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Pittsburg State brings home ADDY awards

Senior Ali Gutc (right), shares a moment with Christel Benson, associate professor in Graphics and Imaging Technologies, after winning a top award at the recent ADDY award ceremony at Downstream Casino.

Senior Ali Gutc is feeling much more confident about graduation than she was a few months ago.

Her resumé now boasts, “Best of Show Award” from the American Advertising Awards.

Also known as the ADDY Awards, they’re the U.S. advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries every year in local American Advertising Club competitions.

“It’s a big deal to be able to put that on my resumé,” said Gutc, a transfer student from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. “At the awards ceremony, there were companies that I’m interested in checking out for a possible career and maybe now they’ll recognize my name and I’ll have my foot in the door.”

Gutc’s trophy was also special for two other reasons: It was her first year competing, and her project was a tribute to her grandmother, who recently passed away.

“I spent all last semester working on it, and I worked hard, but it’s what I want to do the rest of my life,” said Gutc, who created a campaign for a fictitious company, “Chocoholic Chocolates,” that included a logo, branding, marketing, print pieces, a video, and a website.

What made it possible for Gutc and her classmates to compete were entry fee sponsorships from the Graphics and Imaging Technologies department, and from faculty, at a value of nearly $900. Gutc is majoring in graphic communication, with a dual minor in commercial art and marketing.

“Attending the event is not simply about winning an award, but also networking with professionals,” said associate professor Christel Benson, who was Gutc’s instructor and has been an advocate for sponsoring students since Pittsburg State began participating in the competition.

It has paid off in years’ past, but this year was no exception: Pittsburg State came home with 27 awards, including nine gold, 15 silver, two judge’s choice awards and Gutc’s Best of Show. In the professional category, GIT instructor Rion Huffman came home with a silver award for a product photography workshop poster.

All golds are automatically forwarded to the district competition level, Benson said, and this year four silvers also will be forwarded at the expense of the entrants.