USAO News Bureau

Advancement Team Picks Up 8 Awards

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Advancement Team Picks Up Awards at Conference

Members of the USAO advancement team came home from a state conference with eight awards in July.

Each year the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association honors the best writing, design, photography, web development and multimedia. In the last 18 years, USAO has earned more than 30 OCPRA awards.

“Our team in advancement is creative and collaborative,” said Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement.  “We take pride in their work and their accomplishments. This year, the winning entries involved faculty and staff collaboration, which is classic USAO.”

USAO graphic designer Shayna Woidke, in her first year on staff, earned the Best of Show Award for a music department display.  She developed the idea with Dr. Stephen Weber, professor of music.  The concept took first place in the “Before and After” category, and then was selected by the state board as “best of show” over 95 other winners at the conference.

In the state competition, USAO completes on a level playing field with all other state institutions, public and private. Schools are not divided by size or budget.

A photograph of the highly original landscape sculpture “The Circle” won second place in digitally enhanced photography.  The original image was captured by Randy Talley, director of media and community relations, and was enhanced by Woidke.  The resulting image became the face of President John Feaver’s 2010 New Years’card to alumni and friends of the university.

The giant fabric banners measuring 10 feet long each that hang in the Davis Hall Amphitheater won first place in the Square Peg category -- for original ideas that don’t fit in any other category. Designed by Talley and former staffer Jenny Bendure, the “Academic All-Star Banners” were conceived to promote academics at USAO.

“The idea for these banners came from a faculty committee,” Talley said.  “I believe the original notion belongs to Librarian Kelly Brown. It’s a great idea to promote the unique academic programs here through a permanent fabric display. It’s an honor to win.”

Woidke also won first place in logo design a graphic identity for the Black Tie and Boots Ball, a fundraising event by the USAO Foundation.

For her Women in Science Trading Cards, she earned third place in Square Peg. This idea came from Dr. Jeanette Loutsch, assistant professor of biology for a special event for children visiting campus.

Sports/media writer Jessica Jackson picked up two awards for writing – one at OCPRA and one from a national competition later in the summer.  Her story about basketball Coach Laci Tompkins won second place at OCPRA.  Her feature on soccer player Mark Thompson, an inspirational look at his brain surgery, won first place at the NAIA Sports Information Association competition.

A four-minute video segment promoting USAO’s innovative Festival of Arts and Ideas won an honorable mention in the video category. It was built by Videographer David Duncan with assistance from Talley and Rhenada Finch, who directs the festival series.