Since Lisa Cook started as editor-in-chief at New Trail just over four years ago, the magazine has won more than 20 awards, including four National Magazine Awards and was named the Alberta Magazine Awards’ 2016 Magazine of the Year.
Cook’s colleagues credit her vision, creativity, mentorship and journalistic passion for transforming the 96-year-old University of Alberta alumni magazine into a popular general-interest magazine whose readership reaches well beyond that of the typical institutional alumni periodical. That said, she has never lost sight of the magazine’s mandate to “entertain, illuminate and engage” U of A graduates around the world. Cook has broken down silos and fostered strong relationships across departments and faculties to ensure New Trail is not only an educational and entertaining read, but also a viable tool that helps to achieve the university’s strategic goals.
Cook has built a high-performing team, which has grown from two in-house staff to six, and has created an environment in which collaboration and risk taking are highly valued. Under her leadership the New Trail team has been galvanized to create increasingly innovative and compelling content.
Kate Black, a former New Trail intern and now employee, perhaps summarizes best why Cook is so deserving of the 2017 Editor of the Year award: “Lisa honed my skills, from copy-editing to feature-writing, and took risks in my story ideas as a young writer – all while busy with her own radicalizing of what an alumni magazine can achieve.”