Students Receive Record Number of ADDYs

Students in the MSU College of Communication Arts and Science received the highest number of ADDY Awards in the college's history at the 2016 American Advertising Awards (ADDY) competition. The ADDYs are the advertising industry's largest competition recognizing creative excellence. The Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance, the local American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter, hosted more than 250 individuals at the ceremony on February 25th at the MSU Union.

ComArtSci students took home 12 Gold, 21 Silver and 54 Bronze ADDYs, two Judge's Choice Awards, and the People's Choice Award.

The three-tier national competition is conducted annually and all Gold ADDY winners will advance to regionals. Winners of regional Gold ADDYs will continue on to nationals. ADDY award entries were judged by Christian Mommertz (Chief Creative Officer at Geometry Global, Germany), Jason J. Smith (President and Creative Director at Magnetry, Arizona), and Marysia Makowska (Associate Creative Director at The Martin Agency, New York). Many of the MSU students receiving Gold ADDYs this year were first-time entrants in the prestigious competition.

Gold ADDY Winners:

  • Margeaux Phillips (2)
  • Lanqi Wang
  • Amy Ruimveld (2)
  • Congy Han
  • Shayna Gross
  • Sarah Goodyear
  • Amanda Cowherd
  • Lauren Cutler (2)
  • Andrew Deneau

"I decided to enter one of my favorite pieces of work from the past year because many of my advertising friends were talking about submitting things," said Amanda Cowherd, MSU advertising student.

Cowherd was awarded Christian Mommertz's Judge's Choice Award. Her submission was a project for an advertising class in which she created her own wine brand, and a trio of wine labels for "Slow Poke."

"I had adrenaline going for about a half hour after they showed the video of him talking about my wine labels," Cowherd said.

This year, the People's Choice Award was also awarded to ComArtSci student Nicole Nalazek. Her winning submission was for promotional design for the East Lansing Farmer's Market's Autumn Fest.

"It felt incredible to have people in the community react so well to my work," Nalazek said.

Cowherd's advice for students looking to enter the ADDYs is to "believe in your work and take any opportunity that comes your way. Dedicate time to class projects so they can be standout pieces in your portfolio."

Nalazek advised students to take full advantage of creative professors and to get feedback on the work they are considering submitting.

All professional and student submissions for the 2016 American Advertising Awards can be viewed online at