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WSU University Relations earns top honors

University Relations staff members at Washington State University received one gold, five silver, and two bronze awards this year in the annual Communications Awards Competition sponsored by the District VIII Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

In addition, the district presented its annual Distinguished Service Award to Barbara Petura, associate vice president, presidential and internal communication, University Relations, and its Rising Star Award to Chris Bingley, vice president, annual giving/advancement services, WSU Foundation.

The awards were presented during the CASE VIII District Conference, Feb. 21-24 in Boise, Idaho.
“Our communications professionals are experts in their fields,” said Sally Savage, vice president for university relations. “The variety of work honored this year—ranging from Web sites and writing to publications and videos—shows the breadth of talent our staff applies to advancing the university’s strategic goals.”

In the writing categories, WSU received two awards. Cherie Winner received a Gold Award for her Washington State Magazine feature on plant defense, “No Shrinking Violet,” and John Sutherland and Phyllis Shier received a Silver Award for a series of ads about university researchers.

The judges awarded WSU three honors for Web sites. The presidential search site, created by the team of Petura, Mary Read, Edward Sala, Andrew Young, Steve Gravrock, Doug Garcia and Sutherland received a Silver Award, as did the virtual tour site, created by Nicole Wood, Jason Bittle, Ray Rhamey, Bob Hubner, Shelly Hanks, Adrian Pfeifer and Dennis West. The site to promote WSU’s activities in Seattle during the week of the annual football game at Qwest Field received a Bronze Award. The site was created by Brent Gariano, Tammey Boston, Gary Lindsey, Jud Preece, Elayne Crain, Sutherland and Garcia.

The team of Hope Tinney, Shier, Sutherland, Garcia, and Dave Hoyt received a silver award in the category of Fund-raising and Special Audience Publications for a booklet on research titled “Discover. Integrate. Influence.”

A series of illustrations to promote the fall 2006 Innovators lecture series was also honored with a Silver Award. The illustrations were created by free-lance illustrator R.J. Shay under Garcia’s direction.
The team of Anna Sherwood, Rhamey, Lindsey, Hubner, Sharon White, Diane Kicza and North by Northwest, a freelance production company, received a Bronze Award for the university’s new student recruitment video.

Over a 36-year career in university communications, Petura has worked in media relations, periodicals writing and editing, public relations and more for three public universities in the Northwest. She has been chair of District VIII, a member and then chair of the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing, and a member of the CASE International Board of Trustees.

“Barb has provided invaluable contributions to WSU’s communications efforts over the years,” Savage said. “She is a pro’s pro, and well deserving of this special honor.”

Bingley joined the WSU Foundation in 2005 after serving as director of annual giving/advancement services at the University of Idaho. He has been a presenter for the CASE District VIII conferences for the past three years and will serve as faculty for the upcoming 2007 CASE Senior Annual Giving Professionals conference in Seattle, April 29 to May 1.

“Chris truly is a rising star at WSU and within this profession,” said Len Jessup, vice president for university development and president of the WSU Foundation. “His leadership and performance are second to none and we are proud to have such a deserving colleague recognized in this special way.”

The District VIII CASE Communications Awards competition annually attracts upward of  500 entries. The competition, which draws marketing and communications entries from 46 higher education institutions in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Manitoba, Montana, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Oregon, Saskatchewan, Washington and the Yukon, is one of the oldest and largest programs of its type among CASE districts nationally.

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