Former Octagon editors-in-chief Jack Christian, ’19, and Chardonnay Needler, ’19, recently received recognition from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for page design. 

Both won Gold Circle Awards, which recognize superior work by student journalists, according to the CSPA website. 

The competition attracted 7,187 news and magazine entries published from June 11, 2018, to June 10, 2019, in 86 categories. 

Christian received third place for his front-page design of “One Line,” published in issue seven on April 22, 2019, featuring a school mural painted by Bella Mathisen, ’19.

Needler also earned third place for her design of the editorial page “Sexual Education Should Not Be Heteronormative” in issue two on Oct. 30, 2018.

Christian said it was ironic to win an award.

“Last year, I won first place in another front-page news design, which also happened to be about school murals,” Christian, a freshman at Stanford University, said with a laugh.

According to Christian, the mural’s vivid colors sparked his creativity.

“My favorite part of the page was the mural inside of the (headline) because that was something I had always wanted to do,” Christian said. “Although the page was very simple and followed the front-page guidelines, the (headline) made it stand out, which is probably why the judges chose it.”

Needler said she was surprised to win an award and declined to take credit. 

“I didn’t do much on the page except for the headline because we always have a template,” said Needler, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. “I think the award should go to (senior Emma Boersma) because the editorial cartoon she did on the page was the most likely reason I won.”

—By Sanjana Anand

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