Thirty-five members of Arkansas Press Women, including 14 student members, were recognized when the National Federation of Press Women announced the winners of its 2022 Communications Contest at the end of the group’s annual conference on June 25 in Fargo, N.D.

Each of the national entrants won first-place in their state contest or in an at-large contest open to those who live in states without affiliate contests.

APW’s winners were among almost 300 professionals from across the nation who were recognized for their outstanding work completed in 2021. 

The following APW members placed in the NFPW Professional Communications Contest:

Maria Aguilar, Executive Editor of the Three-Fold Advocate, John Brown University:

  • First place – Collegiate, Opinion/editorial for Why I, a Christian, advocate for secularism
  • Second place – Collegiate, News story for We remember: JBU community reflects on connections to 9/11
  • Second place – Collegiate, Photography for NWA is our home: Protesters stand for Black and transgender Arkansas 

Jenny Boulden, Freelance Writer

  • Second Place – Feature story, Magazine or newsletter for A nose for the missing: Arkansas search and rescue dogs and their handlers answer the call.
  • Third place – Personality profile, More than 500 words for High Profile: Paul Hayley Guess spreads Christmas cheer from Des Arc warehouse. 

Julianne Dunn, Production Editor at The Yarn Storytelling:

  • Third Place – Nonfiction book for Adult Readers, General Nonfiction for Truths We Tell: Stories from the Yarn Stage

Angelita Faller, News Director at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock:

  • Second Place – Publication Regularly Written by Entrant, Newsletter for UA Little Rock Now
  • Honorable Mention – Specialty Articles, Travel for Coach Wylie Flies UA Little Rock Flag on Mount Kilimanjaro

Audrey Hanes, Writer and Editor at Large at Occasions Publishing Group:

  • Honorable Mention – Specialty Articles, Food for Pastaria 49: Bringing a Passion for Pasta to Jonesboro

Dwain Hebda, President at Ya!Mule Wordsmiths, Inc.:

  • First Place – Specialty Articles, Sports for No Greater Love Than This
  • First Place – Specialty Articles, Business for Asher Avenue Revitalization
  • Third Place – Feature Story, Online Publication for Born Genius
  • Honorable Mention – Specialty Articles, Physical Health for Free At Last

Mary Hightower, Chief Communications Officer at University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture:

  • Second Place – Infographics for Arkansas Public Research, Global Benefits
  • Third Place – Video for Web, Special interest video for Employee Update
  • Honorable Mention – Electronic Newsletter, Nonprofit, Government or Education for ONE Division

Frank Lockwood, Religion Editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • First Place – Specialty Articles, Religion for Stay with me

Debbie Miller, Assistant Professor of Communication at John Brown University:

  • Second Place – Faculty Advisor of Student Publication, Station or Site for The Threefold Advocate faculty adviser

Fred Miller, Science Editor at the UA System Division of Agriculture:

  • First Place – Specialty Articles, Science or Technology for Soybean researcher hunts genetics of drought tolerance from the air
  • Third Place – Specialty Articles, Obituary for Friends, colleagues remember Division of Agriculture entomologist Phil Tugwell for hard work, generosity, impact on Arkansas agriculture

Ginny Monk, former reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • First Place – In-depth Reporting for Centers for Youth investigation
    • Co-entrants: Kat Stromquist & Eric Besson

Teresa Moss, reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • Honorable Mention – Feature Story, Print-based newspaper for A closed door

Kristin Netterstrom Higgins, Program Associate at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture:

  • Second Place – Public Service Program or Campaign for Redistricting in Arkansas
  • Second Place – Blog, Nonprofit, government or educational for Redistricting in Arkansas: Legislators File Maps to Divvy Up Arkansas Congressional District

Brittney Osborn, Art Director at Occasions Publishing Group:

  • First Place – Page Design, Magazine or magapaper for Hot Cocoa Bombs Are Booming for Valentine’s Day

Orry Phillips, Threefold Advocate Sports Editor/Podcast at John Brown University:

  • First Place – Collegiate/Education, Features for Two decades later, painful memories of 9/11 ring loudly
  • Second Place – Collegiate/Education, Sports for COVID Seniors’ Granted Extra Eligibility

Audrey Poff, Publisher at Occasions Publishing Group:

  • Third Place – Photography, Photographer-writer for Pillows for Paws

Audrey Poff and Audrey Hanes, Occasions Publishing Group:

  • Honorable Mention – Single Page, Section or Supplement Edited by Entrant, Magazine for 2021 Spring Home Improvement Guide
  • Honorable Mention – Publication Edited by Entrant, Magazine for Jonesboro Occasions
  • Honorable Mention – Headlines for The Uptown

Alexus Raymo, Division of Children & Family Services Public Information Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Human Services:

  • Honorable Mention – Public Relations Campaign for Every Day Counts

Alexus Raymo and Stephen Thornton, Arkansas Department of Human Services:

  • Honorable Mention – Marketing Program or Campaign for Foster Parents of the Year
    • Co-entrants: Kaitlin Davidson, Rachel Spencer, Jason Pederson

Celia Storey, Style Editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

  • First Place – Specialty Articles, History for Tom Slaughter part 1

Megan Sumpter, Matthew Campbell, Tristan Webb, Analise Buckingham, Eli Jackson, Hannah Lawrence, Abi Wandling, Spencer Bailey, Macie Redick, Natalie Maruschak, Chloe Cloud, James Gilbert, Orry Phillips, Communications students at John Brown University:

  • First Place – Collegiate / Education, Public Relations Program or Campaign for Revitalize, Reintroduce & Represent Dogwood Literacy Council

Stephen Swofford, Staff Photographer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • First Place – Single Photograph, General photo for Making a Splash

Stephen Thornton, Multimedia Storyteller at the Arkansas Department of Human Services:

  • First Place – Video for Web, Video for nonprofit or government organization for Toddler Saved From Accidental Drug Overdose

Staci Vandagriff, Staff Photographer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • Second Place – Single Photograph, News or feature photo for 8 Bills 

Tess Vrbin, Staci Vandagriff, Reporter and Photographer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • Second Place – News Story, Print-based newspaper for Storms rip state

Tess Vrbin, Frank Lockwood, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

  • Second Place – Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News for I-40 bridge crack
    • Co-entrants: Noel Oman, Neal Earley 

Murriel Wiley, CREATE BRIDGES Regional Program Coordinator at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service:

  • First Place – Web and Social Media, Podcast for Bilingual in Business/Bilingüe en los negocios

Arkansas Press Women is an association of professional communicators in journalism, public information, business, education and government. To learn more about APW visit Home – Arkansas Press Women

For a complete list of NFPW winners, visit 2022 Sweepstakes & Contest Winners (