Brilliant Star Earns Four 2017 Awards

DeRose-Hinkhouse Best of Class Award-winning cover art for the July/August 2016 issue

For the second year in a row, Brilliant Star received top honors from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) in its annual DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards. The RCC presented the awards at its annual meeting in Rosemont, Illinois.

This year, the magazine earned a Best of Class award for its “Spirit of Adventure” issue (July/August 2016). The judges commented, “Award-winner! You get your audience! The graphic art is superb. The comic book material makes this stand out as an outreach to youth.”

Brilliant Star also earned an Award of Excellence for the entire series of 2016 issues, as well as a Certificate of Merit for the cover illustration by Designer/Illustrator C. Aaron Kreader for “Together in Harmony” (Sept. 2015–Feb. 2016).

Cover art for the “Together in Harmony” issue

In describing the cover concept, Kreader noted, “Diverse instruments from around the world represent our rich backgrounds, traditions, personalities, and cultures, which can be blended in perfect harmony when we connect to such universal truths as the Golden Rule — just as an orchestra sounds dynamic when performing a unified composition. This cover serves to inspire young readers to use their unique voices and virtues to contribute to the symphony of humanity and to celebrate our differences.” The cover art was inspired by the Bahá’í quote, “The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”

The Brilliant Star staff includes several RCC members: Editor/Creative Director Amethel Parel-Sewell, Senior Editor Amy Renshaw, Associate Editor Susan Engle, and Kreader. Accepting the Best of Class award at the RCC convention, Parel-Sewell took the opportunity to honor Engle, who retired after 35 years of service to Brilliant Star. Parel-Sewell said, “In fact, Susan has been our fun-loving, protective sister. Our kind, encouraging aunt. Our selfless, caring mother. And our wise, patient grandmother . . . Susan, we want you to know . . . you’ll always — always — be part of our family.”

Brilliant Star staff (left to right) Susan Engle, Amy Renshaw, and Amethel Parel-Sewell accept the Best of Class award from Shane Nichols of the RCC.

Team members Annie Reneau, Foad Ghorbani, Lisa Blecker, Donna Price, and Heidi Parsons were also recognized for their outstanding contributions to Brilliant Star. Another key to the magazine’s quality is our collaboration with Merrick Printing Company. We’ve received a total of 26 DeRose-Hinkhouse awards since 2004.

Other DeRose-Hinkhouse award winners at the Bahá’í National Center included The American Bahá’í, which received a Best of Class award for the 2016 Annual Report and a Certificate of Merit for graphic designer Rick Doering’s cover design. The Communications Office earned two awards: an Award of Excellence went to Ellen Price for a Virtual Tour of the House of Worship, and a Certificate of Merit went to Joyce Litoff for U.S. Bahá’í News.

In addition, Brad Pokorny of the Bahá’í International Community won an Award of Excellence for the booklet “The Bahá’í Question Revisited: Persecution and Resilience in Iran.” Engle won a Certificate of Merit for her book The Bahá’í Faith: A Tiny Introduction.

The DeRose-Hinkhouse awards recognize the achievements of RCC members who demonstrate excellence in their work. They honor the late Victor DeRose and Paul M. Hinkhouse, who were leading lithographers in New York City.  

Brilliant Star Online, our newly relaunched interactive website, was also honored this year with an APEX Award for Publication Excellence. The APEX awards recognize exceptional work in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. 

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