Illinois State University Marketing and Communications (UMC) earned four awards, including three golds, in the 2022 CASE Circle of Excellence competition for creative work produced for University clients.

UMC design work received a Grand Gold award for Illinois State’s viewbook, a publication created in partnership with the Office of Admissions. UMC’s ReggieCon branding garnered a gold award, and videos created for Birds Give Back, Illinois State’s day of giving, earned gold and bronze recognition.

“I am very proud of the way our UA teams work with colleges and departments throughout campus to achieve world-class results befitting our world-class university,” said Vice President for University Advancement Pat Vickerman. “The Admissions viewbook plays a vital role in prospective student communications. And we expect to see online video continue to be a sweet spot for Illinois State, especially for fundraising initiatives like Birds Give Back.”

Illinois State University is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), a global, not-for-profit membership association with a vision to advance education to transform lives and society. In 2022, CASE received more than 4,500 entries from 636 institutions in nearly 30 countries for its Circle of Excellence competition. Of those, volunteer judges selected 626 exemplary entries earning 214 bronze, 198 silver, 173 gold, and 41 Grand Gold recognitions.

Following is the list of CASE award-winning entries by UMC:

red cover with Reggie Redbird logo in the middle
Illinois State’s 2021 viewbook

Design, publication: Illinois State University Viewbook 2021
Designers: Mike Mahle and Evan Walles
Writers: Dillon Maher and Josh Mlot
Photographer: Lyndsie Schlink
Project manager: Tracy Widergren
Producer: Jeff Mavros
From the judges: “Unanimous agreement that this was a highly engaging piece. The personalization of the mailings as they were sent to students and families, along with the vibrant use of school colors, immediately resonated with the judging panel and would have undoubtedly been well received by prospective students and families. This was a unique and engaging piece and showcased the beauty of the campus and the town in which it is located.”

poster with superheroes and title 'the X-men'
ReggieCon branding

Marketing, branding (department or subunit): Illinois State ReggieCon branding
Designer and illustrator: Sean Thornton
Project manager: Dani Schroeder
Producers and contributors: Jana Albrecht, Amelia Noël Elkins, Soemer Simmons, Eric Wesselmann, and Scott Jordan
From the judges: “Creative marks and vibrant marketing designs to appeal to a broad audience. An important message and story to tell through compelling designs to engage audiences and create a powerful and lasting impact.”

Video, fundraising and stewardship (short): Illinois State Birds Give Back 2021 Thank You video
Directors: Hugh Sullivan and Andy Savage
Producer: Tracy Widergren
Contributors: Jillian Nelson and Van Miller
Featuring: John Tovar
From the judges: “Extraordinarily creative and original stewardship video. Our panel enjoyed this video! It is a simple concept, yet so effective. We applaud the in-house team that put this entry together. One of the best, most creative videos we have seen.”

Birds Give Back 2021 Thank You video

Video, fundraising (flash campaign/giving day): Birds Give Back—Your Mission
Directors: Hugh Sullivan and Andy Savage
Producer: Tracy Widergren
Contributors: Jillian Nelson and Van Miller
Featuring: President Terri Goss Kinzy and Reggie Redbird
From the judges: “So entertaining! It told a story and grabbed viewers with the suspenseful beginning. The Mission Impossible spoof was hilarious. We liked that the video utilized the school mascot. It was creative, fun, and original.”

Birds Give Back—Your Mission video

In addition to UMC’s four CASE awards, the University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA) recently awarded Senior Photographer Lyndsie Schlink first place in UPAA’s publication covers category for her fall 2021 Redbird Scholar cover photo.

A man's back, covered in tattoos
Fall 2021 Redbird Scholar cover photo.

UMC serves as an in-house creative agency focused on Illinois State’s communications to external audiences through marketing and communications planning, online and print publications, social media, photography, videography, and environmental branding.