By: Karina Valdes
Annually, the Department of Strategic Communication hosts the PRADDYs to celebrate its most deserving and talented students as voted by the faculty of the department. Although this semester came with extraordinary challenges, advertising and public relations students continued to work with faculty to develop projects, presentations, portfolios, and communication pieces deserving of recognition.
“I think it’s always important to celebrate our students’ hard work, dedication, and drive, but it’s particularly important to do so during this unprecedented time,” said Alyse Lancaster, chair of the Department of Strategic Communication.
In mid-March, the University was forced to make swift changes to the way it operates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With a seemingly overnight switch from in-person to online classes, students and faculty quickly adapted to the new normal. Spring semester, and particularly May, is a happy time on campus with numerous end-of-year celebrations all culminating in graduation. Even though this spring was different, faculty of the department made sure their students were acknowledged for their hard work.
“With all of the sudden changes and craziness that faculty and students had to endure this spring, it would have been easy for things like student awards to fall by the wayside. But the faculty in our department felt that the situation made it even more important to recognize the achievements of our best and brightest students,“ said Lancaster.
Throughout the semester, students created countless advertising and public relations pieces as assignments for class. The most exceptional projects were submitted by faculty to the PRADDYs for consideration. The nominations were then juried by faculty of the department with awards presented to the top projects in a given category with the exception of Portfolio of the Year.
For that award, the top six portfolios are reviewed by a panel of industry professionals who select the recipient. This year’s panel of judges was composed of Jordan Lipton, creative lead at Razorfish; Jackie Lessik, associate creative director at Razorfish; Ben Levitt, associate creative director at The Community; Alex Allen, B.S.C. ’15, copywriter at Weiden + Kennedy; Andy Tamayo, art director at Weiden + Kennedy; and Sera Takata, Jr., B.S.C. ‘17, art director at DAVID.
After careful deliberation, the panel of judges selected Sophie Robbins as the recipient of Portfolio of the Year.
“We have over 460 advertising and PR majors in our department, so to stand out from among such a large group of students is truly an honor, and we hope the student winners know how proud their professors are of them,” said Lancaster.
Below is a list of this year’s PRADDYs recipients:
Rising Star in Advertising
Rising Star in Public Relations
Public Relations Leadership
Public Relations Excellence
Outstanding Senior in Advertising
Outstanding Senior in Public Relations
2019-2020 Portfolio of the Year
Outstanding Graduate Student
Visit https://www.facebook.com/UMCommSTC/ to follow the Department of Strategic Communication on Facebook.