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Cronkite Public Relations Students Win Top College Awards

June 17, 2020

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Students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University have earned top honors in three competitions for the 2019-20 awards cycle that recognize excellence in public relations.

Students in the school’s Public Relations Lab brought home seven awards in the 2020 AVA Digital Awards program for creating web-based productions and a digital marketing campaign for various clients.

The students also received 11 awards at the 2020 WorldFest-Houston film festival for film and video production, and commercials and public service announcements.

In addition, the students won an Award of Excellence in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition for a website redesign project.

The Cronkite PR Lab is a full-immersion professional program in which students develop campaigns and strategies for real clients in an agency environment. The students work under the direction of Fran Matera, Ph.D., founding director of the PR lab, and Lisa Schmidtke, a practiced public relations professional who came to the Cronkite School after serving as the general manager at global marketing agency Allison+Partners in Phoenix.

The award-winning projects were developed for clients that include the Center on the Future of War, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Chapter, Save Camelback (Mountain), Ten Across and the U.S. Department of State/Institute of International Education.

The AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication, ranging from campaigns and social media engagement to website development. The contest is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

Below is a list of the lab’s platinum and gold AVA Digital Award winners:

Platinum Awards for Web-Based Production
“African Humphrey Voices: Building a Better Future for Our Continent”
The U.S. Department of State, Institute of International Education
Ellen Pierce, Lisa Travis

“Future Security Forum Promotional Video”
The Center on the Future of War, Arizona State University
Ellen Pierce

“Save Camelback: A Phoenix Icon”
Save Camelback (Mountain) organization
Israel Gonzalez, Ellen Pierce, Emma Sounart

Gold Award for Digital Marketing
“Power Play: Facing Futures Together”
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
Chad Bramlett, Jennifer Gordon, Brianna McKissick, Daniella Rudoy, Lisa Travis

Gold Awards for Web-Based Production
“10 Across Water Summit: Event Recap”
Ten Across
Chad Bramlett, Jennifer Gordon, Brianna McKissick, Nicole Nelson, Daniella Rudoy, Lisa Travis

“PRSA Phoenix Chapter Website Redesign”
Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Chapter
Nicole Nelson, Nathaniel Thrash, Zachariah Willoughby, Alexandra Wolfe

“The Humphrey Fellowship Program: The American Impact”
The U.S. Department of State, Institute of International Education
Ellen Pierce, Lisa Travis

The students also placed in the silver and bronze categories of the prestigious Remi Awards at the 2020 WorldFest-Houston film festival. WorldFest-Houston is the third oldest international juried event following Los Angeles and New York. There were more than 4,500 total category entries for 2020, and only about 10% actually won a Remi Award.

Here is the list of the lab’s film festival winners:

Silver Awards for Film and Video production
ASU Center on the Future of War
“Future Security Forum Promotional Video”
Ellen Pierce

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
“Power Play: Event Recap”
Chad Bramlett, Jennifer Gordon, Brianna McKissick, Daniella Rudoy, Lisa Travis

U.S. State Department/Humphrey Fellowship 40th Anniversary Celebration
“African Humphrey Voices: Jake Okechukwu Effoduh”
Ellen Pierce, Lisa Travis

Silver Awards for TV Commercials/ PSA
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
“Save the Date to Power Up with Phoenix Children's Hospital”
Lisa Travis

Silver Awards for New Media – New Media - Websites
Public Relations Society of America/Phoenix Chapter
“Public Relations Society of America (Phoenix) Website”
Nicole Nelson, Nathaniel Thrash, Zachariah Willoughby, Alexandra Wolfe

Bronze Awards for Film and Video production
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
“Power Play: Meet Brendan, AKA Blue Bulldog”
Daniella Rudoy

Save Camelback
“Save Camelback: The Legend of the Landmark”
Israel Gonzalez, Ellen Pierce, Emma Sounart

U.S. State Department/Humphrey Fellowship 40th Anniversary Celebration
“The Humphrey Fellowship Program: Impact in Sub-Saharan Africa”
“The Humphrey Fellowship Program: Leadership”
“The Humphrey Fellowship Program: Friendship Across Seas”
Ellen Pierce, Lisa Travis

Bronze Awards for TV Commercials/PSA
U.S. State Department/Humphrey Fellowship 40th Anniversary Celebration
“The Humphrey Legacy”
Ellen Pierce, Lisa Travis

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
"Power Play: Meet Brendan, AKA Blue Bulldog”
Daniella Rudoy

In addition, a Public Relations Lab team made up of students Niki Nelson, Nathan Thrash, Zachariah Willoughby and Alexandra Wolfe received the BEA Award of Excellence for a project to redesign the website of the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter.

Established in 1955, BEA is a global professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises.