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McPherson College Wins Highest Award at Graphic Design Competition for the Second Year Running

By Johanna Hoffman ’17, communication major

McPherson College students won eight of ten graphic design award categories at AIGA competition in Wichita on April 8, 2017.

AIGA, the professional association for design, is the largest membership organization promoting the advancement of design. The Wichita AIGA chapter hosts an annual Student Portfolio Forum, an event where college students can have their design portfolios reviewed by professionals in the industry, as well as network and participate in competition with college students from other schools.

During the competition, four McPherson College students won eight of the ten categories, including the highest honor, best overall portfolio, which was won by Jessie Neher, senior from Rochester, Minn. Neher was anxious leading up to the event, but is grateful she took the chance.

“I was very nervous to participate in AIGA because I’ve never entered a competition like this before. I found that participating in AIGA is really important, because you receive professional feedback and have the opportunity to gain multiple connections in the graphic design field.”

Corey Long, senior from McPherson, Kan. also took home two awards during the weekend. He attributes McPherson College’s success during AIGA to the work each participant put in leading up to the event.

“If you showcase your work ethic and present it well, that will be better overall and pushed further than talent alone. We all had the drive to stay up every night and critique each other at every corner, pushing each other to do better and be examples for each other.”

The most valuable part of the event for Long was meeting with professionals in the industry. The students had the opportunity to meet with around 30 professionals, including keynote speaker Leif Steiner, owner of creative agency Moxie Sozo in Denver, Colo.

“It is as important to go and talk to people as it is to compete. The most significant part of the weekend was getting our faces out there and being willing to connect with and meet professionals,” said Long.

Dee Erway-Sherwood, professor and program director of graphic design, was pleased with McPherson College’s representation during the weekend, as it reflects the hard work they put in during the year.

“Our MC design students worked very hard and put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in getting ready for the competition – and it paid off. It was a great event, and I am so very proud of their hard work and accomplishments. We have very talented students and exciting things going on with our Visual Arts program at McPherson College.”

There were 24 participants in the competition, many of whom came from larger state schools such as Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Kansas University, and Wichita State University.

McPherson College students who participated in the competition, and the awards they won, are as follows:
Jessie Neher, senior, Rochester, Minn., First place overall portfolio, best interactive design, best motion graphics
Channing Wall, senior, McPherson, Kan., Second place overall portfolio, best advertising
Corey Long, senior, McPherson, Kan., Best logo, best branding
Jayden Hilgers, sophomore, Wichita, Kan., Best photography
Nick Greenway, senior, Wichita, Kan.