Cameron University’s Office of Public Affairs has been honored with 14 awards in the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association 30th annual awards competition. The results were announced earlier this month at OCPRA’s annual summer conference, held at the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur.
The 14 awards are the largest number ever earned in a single year by Cameron.
The contest received 437 entries in 41 categories from 28 Oklahoma higher ed institutions and their various departments. Higher education public relations professionals from outside the state served as judges alongside private industry professionals.
“It is always an honor to be recognized for your work, but it’s especially satisfying when it comes from others in your profession,” said Keith Mitchell, Cameron University’s senior director of public affairs. “Cameron has a great public affairs staff when it comes to both writing and graphic design. I was thrilled to see them earn well-deserved recognition for their talents.”
Staff earned Grand Awards in two contest categories. In the Bright Idea category, Mitchell and John Kindred were recognized for creating Cameron’s “Get the Vax, Get Cash” student COVID vaccine promotion. A story written by Janet E. Williams for the Fall 2021 issue of Cameron Magazine on alumnus Monte Brown, titled “From Anchor to Banker,” took top honors in the Best Headline category. Both entries were eligible for consideration for Best of Show.
Excellence Awards were presented in two categories, both involving Cameron Magazine articles written by Mitchell. His “1958 Aggies Were Unlikely Diamond Kings” from the Fall 2021 issue was recognized in the Full-Length Feature category, while “These Roots Run Deep: Agriculture Has Always Been Part of Cameron’s Mission” from the Summer 2021 issue scored in the Best Headline category.
Cameron earned five Achievement Awards. Kindred was honored in General Poster Design for a project promoting Cameron’s 2022 Martin Luther King Day observance, and in Culture/Fine Arts Poster Design for an effort that promoted a concert by David Kim and Hyunsoon Whang. Mitchell’s article, “Tiny Whitt: Cameron’s Forgotten Superstar” from the Fall 2021 issue of Cameron Magazine, garnered two awards – one for Human Interest Full-Length Feature and one in the Best Headline category. Williams’ “Jana Acevedo: Tailor Made for a Career in Costuming” – also from the Fall 2021 issue – was honored in the Featurette category.
Cameron received five Honorable Mentions. Kindred was recognized in Culture/Fine Arts Poster Design for “Soirée XIII: Liederabend” that promoted a music event featuring Aggie piano and vocal students, and for “Supply Chain Issues Facing the Economy” in General Poster Design. Mitchell earned one for “These Roots Run Deep: Agriculture Has Always Been Part of Cameron’s Mission” in the Full-Length Human Interest Feature category. Rhonda Young’s Fall 2021 Cameron Magazine article, “Standards! No Compromise!” about CU alumnus Gen. Bill Bilo, was recognized in the Featurette category. Alex Zakharchenko was honored in the Video Featurette category for his “Enjoy Your Spring Break” social media video.
The CU Office of Public Affairs is responsible for promoting public awareness of the university. It accomplishes this by working with departments across campus to develop branded information materials, coordinate news coverage, and promote events and activities. The office is also charged with writing and designing Cameron Magazine, the university’s alumni publication.
OCPRA provides networking opportunities and professional development for new and seasoned public relations professionals at Oklahoma’s public and private institutions. Membership includes writers, designers, photographers, web developers, social media types, sports information specialists and event managers. The goal of the annual awards ceremony, which began in 1992, is to encourage a healthy spirit of competition while rewarding achievement, recognizing excellence and honoring the creative imagination of professionals who represent higher education to the public utilizing marketing, communication and public relations efforts. Entrants are not required to be members of OCPRA.