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Pitt State students showcase their ADDY awards at Downstream Cassino on Saturday, Feb. 22. Courtesy of Rion Huffman, professor at graphics and imaging technology.

PSU students win big at the American Advertising Awards

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Downstream Casino hosted the American Advertising Awards (ADDY) for students in the Graphic and Imaging Technology department (GIT). Pittsburg State students walked away with 52 gold and silver awards with a promise of jobs in their future. 

Christel Benson, professor in the GIT department for the past 10 years, attended the ADDY awards and was able to see how the students fared against other schools. 

“It’s always good to see their competitive spirit ignited,” Benson said. “Some students make it a goal to win a Best of Show. Some students approach each new project as a potential ADDY entry. More than anything, they accomplish networking. They see the clients from the professionals and know that they are entering an industry that is thriving and viable.” 

Senior in graphic communication Lauren Wools participated at the ADDY awards this year along with two other partners from PSU. 

“My favorite part about the ADDYs was walking around the hall beforehand and seeing all my classmates work hanging up,” Wools said. “Everyone worked so hard on their projects and it was great seeing it all together like that. I am probably most proud of the work Allison, Lydia, and I did on our History of Pittsburg State University website. It was a big project with a lot of information, and I am really happy with how it turned out.” 

The ADDYs welcomes professionals in the industry from across the area to come and see what students have been working in their field. 

“Professionals in the advertising industry and students majoring in a profession related to the advertising industry (come to the event),” Benson said. “These companies come from Pittsburg, surrounding areas, Joplin and surrounding areas and as far east as Springfield/Branson and surrounding areas. The participating professionals includes ad and marketing agencies and internal marketing departments. Locally, Pitsco and Limelight Marketing received awards. A favorite winning agency of the students was Fried Designs Company in Springfield. We have GIT alum employed at Pitsco, Limelight and also Bass Pro Shops internal marketing department, who also took home a significant number of awards.” 

Lauren Wools has seen firsthand how powerful going to the ADDY’S can be for students in the industry. 

“The ADDYs is one of the largest competitions for advertising in the United States, with three separate competition tiers (local, district, and national),” Wools said. “Everyone from local design companies to larger corporations enter the ADDY’s. It’s really important, especially for students, to enter the ADDY’s because it is a great way to get your name out there.” 

Kristen Livingston, instructor of communication for the last four years, was also able to attend the ADDY awards.  

“Being able to come together to celebrate the hard work of students and area professionals,” Livingston said. “It is an evening dedicated to the future of advertising media.  I love to see fellow colleagues and our students engage in conversations. It’s a fun night.” 

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