Colorado State University has won top awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for its communications efforts in 2019-20, including a Grand Gold award for its special CSU 150 website and SOURCE coverage of the University’s sesquicentennial.
In addition, the Division of University Communications saw both of its CASE Platinum entries advance as finalists for the organization’s international awards, which will be announced in June. Those Platinum honors went to the Life in the Time of Corona package of pandemic-related SOURCE stories, and for science writing in the CSU System’s STATE Magazine. The former was in the category “Best Practices in Digital Communication,” while the latter was for “Best Article” (“Inside the Bat Cave” and “Germ Theory,” both by Executive Editor Coleman Cornelius).
The Grand Gold for the special website and coverage dedicated to CSU’s 150th birthday was awarded in the regional competition for CASE District VI, which includes Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming.
“The final product shows what planning well ahead can reap: an engaging, interesting nod to your history and heritage,” the judges wrote. “Equally important was your emphasis on how CSU has impacted the state and country. A great site overall, including the look and feel.”
In addition to the Grand Gold, the Division of University Communications collected nine Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, including writing awards for six members of its public relations team. Kate Jeracki, executive editor and content manager of SOURCE, won Gold for her story about the 1918 influenza pandemic, “When the flu came to CSU,” while another Gold was awarded for a package on CSU President Joyce McConnell’s first fall address, written by SOURCE Editor and Content Manager Joe Giordano and recently retired Writer and Senior PR Specialist Tony Phifer.
Platinum award finalists
• Best Article: “STATE magazine science stories,” Colorado State University
• Best Photography: “Photographer Ryan Hall,” Association of Graduates, U.S. Air Force Academy
• Best Practices in Alumni Relations: “Alumni Engagement Socially Distanced,” University of Northern Iowa
• Best Practices in Alumni Relations: “UNO Maverick Pen Pal Program,” University of Nebraska Foundation
• Best Practices in Communications and Marketing: “SLU COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Media Outreach,” Saint Louis University
• Best Practices in Digital Communications: “Life in the Time of Corona,” Colorado State University
• Best Practices in Digital Communications: “Honor the Day,” Saint Louis University
• Best Practices in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: “Seeds! Diversity of Wonder,” Iowa State University
“The University Communications team constantly strives for excellence in its storytelling,” Vice President for University Communications Yolanda Bevill said. “These awards are a testament to the time, talent and excellent skill of the communicators on our team who have been recognized as among the best in the nation. I am profoundly proud of this team, and I hope that you join me in congratulating them again for jobs well-done.”
The other CASE District VI award winners were:
- SILVER: “Nursing home testing for COVID-19,” story by Mary Guiden in the “Research, Medicine and Science News” writing category
- SILVER: “CSU monitors air pollution in the dead of night,” story by Anne Manning in the “Research, Medicine and Science News” writing category
- SILVER: “Delivering for Uganda: CSU sees impact of grassroots fundraising, education,” story by Jeff Dodge and video by Brian Buss, in the “Profile” writing category
- SILVER: “Improving the ‘SOURCE’ of information at Colorado State University” (the redesign of the SOURCE email newletter), in the “Digital Communications: Newsletters (Internal)” category. Design work by David Edwards and Devin Koncar of Web Communications.
- BRONZE: “Looking back at 10 years of Fostering Success at CSU,” story by Joe Giordano in the “Feature” writing category
- BRONZE: “Study examines how performing arts can return safely during pandemic,” story by Tony Phifer in the “General News” writing category
Judges’ comments and nominations can be viewed on the CASE District VI website.
The division’s most recent honors come on the heels of 10 awards from the Colorado Public Relations Society of America, announced in November. Last spring, University Communications also won a host of national awards, including a CASE Circle of Excellence Award for STATE Magazine; a Shorty Award Audience Honor for the video “Women in Science;” and three Telly Awards for the CSU video team. And in August, Pam Jackson, associate vice president for University Communications, was named a 2020 Woman of Distinction by BizWest.