SRU Office of Communication and Public Affairs captures 28 national awards


2018 Magazine covers

March 27, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Office of Communication and Public Affairs has been recognized for its work in print, social media, web and video production with 28 national awards from a trio of organizations.

The honors include 14 Educational Digital Marketing Awards, 12 Collegiate Advertising Awards and two CUPRAP awards.

Dance Poster

"This is an incredible honor for the University and members of the UCPA team and recognizes the high-quality, professional work these incredibly talented individuals deliver on a daily basis in support of the institution's goals," said Rita Abent, executive director for communication and public affairs.

The EDMAs recognize the best educational websites, digital content, electronic communications, mobile media and social media. Those awards included three gold, three silver and three bronze awards, as well as five merit awards.

Gold awards were won by SRU Athletic Communication for its "Salute to Military" game day program cover designed by Jon Holtz, athletic communication director; a "Troops to Teachers" poster designed by Sandy Busch, graphic communication director; and a "Countdown to a 'Behre' Good Day" social media campaign by Megan Cassioli, assistant director of graphic communication, to herald the arrival of SRU President William Behre.

Silver honors were awarded in the categories of New Media, for SRU's new interactive campus map at by Chase Wickerham, assistant director of web development; Special Events, for Kaleidoscope marketing materials by Cassiolli; and Special Promotions, for promotional collateral related to the Performing Arts Series by Cassiolli.

Football program cover

Bronze awards were earned by Athletic Communication's football signing day social media campaign by Holtz; the SRU holiday video card by Darcy White, director of web communications; and the University website,, by White.

The CAA, an elite national program that recognizes today's most talented marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in communications, marketing, advertising and promotions of their schools, bestowed 12 awards on UCPA, including five golds, six silvers and one bronze.

The 2018 CAA program had more than 900 entries from the U.S. representing "a diverse plethora of educational facilities from small community colleges to very large schools and universities."

Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal. Participant's entries competed against similar-sized organizations in their specific groups and categories.

Performing Arts poster

Gold awards included:
• Campaigns, "Performing Arts Series 2018-19," by Cassiolli.
• Poster/display, "Faculty Dance," by Kaylee Priddy, a student designer and junior fine arts and philosophy major from Moon Township.
• Folded/panels, "Rock Athletic Club brochure," by Cassiolli.
• Sports specific, "Football programs," by Holtz.
• Special events, "SRU Salute to Military," by Holtz.

Silver awards included:
• Recruitment, "Mascot cut-out," by Christina Malak, '18, a former student designer.
• Website design,, by White.
• Virtual tours, "SRU Interactive website map," by Wickerham.
• Other/miscellaneous, "Behre Good Day" magazine article, by Robb King, associate executive director for communication and public affairs.
• Publication external (series), "SRU football gameday programs," by Holtz
• Social media marketing, "SRU football signing day," by Holtz.

Bronze award included:
• Invitations, "Sunset Serenade invitations," by Cassiolli.

UCPA's final pairs of award came courtesy of CUPRAP, the creative excellence in marketing and communications organization, as part of its annual awards competition.

A gold award came via the organization's print category for the 2018 The ROCK magazine series, by Busch, and an honorable mention in the public relations and marketing category for the 2018 Performing Arts Series collateral package, by Cassiolli.

CUPRAP received nearly 500 entries in 35 categories from colleges, universities and providers of private, specialized and secondary education in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |