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Apr 28, 2014 | EDOT Staff

Diocese of Texas Communicators Earn Accolades at National Conference

At a joint national conference in Chicago, representing both the Episcopal Communicators and the Associated Church Press (ACP), the Diocese of Texas communications team took home a number of honors, including nine awards from the ACP, which represents all denominations, and six Polly Bond Awards from Episcopal Communicators. Additionally, LaShane Eaglin, diocesan web administrator and graphics specialist, was elected by her peers to the Episcopal Communicators Board. At the parish level, communicators from St. John the Divine, Houston, took home five Polly Bond Awards, and Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, earned three.


Carol E. Barnwell, diocesan communications director, led a team which earned three Awards of Excellence, the highest honor from the ACP. "Judges for this year's awards were exceptionally tough, so that makes these awards particularly gratifying," Barnwell said. "Judges were secular experts in writing, video and the web who provided great feedback, even on entries that were not awarded any prize, so we learn from each year's experience."


Eaglin won the ACP Award of Excellence for magazine design for the September 2013 issue of Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian. Luke Blount, staff writer and communications specialist, won another Award of Excellence for the email newsletter, Diolog e-news. Blount, Barnwell and Jamie Martin-Currie, missioner for Christian education, combined to win a third Award of Excellence for the Video, Weekend Food Program Brings 'Shear Blessings' to Houston Children.


Together, the team's combined efforts also took home an impressive ACP Honorable Mention in the category of best in class online news service for Barnwell also received an Award of Merit for her coverage of the sale of St. Luke's Health System. Blount received two more Honorable Mentions for the previously mentioned video and for written coverage of the West fertilizer plant explosion. And Eaglin added another Honorable Mention for the September 2013 Diolog magazine cover.


At the Polly Bond Awards presentation, the diocesan team received the highest honor of General Excellence: Award of Excellence for Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian. Blount received a General Excellence: Award of Merit for best social media presence, and Eaglin received an Award of Excellence for best magazine cover for the March 2013 issue of Diolog. Blount also earned two Honorable mentions for the video, Kids 4 Peace: A Glimpse into the Possible, and for written coverage of the West fertilizer plant explosion. Eaglin gathered another Honorable Mention for visual arts layout-spread from the September 2013 issue of Diolog.


"The diocesan communication team strives for excellence in the resources we provide for our clergy and congregations, and I'm very happy to have received the recognition of our peers throughout our communication strategy," Barnwell said.


At the parish level, the communications team at St. John the Divine took home three Awards of Merit for short-form video, graphic design, and layout-poster in addition to two awards of Honorable Mention for best parish newsletter and best website. Christ Church Cathedral's communications team gathered an Award of Excellence for layout-poster, an Award of Merit for best parish newsletter and an Honorable Mention for layout-poster. 


Eaglin, who is in her seventh year as an Episcopal Communicator will serve a board term of three years. She was elected along with Jason Merritt, the director of marketing and communications at Kanuga Conferences.