On Wednesday, February 26 the School of Communications hosted the 2014 Superior Awards in the multipurpose room of the Mary Idema Pew Library. This annual competition allows Advertising and Public Relations students to enter their classroom campaigns for a chance to win cash. The objective of the Superior Awards is to reward hard work and provide students with the opportunity to meet and network with area professionals.
“The Superior Awards is a great event because it provides the opportunity for Advertising and PR students to see what kind of work we’re producing,” CAP 315 winner, Natalie Topalain said. “It’s awesome that the judges are all recent GVSU Ad/PR grads. They were in our shoes not too long ago and they provide meaningful insight of what employers are looking for.”
This year’s winners include:
- CAP 310: Atikh Bana, Zac Rinvelt, and Zack Salisbury
- CAP 315: Natalie Topalain
- CAP 321: Jerika Gomez
- CAP 413: Rachel Hurst
- CAP 423: Audra Hartges
Best of Show for the Advertising category was a tie between Rachel Hurst and Natalie Topalian and for Public Relations, Audra Hartges. Winners from each category took home either a $100 Meijer gift card or a crispy 100-dollar bill. An additional $100 was given for the Best of Show award.
“When awarded or praised for things I do, I love giving back,” CAP 310 winner, Atikh Bana said. “My plan is to commit random acts of kindness with the gift card by going to Meijer and paying for someone’s groceries. With what’s left over, I’ll buy my younger sister something she would appreciate.”
In addition to Meijer, other Superior Award sponsors included:
- Rob Jackson, Extra Credit Projects
- Tom Crimp, AUX Inc.
- David Kettler, Media Place Partners
- Alan Crater, Stevens Advertising
- Craig Clark, Clark Communications
- Kim Bode, 834 Design & Marketing
- Adrienne Wallace, Red Ginger
- Grant Cooper, Meta4Mat
Area professionals and alumni came out for the event and acted as judges for each category. Prior to the judging, students were able to view their peers’ work and network with the judges.
This year’s judges included:
- Adam Russo, Haworth
- Jeremy Bakken, Lambert, Edwards & Associates
- Rachel Hurst, BoxBoom Creative
- Adam Barr, Barr Creative
- Tyler Nall, Blue Flame Thinking
- Adrienne Rehm, Herman Miller
- Courtney Perersen, The Stow Company
- Patrick Vander Kolk, AUX Inc.
- Morgan Fedewa, Clark Communications
- Alysse Shoemaker, Aal Chem
- Jose Valencia, MLive
- Kristin Hartwig, MLive
- Katelyn Stutterheim, GVSU
- Leah Twilly, GVSU Communications
CAP 321 winner Jerika Gomez expressed her appreciation to the professionals who were willing to take time out of their schedule to reach out and network with students. Other students like Zach Salisbury, CAP 310 winner, showed this same gratitude.
“First, I just want to thank the judges for taking the time to evaluate our work,” Salisbury said. “We are lucky to have professionals who are interested in helping the next wave of students entering the field.”
Affiliate Professor of Advertising Frank Blossom and Professor of Public Relations Tim Penning developed the Superior Awards in 2013. Adrienne Wallace took over this year to help produce and coordinate the event with Blossom. The SoC plans to continue the event for years to come.