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UW Communications and Marketing Specialists Receive State Awards

person riding a horse, working cattle
This photo of University of Wyoming student Kinley Erickson, from Ten Sleep, who overcame adversity to graduate from UW last spring, was included in an award-winning feature story. Written by Milton Ontiveroz, a UW Institutional Communications specialist, the story received first place in the feature category for Associates members at last weekend’s Wyoming Press Association’s (WPA) Winter Convention in Casper. The WPA Associates members include the state’s public relations specialists. (Mandy Franks Photo)

University of Wyoming Institutional Communications and Marketing specialists and a communications team member on campus received 10 awards during the annual Wyoming Press Association (WPA) Associates group contest.

Winners were announced at the WPA’s annual winter meeting last weekend in Casper. The convention attracts Wyoming’s newspaper professionals and the WPA’s Associate members -- many of whom are public relations professionals -- for workshops, seminars and speakers.

The WPA convention culminated with the awards program where the top newspapers in three divisions (daily, Sheridan Press; large weekly, Jackson Hole News and Guide; and small weekly, Newcastle News Letter Journal) were named. Individual award winners also were announced in several categories.

The WPA Associates contest drew entries from communications professionals from around the state. UW personnel competed against media representatives such as those from various Wyoming state government departments and area public relations firms.

WPA Associates members, including those from UW, attended job-related workshops during the convention.

In the Associates contest, the UW Institutional Communications team fared well in the news writing categories. Chad Baldwin, UW associate vice president for communications and marketing, won first-and second-place writing awards; Milton Ontiveroz, a communications specialist, received a first-place writing award; and Ron Podell, a communications specialist, had two runner-up writing awards.

Ali Grossman, a UW Institutional Marketing video producer, won second-place and honorable mention video awards, and Jennifer Kirk, an Institutional Marketing specialist for UW Libraries, added a first-place award. The UWyo Magazine team of Micaela Myers, editor; Michelle Eberle, brand and marketing director; and Ted Brummond, UW Photo Services manager, combined for a second-place award.

Christine Reed, a UW School of Energy Resources outreach director, was awarded an honorable mention in the photography category.

For the first time this year, the Wyoming Press Association awarded a “Best of WPA Associates” given to the Associates member winning the most contest awards across all categories. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department won the first-place traveling trophy and plaque, earning 16 individual awards. UW Institutional Communications and Marketing’s team received a second-place plaque, totaling 10 individual honors.

“It is a pleasure working with our campus community to tell UW’s great stories about educational achievement, research and service,” Baldwin says. “Being recognized for excellence in doing so is nice, but what is most rewarding is seeing our work bring local, national and international exposure to the university.”

Listed are the UW staff members with their individual awards, contest categories in which they won, titles of their entries and the judges’ comments for each entry (if given):

UW Institutional Communications

Awards Baldwin received:

-- First place, Three Releases on the Same Topic, “Fauna and Flora Research.” Judge’s comments: “These entries obviously appealed to their target audiences, as evidenced by the follow-up stories, but they really stood up quite well on their own. I found them all interesting, but the trout evolution and prairie dog stories were really good reads.” The third release can be found here.

-- Second place, One Release, “Survey of UW Students Shows Decline in Sexual Misconduct.” Judge’s comments: “This release contained the necessary and appropriate information while giving the reader the ability to access more.”

Award Ontiveroz received:

-- First place, One Feature, “Ten Sleep Student Overcomes Adversity to Graduate From UW.” Judge’s comment: “Strong lede makes me want to know more about this young woman. Well written top to bottom -- easy to see why the Northern Wyoming News picked it up!”

Awards Podell received:

-- Second place, Three Features On The Same Topic, “Bee Research and Conservation.” Judge’s comments: “This is compelling content about important research. Providing concise releases is important for gaining attention in earned media.”

-- Second place, One Feature, “UW Student Earns Prestigious Udall Scholarship After Life of Personal Challenges.” Judge’s comment: “Compelling lede to a great human interest story. Writer leans a little too heavily on long quotations. Using some paraphrasing and/or breaking up long quotes and strings of quotes from a variety of sources would make this a little easier to read.”

UW Institutional Marketing

Awards Grossman received:

-- Second place, Videography, “Evolution of Trout in Wyoming’s Alpine Lakes: UW Research Spotlight.” Judge’s comments: “What a fascinating research project on rapid evolution by a University of Wyoming team. This is a nice production summarizing their scientific work, and includes good lab and field visuals.”

-- Honorable mention, Videography, “Student-Led Minimal Mountain Modern Home: UW Team Takes Fourth in Solar House Design Competition.” Judge’s comments: “Really cool project combining multiple disciplines and majors from students at the University of Wyoming. Great job seeing a project pass through multiple cohorts on its way to completion. This kind of collaboration shows how the University of Wyoming makes a small school so compelling.”

Award Kirk received:

-- First place, Information Campaign, “You Belong Here Information Campaign.”

Award Myers, Eberle and Brummond received:

-- Second place, Publications, “UWyo Magazine -- Winter 2023.” Judge’s comments: “Chocked full of great stories! Page designs were engaging. Great photo selection.”

UW School of Energy Resources

Award Reed received:

 -- Honorable mention, News Photo, “Gov. Mark Gordon and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.” Judge’s comments: “The composition is nice with the Governor, the EPA Adminstrator and School of Engineering placard for location context.”

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929

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