Lynchburg graphic design student helps Radford U. come up gold at ADDY awards

Radford University student Laura Waddell, of Lynchburg, helped Radford University’s graphic design program win five gold and 10 silver awards in 12 different design categories during the recent 2011 Western Virginia ADDY Awards. Held in March, the annual event is sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and is the first step in the three-tier national competition.

The awards are the advertising industry’s answer to the Grammys, Tonys or Oscars, according to John O’Connor, assistant professor of graphic design at Radford University.

“The ADDY Awards are known among advertising/graphic design professionals as being a strong indicator of creative excellence,” said O’Connor. “This was a huge win for us and the university. Our students worked extremely hard. They competed with the best in the area and came out on top.”

Radford students who received gold awards in individual ADDY categories were: Photography: “Planet” by Lorna Stell; Cover: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Book Cover” by Laura Waddell; Non-Traditional Advertising: “Women’s Gym Guerilla Ad” by Sarah Barton; Point of Purchase: “Dr. Pepper” by Patricia Hunold; and Out-of-Home: “Colonial Downs Billboard” by Michelle Sheppard. The gold winners will now go on to compete at the district level, which includes schools in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with a chance to compete for a national award.

The ADDY Awards provide Radford University students with an opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, interact with the region’s design and advertising professionals, and get a closer look at the field they’re about to enter, said Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Kenneth Smith.

“It’s a great honor for our students’ graphic design work to be recognized by the American Advertising Federation community,” he said. “This recognition raises the visibility of Radford University and the RU Art Department, and also enhances the professional standing of our students.”

O’Connor agrees, applauding the high level of proficiency demonstrated by Radford’s students.

“As educators, the awards indicate we are on the right track with our program offerings, in addition to the pride it brings in seeing all of the students’ hard work and dedication rewarded,” said O’Connor. “For the student, winning an ADDY Award is a real resume builder that helps get them noticed by potential employers.”

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