Gannon University’s Student-Produced Totem Wins National Award
Posted: February 5, 2016
Gannon University's student-produced Totem was awarded
first-place with special merit for the fifth consecutive year by
the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA), and, for the
first time, was also awarded first-place for its outstanding design
Totem earned 990 points out of 1000 in the categories of content
coverage, organization, design, presentation and creativity.
Totem is a literary arts magazine that compiles work from the
Gannon community and is produced annually by Gannon students. The
ASPA competition is open to all colleges across the United States.
Totem was entered in the category of publications from colleges
with an enrollment of over 2501 students. Totem has been awarded
first-place or first-place with special merit every year since
As described by Berwyn Moore, an English professor and adviser
to the magazine, the name Totem holds much significance to the idea
of a community created artistic piece.
"A totem pole is a Native American art piece that represents the
community," Moore said. "That is what Totem is - a binding of the
Gannon community through art."
From the binding cover to the last page of the magazine,
artistic creation is the overarching idea when designing the issue.
The 2015 winning issue was designed in an accordion style. The 2015
editor, and recent graduate, Samantha Janik '15, created the idea,
and the books were later bound by hand.
Moore said the editor for each year is in charge of determining
the artistic design of the binding and works hand-in-hand with
Gannon's director of creative services, Andrew Lapiska, and the
Gannon Press to make their innovative ideas come to life.
The small staff judges and reviews all the submissions in the
fall semester with help from artists and faculty, and begins the
publication process in the spring. Moore said all submissions are
judged without the creators' names being known.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni submit literary pieces of
fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, creative nonfiction and all
forms of art, including sculptures to be judged and considered for
inclusion in the publication.