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College of Information and Communications

  • student winners holding trophies

Advertising and visual communications students honored

Top photo: SJMC winners at the 2024 AAF of the Midlands Gala: (l to r) Jacob Zambrano, Ashley Armando, Julia Lako, Sophia McKowen, Abby Mondello, James Motter.

Students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications garnered a Best of Show, two Gold ADDYs and four Silver ADDYs at the 2024 AAF of the Midlands annual American Advertising Awards Gala.

"I am extremely proud of these students," says visual communications sequence head Sabrina Habib. "They went above and beyond every semester, and the awards are a result of their dedication."

Gold Award winners will move on to compete at the district level; a win there would advance them to the national competition.

AAF of the Midlands holds the yearly competition as part of the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards, the largest advertising competition in the world. The awards represent the true spirit of creative excellence by recognizing all forms of advertising from media of all types, creative by all sizes and entrants of all levels from anywhere in the world.

Student Best in Show and Gold ADDY

Sophia McKowen  (advertising major) and Abby Mondello (advertising major) for “Tampax – Wear the White” in the Outdoor & Transit Advertising category. Faculty mentor: Russ Gottwald.



Outdoor & Transit Advertising, Campaign
James Motter (visual communications major) for “2023 Gamecock Baseball Intro Video." Faculty Mentor: Jason Porter.


Silver ADDYs

Ashley Armando (visual communications major) for “Siete Lime” —  Integrated Advertising Campaign, Consumer. SJMC Faculty Mentor: Sabrina Habib.

Julia Lako (visual communications major) for “Starface” — Social Media, Campaign. SJMC Faculty Mentor: Sabrina Habib.

Desireé Solenberger (visual communications major, graphic design minor) for “Lose the Layers” — Integrated Advertising Campaign, Consumer. SVAD Faculty Mentor: Meena Khalili.

Jacob Zambrano (visual communications major) for “Carla Vaca Pinacho” — Still Photography, Black & White single. SJMC Faculty Mentor: Jason Porter.

Alumni of the School of Journalism were also honored for  work, including:

Jesse Breazeale (Spring 2022) - Silver ADDY for work with the Alumni Association — “Homecoming Memories” (Social Media Campaign, Social Media, Single Execution)

Sydney Hull (Fall 2022) works for Dust of the Ground who won:
Gold ADDY for “SCAG – Farm To Your Table – Farmers” (Branded Content & Entertainment for Online Film, Video & Sound Campaign)
Gold ADDY Award for “SCEL – Lottery 101”  (Cinematography, Single Spot)
Special Judges Award for “SCAG Farm To Your Table – Farmers”

Lawson Estridge (Fall 2022) who formerly worked for Rhodes Branding won:
Special Judges Award for “Success Doesn’t Wait” 
Mosaic Award (DEI award) for “Florence 3 CTE Series”
Gold ADDY Award for “Success Doesn’t Wait” (Internet Commercial, Single Spot)
Gold ADDY Award for “Success Doesn’t Wait”  (Cinematography, Single spot)
Silver ADDY Awards for “Florence 3 CTE Series” (PSA in Online Film, Video & Sound)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.