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PSU students win silver, gold at ADDY Awards

The American Advertising Awards (ADDY Awards) highlight and recognize creatively minded students in the advertising industry. According to the website, the ADDY Awards see 35,000 entries every year.  

This year’s award ceremony took place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Downstream Casino.  

This year, PSU students brought home awards in categories include packaging, direct marketing, photography, campaigns, brand identity, logo design.  

16 graphics and imaging technologies (GIT) students won silver ADDY Awards, 10 GIT students won gold ADDY Awards, one student won a Best of Show award and the two communication students won silver ADDY Awards.  

Alex Gourlay, graduate student in graphics management, won a silver and a gold ADDY Award.  

“it’s always an honor to see your work recognized after all the hard work that goes into it buts it’s even better to be able to share the moment with your classmates and see their success as well,” Gourlay said.  

Jalen Dostal, senior in graphic communications, entered three projects and won gold ADDY Awards for each. Dostal also won this year’s Best in Show Award.  

“It was such an incredible feeling when I found out I won an award,” Dostal said. “I got an email saying that I was receiving an award, but they don’t tell you which project is getting an award or what kind it is. I was completely shocked when I found out I won not one gold ADDY, but all three of my projects had won gold. I also had absolutely no idea I was going to receive the Best in Show award. When I saw my name appear on the slide announcing I won Best in Show, I immediately started getting tears in my eyes. I was so ecstatic that all my hard work and stress finally paid off. I was also happy that my parents were able to support me by joining the Zoom call.  

Abigail Mitchell, senior in graphic communications, won four silver awards, two golds, and one judge’s choice.  

“I was ecstatic when I received the email saying I had won,” Mitchell said. “Entering any creative competition feels like a gamble because all people will perceive your work differently, so it is very rewarding to be chosen for an award.”  

The ADDYs allow people to make and build connections while also showcasing their work within the industry.  

“The ADDYs are a great opportunity to network and put your work on display,” Mitchell said. “I am very grateful for the awards I received and look forward to entering more creative competitions in the future.” 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the event was virtual this year.   

“Even though the event was virtual they did a good job ‘keeping up the hype’ by having little virtual games where there was a chance to win some prizes,” Dostal said. “Overall, even though the event wasn’t quite the same, it was still an experience I am sure I will never forget.”  

Moving it online brought other changes as well. The competition rules, categories and entry procedures were modified to allow for the possibility of remote online judging.  

“This… (ADDYs) was different because of the shift to online,” Gourlay said. “This year we had a watch party and one of the weirder things was not being able to see the faces of your classmates when they won it.”  

Mitchell cites one other issues of having the event online.  

“The competition this year was held completely virtually,” Mitchell said. “While the streaming process went smoothly, it was disappointing to not have the ability to mail in printed projects. The quality of the prints just could not be as accurately displayed exclusively through photo and video.” 

Despite it being online, Gourlay was happy that the ADDYs still took place.   

“… (The ADDYs) are a great opportunity for the students in our department. Our department is filled with talented individuals and the… (ADDYs) is has been a celebration and recognition of the hard work that they put in during the school year.”  

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