executive director; Jeff Davis, alumni association executive director; and John Rush, vice president for development and alumni. Former staff member Addie Mayfield also was a writer.

Others involved are Vanessa Beeson, Agriculture and Natural Resources Marketing publications editor; Kevin Hudson, Office of Agricultural Communications photographer; Bonnie Coblentz, OAC communication editor; Michaela Parker, OAC marketing coordinator; and Kevin Snyder, athletics photographer. ANRM’s Meg Henderson and Kathleen Forman, Bagley College of Engineering’s Emily Cambre, and the Athletics Department’s Austin Perryman, all previous employees, complete the contributors.

“Mariah,” a documentary produced by OPA and the University Television Center, is the Grand Award recipient in the electronic media category and took home first-place in the television program category. UTC also swept this category with “9/20” earning second place and “Any of Them” earning third. Team members for these productions include James Parker, senior documentary and special projects producer; David Garraway, director; Olivia Aylesworth, video producer; Hal Teasler, creative manager; and Sid Salter. The psychology department’s Emily Stafford and Michael Nadorff were involved in the production of “Mariah.” 

Additional CPRAM awards include:


—First Place, “State Climatologist, MSU Professor: Drought Severity Could Go Either Direction This Winter, Better or Worse,” by Allison Matthews, OPA news editor.

—Third Place, “Flakes’ Stories Illuminate Civil Rights Champion ‘Mama Fannie’ at MSU Event Kicking Off Black History Month Celebration,” Carl Smith.


—First Place, “Closure: Goliath Helps Families Find Answers as a ‘Last Responder,’” Susan Lassetter, Harriet Laird, Heather Rowe, and Grace Cockrell.


—First Place, “Maroon Madness,” Grace Cockrell.


—Second Place, “A Conversation in Code,” Grace Cockrell.


—First Place, “Madison Brode,” David Garraway.


—First Place, “What Matters 2024,” David Garraway, James Parker, Sid Salter, and Don Warren, UTC senior producer.

—Third Place, “Northeast Foodie Trail,” Don Warren and Brett Thornburg, UTC video producer.


—First Place, “Mariah,” James Parker, David Garraway, Olivia Aylsworth, Emily Stafford, Hal Teasler and Michael Nadorff.

—Second Place, “9/20,” James Parker, David Garraway, Olivia Aylsworth, Hal Teasler and Sid Salter.

—Third Place, “Any of Them,” Olivia Aylsworth.


—First Place, “Maroon Dreams 2023,” David Garraway, Melanie Harris, MSU theater instructor; and Sam Baker, former MSU alumni social media coordinator and current alumni digital media manager.

—Third Place, “Bully Move 2023,” David Garraway, Don Warren, and Sam Baker.


—Second Place, “Taking Care of What Matters,” David Garraway, James Parker, Sid Salter, Don Warren and Olivia Aylsworth.


—First Place, “Transforming MSU,” Office of Public Affairs, MSU Television Center, Office of Provost and Executive Vice President.

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Friday, June 21, 2024 - 9:50 am