IIHR Currents Wins Award

June 21, 2019

by Margot Dick

Two of the same copy of currents, one open to the centerfold, the other closed laying on top

The 2017–18 issue of IIHR Currents won a Communicator Award of Excellence from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts.

In 2010, Jackie Hartling Stolze was a brand-new employee at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, charged with the task of creating an annual report that would focus on the remarkable research at the institute. Today, IIHR Currents magazine includes more than 30 pages highlighting the stories, research, and people of IIHR. Recently, the 2017–18 issue of IIHR Currents won the Communicator Award of Excellence from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for outstanding accomplishments in communication.

“It was great to see that the high quality of IIHR Currents was recognized through the Communicator Award,” says IIHR Director Gabriele Villarini. “I believe that this award reflects not only Jackie’s talent but also her dedication and passion in producing a magazine we are all extremely proud of; it is also a testament of the amazing team effort that went into creating a product of this caliber.”

IIHR Director of Development and Communication Carmen Langel agrees. “We are delighted to receive this award! Currents is IIHR’s signature publication, highlighting our researchers and students, and showcasing our most exciting, cutting-edge research each year. Thank you to Jackie for her tireless work to ensure that the quality of Currents reflects the caliber of their work!”

The 25th Annual Communicator Awards, presented by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. This year, there were more than 6,000 entries from across the United States and around the world. Winners who received the competition’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence, include ESPN Films, Forbes Media, PepsiCo, Scorpion, WWE, and Publicis Sapient. The full list of winners is available at www.communicatorawards.com.

Communicator Award gold statuette.

Since 2010, Currents has evolved into a publication that is more magazine than annual report. With support from Langel and then-IIHR Director Larry Weber, Stolze pushed to create a visually appealing magazine that included compelling stories and photographs. As a former editor of The Grinnell Magazine at Grinnell College, Stolze was uniquely prepared for the project; but not only did she have to write for IIHR Currents, she also had to build it from the ground up.

She also brought in other writers and media personnel to add written content and elevate the visual components of the magazine. Contributors to the 2017–18 magazine included writers David Gooblar, Mikael Mulugeta, and Matthew McBride. Aneta Goska, David Herwaldt, and Kip Ladage took the photographs that appeared in Currents.  Herwaldt was also the featured graphic designer, with contributions from Robyn Hepker. Each of these contributors helped improve IIHR Currents, making it into the award-winning magazine it is today.

Stolze hasn’t slowed down, though, and is constantly searching for the next way to improve her work by attending conferences and meeting with experts to find new ways to enhance her writing. The newest improvement Stolze wants to make is the incorporation of fiction writing techniques into the nonfiction stories.

“The goal is always to make it a fun experience to sit down with this magazine and flip through it,” she says. “People have so much content competing for their attention these days.  We want to offer them a magazine that combines good storytelling with a compelling visual experience. We have to make it worthy of their time and attention.”

Currents is sent to alumni, faculty, friends, students, and staff who are interested in keeping up with the projects at IIHR. The magazine also highlights the scientific and financial success of IIHR. To receive a copy, email Laura Myers.