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June 2016


FA wins ten NYSUT communications awards
Cynthia Eaton



The FA was a winner again in the 2016 NYSUT Communications Awards, with the following ten awards acknowledging our communication efforts.

Congratulations to the following FA activists! Below each award is a paragraph with the judges' comments.

Please note that the links to WORD articles do not work on mobile devices.

First Place Awards

Adam Bailey - Best Website Class III:

  • This entry has a great home page – very bright and appealing. It could be improved, though, by making it easier to access the links. As it stands now, the visitor has to know enough to click on a non-identified box in the left-hand corner to get to these links. But content is good once you retrieve it. While I was able to access the main page of this website, I was unable to navigate anywhere else. I love the rotating photos and given the quality of your newsletter, I am certain this is a very good to excellent website, especially since I was able to read all of The Undercurrent for new members.

Elizabeth Cone - Best Feature Story: “A meditation of sorts. On mediation.” The WORD

  • Drawing a comparison between arbitration and mediation, and noting how the latter might be a better choice in some labor situations could improve this entry. Attractive layout. This writing does an excellent job of working in scholarly views with current events and homage to Alice’s Restaurant. Also, skilled use of varying sentence length and descriptive phrasing. Engaging, fun to read, perceptive. A top contender.

Susan Rubenstein DeMasi - Best Labor History Story: “Labor history is alive onlineThe WORD

  • The information is interesting and well presented. It could have been improved with a greater application of past struggles to today’s battles. Excellent accompanying graphic. The writer clearly shares her interest in labor history and resources for others. This entry would be strengthened with an example why the writer is so interested in labor history.

Cynthia Eaton - Best Headline and Best News Story: “Beware the thunder lizards coming to a campus near youThe WORD

  • What college teacher doesn’t remember the MOOCs craze? This article is a welcome perspective on that mania, which has eased somewhat, but warns that wealthy and influential people are pushing hard for more online courses so that teachers can teach even more students than they do now. The writer also warns that online courses may someday be for the poor, while only the rich can afford a campus education. Well done – a wakeup call that should not be ignored. Exceptional headline! Excellent analysis of the online course issue. Well-researched and well referenced. Using Godzilla as a touchstone throughout this essay works extremely well. A pleasure to read.

Cynthia Eaton - Best Writing 5 First Place: “What we can learn from Zimbabwean orphans about social justice and collective actionThe WORD

  • This is a very moving account of Zimbabwean orphans visiting the campus and explanation of a program called ZimKids. That alone makes for interesting reading but it is what the author adds that makes this entry stand out. She relates the orphans’ struggle with her early life, which was harsh but not as severe as the orphans’ experiences. But also draws a link to how unionism helped her and others like her to rise above her circumstances. Very well done and heartfelt. This excellent entry starts strong and just gets stronger. A pleasure to read. Perhaps its only flaw is that I don’t know where Bulawayo is. Excellent descriptive language paired with specific concrete examples is done well but then the writer skillfully reveals her inner struggles and emotions.

Cynthia Eaton, Editor - General Excellence First Place: The WORD February 2015

  • An overall solid entry. Great mix of content that is nicely balanced according to topic. Very attractive presentation throughout. Excellent job. It’s budget time and Reclaiming Maria’s Promise starts this newsletter off with such a strong bang. Promotion: Mythbusters edition is fact-filled over what must be a divisive issue for the membership. Clear information about officer elections, and otherwise could be considered mundane news. Here’s just one example. Great headline for a story about course reimbursements. “You want money? Let me help you get money.” Who wouldn’t want to read that article. Also beautiful profile on an astronomy teacher and his class, extremely useful technology column and then, the In Memoriam column written by Malskis is a touching tribute. Again, you are truly blessed with a talented membership. Great job.

Sarah Kain Gutowski - Best Blog Class III: The Undercurrent

  • This blog has it all – lots of information, good updates, good graphics and content mix. It could be improved with more frequent updates, as the average seems to be about two per month. Also, the glaring red page that first greets the visitor could be toned down. There was a spot to Sign In, so I am not sure what I was missing, but this is an excellent blog devoted to the newest member of a local. Wonderful headlines this blog has. Really well done.

Awards of Distinction

Kevin McCoy - Best Use of Social Media Class III: Faculty Association of Suffolk Community College Facebook Page

  • Good postings, rich in variety and presentation, balances the serious with a few touches of the lighthearted. Good interactive commentary. Excellent photos and overall presentation. This FB page is updated constantly. It doesn’t just share links it also creates original content. Very nice touch putting the Norma Rae picture as the smaller photo!

Kevin Peterman - Best Writing 4: “Looking forwardThe WORD

  • This writer takes on a huge challenge of summarizing the advocacy work of a full year in one column. (It’s great there are many successes to celebrate as well as laying out future challenges.) The photo editor needs to be commended for grouping together firsttime attendees at a conference in such a nice way. Excellent way of showcasing those members and removing the so-called “dead” space from four photos. This article is an excellent recap, but it is up against such fierce competition, it needed to do more than recap events to win recognition. Keep up the good work, please!