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BYU Students Recognized Across the Country for Accomplishments in Communications Competitions

Students from the School of Communications received multiple nominations and awards for work  in fields ranging from advertising to journalism.

Each year, students in the School of Communications take the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom and use them to make their mark in the professional world. These students create award-winning articles, campaigns and documentaries.

From presenting to corporations to placing in national contents, BYU communications students consistently demonstrate their skill and aptitude.



BYU students and their mentor, BYU professor Kevin Kelly, were awarded the 2019 Subaru Brand Challenge winners by Effie Collegiate. (Courtesy of Effie Collegiate)

Effie Collegiate

Professor Kevin Kelly and his student team were chosen to present their “Team Subaru” Effie Collegiate submission on May 22 at Subaru’s headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. The team of students included Tanner Todd, Katie Nydegger, Cameryn Rupa and Cera Pack.

“Flying out to New Jersey and presenting to the client was a beneficial experience,” said Rupa, the team’s account manager. “It gave me a great insight into what working in the industry could really be like.”

After watching their 20-minute presentation, the senior vice president of marketing for Subaru America, Alan Bethke, said he was impressed with the quality of ideas and comprehensive nature of the integrated campaign demonstrated by BYU.

“Our hard work and time paid off, and it was incredibly rewarding to know that our ideas were actually good — that actual industry professionals saw value in our ideas,” said Rupa.

Additionally, Professor Hailey Peterson’s class also submitted a winning entry, “Subaru Unleashed,” which made it to the semi-finals. Only six teams made it to the competition’s semi-finals including two from BYU, two from Kent State, one from Northwestern and one from VCU Brandcenter.

American Advertising Federation ADDYs


Recent alum Jake Knudsen accepted the National Best of Show award on June 7 at the 2019 ADDY awards ceremony in Florida.

BYU students competed this year in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) competition — or the ADDYs as it was formerly known. BYU advertising has won three National ADDYs this year.

Additionally, “Reebok – Miguel” was awarded the National Best of Show for the AAF Student ADDYs on June 7 at the AAF National Conference in Florida.

BYU has been the winner of National Best of Show for the past three years.

“It has been a tremendous amount of hard work and effort to get these kind of results,” said advertising professor Jeff Sheets. “The students are very talented and we feel extremely blessed to work with them and help them achieve their potential.”

Telly Awards

The Telly Awards spotlight excellence in commercials and winners represent some of the industry’s top advertising agencies, TV stations, production companies and publishers.

BYU was awarded the only gold student award for “Avana – What If,” directed by Jedediah Thunell. Other BYU advertising students won two silver awards and three bronze awards.

BYU and the ArtCenter for College of Design, a famously elite program, were the only schools to win Tellys this year.

D&AD New Blood Awards

BYU advertising students won three pencils at this year’s D&AD New Blood Awards for compelling work done in collaboration with Adobe & LADbible, Adidas and Rexona.

Advertising students will find out what level of D&AD New Blood pencil award — wood, graphite, yellow, black, bronze, gold and silver — they have won in London on July 11.

National Student Advertising Competition


The team of BYU students stand with professor Kevin Kelly holding the first place award they won in Colorado.

A team of BYU students took first place at the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for District 12 at the University of Colorado Boulder on Saturday, April 27. BYU moved to the semi-final competition against the district 15 winners — University of California, Los Angeles.

“The process is really rewarding from coming up with the strategy to seeing the final executions,” said Amy Wilson, a student on BYU’s winning team.

The students submitted a video of their 20-minute presentation along with their slide deck and answered a 15-minute Q&A on May 8th. Over 120 colleges compete annually. This year the sponsoring client is Wienerschnitzel.

“Competing and placing in a national competition is a unique experience that gives a little boost to our resumes,” said Wilson. 

Communication Arts Advertising Competition

Five campaigns created by BYU’s advertising program students made the finalist shortlist during the Communication Arts Advertising Competition in 2019. Communication Arts Magazine is intended to inspire visual communications such as advertising, graphic design, film and art; it is a high honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization.

For this competition, students submitted an advertising project that was initially printed, published or aired from May 2018 to May 2019. A panel of industry experts from throughout the United States and Canada came together to create the advertising jury. Three of the five finalists continued on to win and will be featured in the annual Comm Arts Annual publication. 

News Media

Gracie Award

BYU broadcast journalism student Maren Paris Cline won a Gracie Award from The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF). Cline was recognized for her reporting on Newsline.

Each year, women in media are spotlighted at the Gracie Awards for their significant contributions and positive influences on the industry. The Gracie Awards recognize excellent programming that is created for women by other women — which programming is about women in all aspects of media.

Cline will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 26 in New York City.

Public Relations


BYU “Team Blue” members Abby Giles, Tucker Toolson, Ashley Hamblin, Colin Wylie and Monica Chabot (left to right). The team won third place at the 2019 Bateman Case Study Competition. (Courtesy of Colin Wylie)

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Bateman Competition

A team of BYU public relations students won third place at the 2019 Bateman Case Study Competition after presenting their diversity campaign to a panel of judges in New York on May 17. They were one of three finalist teams out of the 66 entries received.


This flyer about public relation students’ diversity campaign was seen throughout the Brimhall building on BYU campus.

“I felt that it was a really important conversation that the School of Communications needed to have, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Monica Chabot, who was part of the BYU team to make it to the finals.

The campaign — which focused on addressing specific diversity issues at BYU — was created by Abby Giles, Tucker Toolson, Ashley Hamblin, Colin Wylie and Monica Chabot.

“I was so proud to hear that the judges thought we had done some good in our community. As more people embrace diversity and have a desire to learn about its importance, our campus would become a more welcoming and empowering place for all,” said Chabot.

In addition to BYU’s finalist team, another team from BYU’s public relations program received honorable mention.