WT Graphic Design, Communication Students Sweep Advertising Awards

Chip Chandler Mar 05, 2021
  • Arts
  • Communication
  • Featured

WT Graphic Design, Communication Students Sweep Advertising Awards

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas —West Texas A&M University students won 25 awards, including two special ones, at the recent American Advertising Awards banquet in Amarillo.

Graphic design students won 22 of those awards, including the special awards, and communication students won three. The awards were given by American Advertising Federation — Amarillo, part of the national network of affiliated advertising clubs.

“Congratulations to all the winners, and I want to express my appreciation to AAF Amarillo for this opportunity,” said Marcus Melton, associate professor of graphic design. “Great job graphic design students! I am very proud of the graphic design students and the other art faculty that made these awards possible.”

Miguel Gutierrez, senior graphic design major from Mesquite, and Adrian Ballesteros, senior graphic design major from Amarillo, each won special judges awards at the banquet, themed “The Greatest Show.”

“This was my first time ever competing in these awards, and knowing that people appreciate the hard work I have put into these projects really encourages me to keep pursuing this life path,” Ballestros said.

“Through this process, I learned to always stay curious about all of the possibilities of design, and these awards give me the satisfaction of knowing that not only am I doing what I love to the best of my abilities, but I can also continue growing,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also won three gold, three silver and one bronze award. Ballestero also won one gold, one silver and three bronze awards.

Other graphic design winners include:

  • Tanner Mahan, senior graphic design major from Canyon: one gold and two bronze awards
  • Elba Duron, recent graphic design graduate from Amarillo: one bronze award
  • Valerie Castillo, recent graphic design graduate from Slaton: one gold and one silver award
  • Kristen Baker, senior graphic design major from Borger: one bronze award
  • Christiana Dickson, senior graphic design major from Dalhart: one bronze award

Buffalo Advertising won a silver award for television advertising for a campaign for Adobe. Pamela Ramirez, a senior PR/advertising/applied communication major from Lima, Peru, won a bronze award in photography for 1910 PR, WT’s student-run PR firm. The Eternal Flame, the student-run online magazine, won a bronze award for its website.

“We were pleased with all of our students’ work and honored that the judges recognized their talent and creativity, as well,” said Dr. Emily Kinsky, head of the Department of Communication.

Winners also included local advertising agencies, civic organizations, schools and more. The awards were presented during a Feb. 25 virtual banquet. Best of Show awards will be presented at an in-person gala scheduled for May 27.

“WT’s students did a fantastic job with their work over the past year,” said Han Owens, first vice president of the Amarillo chapter. “Their creative spirit and amazing talents in the art of advertising is truly next level.”

Gold award winners automatically advance to the district competition.

WT’s graphic design program has won more than 130 American Advertising Federation awards in the last 10 years. This includes six Best of Shows in the student division and one Best of Show in the professional division. Department of Communication organizations have won more than 20 awards in the past five years.

Building undergraduate excellence is a key maxim of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.