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Liberty News

Ad/PR students claim another top finish

June 12, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Advertising and public relations students in Liberty University’s Department of Communication Studies continued to shine in competitions this year, earning the top two spots at the Collegiate Effie Awards in New York, N.Y., and a third-place finish at the district level of the National Student Advertising Competition.

Collegiate Effie Awards

Janique Byrd, left, and Curran Adelman won first place in the Collegiate Effie Awards. Watch Liberty’s winning video presentations on the Collegiate Effie YouTube page.

The team of Curran Adelman and Janique Byrd won first place in the Collegiate Effie Awards’ MINI USA Brand Challenge for their campaign, “Innovation: Worth a Double Take.”

The team of Kim Soward and Paula Tan were runners-up in the competition, giving Liberty the top two finishes.

The competition required a four-minute video reel and an up to four-page creative brief for submission. The top three finalists were chosen to pitch a 30-minute presentation at the MINI headquarters in Woodcliff, N.J.

A few days after graduation, the finalists were flown to New York, where they had the opportunity to present their campaigns to industry leaders and executives.

Adelman said she learned a lot while competing at the highest level in this event.

“We pitched to over 10 top executives from MINI and Effie, including the MINI CEO,” she said. “It was great to hear different comments and praise from across the board. Hearing from creatives, marketing executives, and finance people helped me learn about the different perspectives required for this atmosphere.”

Byrd said the competition re-affirmed the Lord’s calling in her life.

Byrd and Adelman's winning poster presentation.

“It made me feel like this was what God wants me to do for the rest of my life. It felt like the Lord was saying, ‘This is your mission field.’”

Dr. Angela Widgeon, associate professor of Communication Studies, said national competitions like the Effies help to build confidence, “not only in the students who win, but in all the students in the program.”

“They realize they have the ability to compete with anyone from any program in the country and win,” she said. “It is one thing to tell your students that they are talented, creative and the best of the best, but it is something completely different to have industry leaders and corporate executives tell them.”

The Collegiate Effie Awards are open to undergraduate and graduate students and present students with “a chance to create comprehensive marketing communication cases that address real world challenges for real world marketers,” according to its website.

The competition is hosted by Effie Worldwide (“Effie” is short for effectiveness), and was founded by the American Marketing Association to educate and encourage effectiveness in the marketing communications industry.

National Student Advertising Competition

Every year the American Advertising Federation sponsors the National Student Advertising Competition.

This year Liberty’s advertising team placed third in its district, where it faced institutions such as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Clemson University, and the University of Virginia.

For the past 10 years Liberty has had an active ad team, which prepares all year for the competition through a practicum course.

This year’s team members included: Janique Byrd, Jonathan Negroni, Ricky Deakyne, Shannon Benton, Christina Piper, Steven Carrol, Jonathan Jensen, Josh Stewart, Donald Sanders, Curran Adelman, Chelsea Dawson, Keri Cook, Owen Baker, Alicia Whitecavage, Will Faber and Rebecca Hellman.

Widgeon, who has coached the ad team for three seasons, said she is proud of all her students and was blessed to see so many win awards this year.

“I am proud of their hard work, their success and most importantly of their witness,” Widgeon said. “Every one of the students acknowledges their success as being from the Lord. They are humble winners who thank the Lord for His provision and training. My soul feels overwhelmed when I reflect on how the Lord has blessed our program, our students, and our university this past year. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has planned for us next year.”

Widgeon was assisted by alumni and former ad team members Eli Overbey (‘10) and Briana Kauffman (‘11).

  • Earlier this year, alumna Keri Cook (’12) was named Student of the Year by PRWeek, a weekly trade magazine for the public relations industry (read full story here). Liberty also had two teams win first and second place at the 2012 John Caples International Awards (read full story here).

  • Advertising & Public Relations is a concentration for the B.S. degree in Communication Studies, part of Liberty University’s School of Communication.

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