PITTSBURG — From strategic campaigns, packaging, websites and animation, university students brought their best work to be judged at the ADDY Awards, bringing back a collective 35 awards.
The ADDY Awards is one of the United States's largest advertising industry's largest competitions where professionals and students alike submit entries judges by other professionals.
According to a release from Pittsburg State University, ADDY was created as an opportunity to recognize and reward creative excellence in the art of advertising, the American Advertising Awards have become the industry’s largest and most respected competition.
Both Graphics & Imaging Technologies Department and Department of Communication went to the ADDY Awards on Saturday at Downstream Casino.
Students had the opportunity to shake hands and create a network of professionals — which could lead to future internships or employment, Pittsburg State University Graphics & Imaging Technologies Associate Professor Christel Benson said.
They won 10 gold, 23 silver, and two special judge’s awards.
Winning entries included packaging design (like Jorie Maloney’s “Boomie’s Mini Stereo Speakers Box”), websites (like Taylor Unke’s “Uptown Crossfit”), animation and special effects (like Natasha Lawrence’s “Zimmerman Family Farm”),  and entire campaigns (like Samantha Guy’s “Girard Area Community Foundation Campaign.”)
What’s most unique about ADDY for students is that it “puts students alongside professionals so they can see what is going on in the creative environment,” Department of Communication Instructor Kristen Livingston said.
Benson agreed and said that after the event students are encouraged to keep the conversation going with the professionals they met. The students are to send emails to congratulate the professionals on their work, to ask about internship and employment opportunities and receive feedback on portfolios.
“It’s an opportunity for students to be in that room with professionals who are looking for that type of talent that’s the gold mine,” she said.
Students often leave the event motivated with a boosted confidence to compete again, Benson said.
Livingston agreed.
“I’m really proud of them, it think it was one of those moments in my teaching career when you look at these students and their bright futures they have and you realize this is from all of the hard work they put into the classroom,” she said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.