About the College News & Events Academics Advising Performance and Exhibit Season Collaboration Support the Arts

News & Events

<< Back

RU continues the tradition of winning ADDY Awards

student group picture

Graphic design students with assistant professors John O'Connor and Ken Smith take a few minutes to pose for pictures during the American Advertising Awards.

During the fall 2013 semester, Sandi Deitrich stood in the doorway to the Radford University Department of Art’s graphic design office. She was in search of a life-sized deer target for her senior design project.

On Feb. 22, 2014, at the Roanoke American Advertising Awards, it became clear that this deer quest was fulfilled and provided inspiration for the December 2013 RU graphic design graduate. Deitrich won the Judges’ Choice Award for her product packaging campaign called “Lickety Britches,” based on a fictional brewing company. Its logo features an illustration of an anthropomorphic deer target wearing human pants.

On winning the Judges’ Choice Award, Deitrich said, “After seeing some of the other packaging projects at the ADDYs I wasn't really sure that I was going to get anything! I was over the moon with the Gold award Lickety Britches received and the Judges Choice Award had not even crossed my mind.”


Sandi Deitrich's award-winning "Lickety Britches" campaign.

She continued, “When they called my name my first thoughts were ‘I am going to throw up!’ and ‘Do I have to go up there?’”  But she did so with grace and a smile.

The American Advertising Awards program is the new name for the ADDY Awards, hosted by the American Advertising Federation. It is a two-tier competitive program that recognizes both student and professional work related to advertising.


Sandi Deitrich and graphic design professor Ken Smith.

The Feb. 22 event, held at the Patrick Henry Ballroom in Roanoke, Va., is a district competition. From here all those who won Gold awards automatically go on to a national competition and those with Silver awards can choose to compete but must pay an entry fee.

Deitrich, in addition to her Judges’ Choice and Gold awards, won a Silver for her “The 24 Hour Hipster Ration Kit.” This award-winning RU graduate is currently employed as a graphic designer with the Bolt Group in Charlotte, N.C.

Other recent RU graduates entered the competition as well. For emerging professionals, the AAF extends the opportunity for them to share their senior work one year after they have graduated. Three others who graduated in 2013 won awards: Derick Anies (Gold and Silver), Zach Brodie (Silver) and Cameron Browder (Silver).

For the past several years, RU student graphic designers have consistently done well in the Roanoke ADDY Awards. This year is no exception. RU brought home 18 awards. Current undergraduate winners include Haley Conrad (Silver), Rachel DeBusk (Silver), Elizabeth Dreher (Silver), Jacob Hardbower (Silver), Shawna Hession (Gold and Silver) and Joseph Smith (Gold). Graduate student winners are Ashley Marlow, who won one Gold and two Silvers, and Katie Sickman who won a Silver.

Assistant professor of graphic design Ken Smith stated, “Our students must be self-motivated to enter this competition, which unfortunately coincides with our winter break. It is up to them to choose their entries, compile their materials and of course pay for it all.”

Smith and his cohort graphic design professor John O’Connor offer assistance and wisdom throughout the entry process, but must rely on good choices by the students and hope that the subjective nature of competition works in the their favor.

In addition, O’Connor said that RU is well represented in the professional award categories. Many alumni serve as the principals and designers on award-winning entries.

He mentioned, “It's also interesting to note that several of the graphic design programs whose students also won awards have RU graduates as their design faculty. It's a real source of pride to see our students and alumni making such a big impact on the region's professional and academic design community."

“We are very proud of all the RU-related winners of the American Advertising Awards. These awards are proof positive of our reputation for having a strong graphic design program,” Dr. Joesph Scartelli, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts said.

To learn more about the award winning RU graphic design program, please visit http://www.radford.edu/content/cvpa/home/art/programs/undergraduate/graphic-design.html.

Mar 3, 2014

Follow us on

Facebook Twitter