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Senior graphic design student Erik Myers (r), and Oho Today and Advancement Communication and Marketing Art Director Sarah McDowell

Senior graphic design student Erik Myers (r), and Ohio Today and Advancement Communication and Marketing Art Director Sarah McDowell.

Photographer: Karissa Conrad

Spring 2013 Ohio Today cover

Spring 2013 Ohio Today cover

Graphic courtesy of: Sarah McDowell

Fall 2012 Ohio Today cover

Fall 2012 Ohio Today cover

Graphic courtesy of: Sarah McDowell

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OHIO art and design talent garners three prestigious awards

Alumni and select Ohio Today staff recognized in design association's 2013 competition


The University and College Design Association (UCDA) recently awarded Ohio University three awards at the 2013 UCDA Design Competition. Art Director for Ohio University's alumni magazine Ohio Today and Advancement Communication and Marketing Sarah McDowell garnered two "Excellence" ratings: one in the in-house print category for her work on the fall 2012 and spring 2013 issues of Ohio Today and one for Magazine (Complete Unit) for her work on Ohio Today's fall 2012 issue. McDowell graduated in 2002 with a bachelor of fine arts degree from OHIO's School of Art + Design in the College of Fine Arts.

The School's 2013 senior design class also won an "Excellence" rating for the graphic design work they created to promote the senior design exhibition, "Out of Lin," held in Ohio University Art Gallery, Seigfred Hall, in April, 2013. Because of the recognition both McDowell and the students received, all pieces will be shown at the 43rd Annual UCDA Design Conference in October in Louisville, Ky.  

Founded in 1970, UCDA is the nation's first and only association for professionals involved in the creation of visual communications for educational institutions. The annual Design Competition recognizes the best design work aimed at promoting educational institutions, including secondary, vocational, or higher education, according to the UCDA website. For the 2013 contest, nearly 1,000 entries were submitted and only 160 awards were given: six Gold Awards, eight Silver Awards and 146 Excellence Awards.

"The exciting thing about our creative team is that we have great student and alumni contributors," McDowell said. "I think that the award of 'Excellence' in in-house print category for the fall 2012 and spring 2013 issues of Ohio Today is a testament to the talent of OHIO's students and alumni."

Also credited for the awards are Mariel Jungkunz, editor for Ohio Today, who earned a graduate degree from OHIO's Scripps School of Journalism in 2007, and 2002 graduate Ben Siegel, OHIO's senior university photographer. Ohio Today design intern and senior School of Art + Design graphic design student Erik Myers also contributed to the winning entries.

Associate Professor of Graphic Design Sherry Blankenship submitted the senior students' work for the competition. This award represents the second consecutive year that the graphic design class has achieved this nationally significant award, she said. All of the winning students graduated in May 2013.

"The award is a significant boost to the students as they enter the profession," Blankenship said. "It assures them that they have the ability and creativity. It gives them greater confidence in themselves and certainly reflects well on the program. Personally, it is assures me that our program is remaining competitive in the ever more demanding field of graphic design."