Meet the judges

The College News Design Contest is underway. Multimedia judging is happening now. Print judging will take place on Tuesday, April 21, in Columbia, Mo.

Meet our panel of judges (more bios will be added as we get them):

TRACY BOYER, MULTIMEDIA JUDGE: Tracy is an award-winning multimedia producer, specializing in Flash development and multimedia production. She is obtaining her masters degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, studying Human-Computer Interaction in the School’s Information Science program. Previously, she was a multimedia producer at, served as the UNC correspondent for and interned with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2007, she was selected to participate in the Poynter Summer Fellowship. Boyer graduated with a multimedia degree from UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her passions lie in travel and multimedia production with a focus on video, audio and Flash-based interactives. See more of her work at

DAVE ELSESSER, PRINT JUDGE: Dave has been Design Director at the Omaha World-Herald since January 2007. He has also held the positions of Deputy Design Director and Assistant Sports Editor at the World-Herald. Prior to his 2004 arrival in Omaha, the World-Herald had won one SND award and zero APSE section awards. The World-Herald has been a multiple SND award winner each of the past four years and has won five of a possible six APSE section honors the past two years. Previously he held page design, copy editing and writing positions at the Wichita Eagle, the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register and the La Salle (Ill.) News-Tribune.

BILL GASPARD, PRINT JUDGE: Bill is a deputy managing editor at the Las Vegas Sun and president of the Society for News Design Foundation. In the fall of 2008, he was the organizer of SNDVegas where he was awarded SND’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also president of SND in 2005 and organized SND’s Annual Workshop in San Diego in 1997. Prior to joining the Las Vegas Sun, Bill was the news design director of the Los Angeles Times, senior editor/visuals at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Sunday magazine art director at the Kansas City Star and features designer/writer at the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois. He’s a graduate of Illinois State University, but has made many trips to Mizzou to speak or judge contests and is looking forward to being on campus again.


WILL SULLIVAN, MULTIMEDIA JUDGE: Will is the Nerd in Chief of A constant student and teacher, Sullivan works days as the Interactive Director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He’s innovated and won awards at more than a dozen news organizations from Sydney, Australia, to Toledo, Ohio, in roles from photographer to Editor in Chief.

TIPPI THOLE, PRINT JUDGE: A 1998 Missouri School of Journalism graduate, Thole has worked as a designer, photographer and photo editor for daily, weekly and monthly publications, including Sun Publications/Copley Chicago Newspapers, Smithsonian Magazine, the Star Tribune, and, currently, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In these various roles, she has integrated her passion for photography and storytelling with her creative eye for design and presentation. Both her design and photography projects have been recognized internationally by such organizations as the Society for News Design, Pictures of the Year and World Press Photo. Thole loves working with students and thoroughly enjoyed teaching an undergraduate design course at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication while earning her master’s degree in visual communication in 2003. She currently lives in St. Louis, where she serves as Features Design Director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


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