On the eve of the 91st Academy Awards, students from Pitt State’s Departments of Communication and Graphics & Imaging Technologies (GIT) were receiving their own honors at the American Advertising Awards.
The American Advertising Awards, or ADDYs, is an annual event put on by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), with its stated mission being to “recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.” This year’s event was held at the Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma, Feb. 23, with PSU students bringing home 10 gold, 23 silver, and two special judge’s awards for their efforts.
“The work was hard and time consuming, but definitely worth it,” said Tara Blagg, senior in graphic communication and recipient of three gold awards. “I’m really glad they have this awards banquet for students because it’s really good for us to get our names out there, and it’s a good resume builder.”
Earning one gold for her personal portfolio and two in Color Photography, Blagg was surprised but more than happy to add to the group’s success.
“I was really excited,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to win that many. I submitted four things, my fourth didn’t win anything, but getting three golds out of four submissions is pretty good. PSU did awesome as always. They always kill it at the ADDYs, so I was really proud to be part of the program.”
As in previous years, PSU attended the ADDYs in force. Receiving a silver award for her Merle Norman Cruelty-Free Campaign, Hannah Short, senior in communication, believes these numbers left a lasting impression on advertising professionals in attendance.
“Getting there, there was actually tables full of PSU students,” she said. “Every time they called them up it was: their name ‘for Pittsburg State University’… I think it really impressed some of the professional agencies seeing so many of the students winning there from Pitt State.”
Being one of the largest competitions in the advertising industry, the ADDYs also attracts professionals from around the country to compete and meet prospective employees. The event’s social hour gives students the opportunity to introduce themselves to possible employers.
“…you could go around and talk to people, shake hands, kind of get your foot in the door and networking, which is a big part of it,” Short said. “…It was just fun interacting with new people, people who are actually in the industry working at it.”
For PSU alumni Kasey Beeman, the gold award she received for her Consumer Campaign acts as a reminder of how grateful she is to have had the opportunity to learn these skills at Pitt State.
“I loved seeing all the PSU students supporting one another while receiving awards, but also I feel the faculty in the GIT Department, as well as Communication Department, deserve credit also,” she said. “Without them encouraging us and teaching us the skills we have, we wouldn’t be receiving these awards.”
Faculty support ADDY entries through the investment of time, annual giving, and in some cases, paying out of pocket. This year, three National Advisor Board members sponsored entries along with student organizations Gamma Epsilon Tau and Graphic Arts Club.
“Support from the department was awesome because I actually got two of my entries sponsored by faculty members,” Blagg said. “So that was really great that they were willing to do that for us.”
In addition to the support students received from faculty sponsors and their families, vice president of academic affairs Lynette Olson, vice president of advancement Kathleen Flannery, interim GIT Chair Doug Younger, associate dean Robert Frisbee, and director of development for the College of Technology Katie George were also in attendance.