Superior Awards displays APR student work

Colleen Schonfield

Students of Grand Valley State University’s nationally recognized advertising and public relations program were acknowledged at the Superior Awards on Tuesday, April 14 for their exemplary work completed this past academic year.

Named after the home of the School of Communications – Lake Superior Hall – the Superior Awards serves as an annual ceremony that enables students to showcase their projects to professionals in the field with the added bonus of providing a gateway to networking.

GVSU’s student-run public relations firm GrandPR was appointed to help run the event in an effort to provide opportunities to the entire APR major. Daltyn Little, CEO of GrandPR, said that the ceremony is a way for students to interact with professionals and see how their projects would measure up in the “real world.”

“It definitely gives (students) more exposure because they have a chance to show their work to a professional, and the Superior Awards allows them to do that,” Little said.

The award show is not a competition, but rather serves as recognition of exceptional work created within the APR program and a celebration of student accomplishments.

“It’s a unique opportunity for students to be judged in the professional realm and receive feedback,” Little said.

Students received scores for projects showcased under nine noncompetitive categories. Awards were distributed to a total of 20 winners within such categories as advertisements, advertising and public relations campaigns, media plans, case studies and APA-formatted papers.

Adrienne Wallace, an advertising and public relations professor, said that the ceremony does not necessarily prepare students for the professional world, but rather the judging of the awards provides a gateway for interaction and enables students to showcase their ability to produce superior work.

“It helps students gain name recognition in a way that is different than a resume in front of a professional; it’s actual work in front of professionals that could potentially become a leg up on the competition when it comes to applications,” Wallace said. “…It always helps to be known by name and reputation to a hiring manager before you need them.”

This was the third year for the Superior Awards, where Wallace and APR professor John Stipe worked within the program to reformat the purpose of the award show. Wallace said that both she and Stipe wanted this year’s Superior Awards to be more distinctive, rather than referred to as “just another award ceremony.”

“We hope that we can help build recognition for Lake Superior Hall, home of the School of Communications, and that the students feel as accomplished and successful as their superior work would designate.”

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