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Teen magazine wins national honors with EU alumni at helm

July 3, 2012 | Valorie Coleman

On Course, a magazine for teens, is all grown up.

The publication has just celebrated 20 years, but the content and approach is still as youthful as ever.

Their success as a teen magazine was affirmed recently when the mag was given two 2012 Awards of Excellence from the Evangelical Press Association — one for print and one for digital. This is the EPA’s highest award, for which the magazine is judged as a whole.

Amber Weigand-Buckley, 1996 Evangel University grad, is editor of On Course. She has served on the staff for 15 years of the publication’s 20-year history. Josh Carter, a 2008 EU grad, is the designer. They make sure the magazine changes with the times — there is an online version, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

Over the years, Weigand-Buckley has interviewed hundreds of people — internationally known musicians, athletes and world-changers. She reflects on how EU prepared her for the world of publishing.

“My favorite class was not the one I was most successful in, but the one that brought me the worst frustration at the time,” she says. “I saw my feature writing instructor as my own Simon Cowell. My articles would come back looking like road-kill. I would be in tears. Did God really want me to be a writer?”

It was this very criticism and mentoring that she credits as pushing her to excellence. “She really taught me how to digest criticism and feedback for the greater good and pushed me out of rhetorical mediocrity,” Weigand-Buckley says.

Other Evangel alumni have made an investment in the award-winning publication. Among them is Melinda Booze, the founding editor of On Course, who is now an assistant professor of communication for Evangel.

“I am so pleased that the Evangelical Press Association has, this year, affirmed On Course with its highest recognition,” says Booze.

“Amber called me the night the awards were announced, wanting to share the good news with me. We were both emotional and grateful for all God has done in students’ lives — and our lives — through On Course.”

Find On Course online at www.oncourse.ag.org  (Check out eBooks for the full digital version of the mag.)

On Facebook: search for ONCOURSE Friends and Fans. On Twitter: search for @ONCOURSEGIRL.


 — Valorie Coleman, assistant director of public relations for Evangel University

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