Student Life

UWF students take home Gold, Silver ADDY awards from local, district competitions

University of West Florida student T.J. Grier recently won a Student Silver ADDY Award in Elements of Advertising: Still Photography category at the 2017 American Advertising Federation Fourth District American Advertising Awards in Miami.

The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition that attracts more than 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club, or Ad Club, competitions. The mission of the awards, which features local-, district- and national-level competitions, is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

Grier, a senior graphic design major, won silver for his “Fly” food truck rebranding project. He qualified for the district level competition after winning gold in the Still Photography category at the Pensacola chapter’s AAF Awards Gala, held in February at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach.

“The Fly rebranding project meant a lot to me because it was the perfect opportunity to showcase my style in the purest way,” Grier said. “The project combines influences from my past harmoniously with the style I have developed today. I’ve always loved to create works that personify groups and organizations. The Fly project really let me accomplish that goal, while also showcasing my artistic future.”

In February, UWF students won 18 gold and silver student ADDY awards and one silver professional ADDY award at local AAF Pensacola American Advertising Awards, which honors professional advertisers and students from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“The American Advertising Awards are a great opportunity for our students,” said Joseph Herring, associate professor and head of UWF’s graphic design program. “The entire design and advertising community is represented at the awards ceremony. Advertising executives from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties come together to celebrate the best of their own work, as well as to view and honor the best student work over the past year. Winning an award is a great introduction of our students to this important group of potential employers.”

Students from the UWF Department of Art won several individual awards. The student award-winners included Grier, Cheyenne Biggerstaff, Katie Butler, Sarah Coven, Hilary Holden and Olivia O’Hern. Art students Sarah Coven, Arthur DiNardo, Shaun Pearson and Stefani Taylor combined to win a Silver Student ADDY for their “Fractal Brand Identity” campaign.

In addition, students from the art and communication departments combined to win four ADDYs for their work on the National Student Advertising Campaign for Snapple. These students included Katie Butler, Sandra Guerrero, Michelle Le, Liz Martin, Brittany Stephens and Paulina Szyldo. Sabrina McLaughlin, NSAC advisor and UWF Department of Communications lecturer, led the campaign efforts.

Biggerstaff won the Professional Silver ADDY Award for her logo design for her work, “Reason Funding” as part of her DigiPro Media internship.

There were more than 170 entries in the student competition at AAF Pensacola, with 33 gold ADDY Awards and 61 silver ADDY awards presented.

For more information about the American Advertising Awards, visit