Communication office earns awards for writing, publications

Brian Smale Alice Miller

This photo of Alice Miller earned a gold medal.

The writing and publications produced by the medical school's Office of Communication & Public Affairs earned five honors, including two gold awards, from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, known as CASE.

For the second consecutive year, the office received the top honor for staff writing in Stanford Medicine magazine. "Stanford Medicine's entry was far and above the strongest of any we reviewed," the CASE judges wrote. "There was a compelling and interesting mix of stories that were well-researched and creatively written."

In particular, the judges cited the story "Transition point," by Tracie White, about one woman's experience with gender-reassignment surgery. "A fascinating read. A nice fluctuation between the patient's own story and interesting facts about the process," the judges wrote.

Four other stories included in the staff-writing entry were "The neuroscience of need" and "King of the mountain," by Bruce Goldman; "Brain power," by Jonathan Rabinovitz; and "Against the odds," by Kris Newby.

Also earning a gold award was the photograph by Brian Smale that accompanied the "Transition point" story. The judges said the photo "is deliberately structured to be graphically persuasive, yet the expression is full of a spontaneous joy that speaks to the gift of freedom the medical process granted."

The news releases produced by the office earned a silver award in the category of research, medicine and science-news writing. "The writing here is excellent, clear, concise, compelling," the judges wrote. "The subject matter seems well-chosen, and advances Stanford's stated goal of telling stories that represent a clear scientific advancement or reflect leadership in a field of study."

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The cover of the spring 2012 issue of Stanford Medicine earned a silver award.

The five news releases included in the entry were "First-ever integrative 'omics' profile lets scientist discover, track his diabetes onset" and "Stanford scientist Brian Kobilka wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry," by Krista Conger; "Making mice comfy leads to better science," by Ruthann Richter; "Scientists identify potential target for treating major symptom of depression," by Bruce Goldman; and "Bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi' — the biological Internet," by Andrew Myers.

Stanford Medicine's summer 2012 issue, which featured a package of stories about "Big Data," earned a silver award in the category of special-issue publications. "The magazine explored questions of improved research and medical efficacy, as well as the dangers of breaching patient privacy," the judges wrote. "The resulting issue was intellectually engaging and sophisticated." The magazine is published three times a year and is edited by Rosanne Spector.

A final silver award was given to the magazine for the cover of the spring 2012 issue, which focused on the future of psychiatry. The judges said the cover was a "beautiful, innovative method of illustrating the brain. High execution of sculpture and photography."

CASE is a professional organization for those in the fields of communications, alumni relations and development at educational institutions. It includes more than 3,400 colleges and universities, as well as independent elementary and secondary schools in 74 countries. To recognize the best work in these fields, CASE sponsors its annual Circle of Excellence Awards.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at

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