Youngstown State University's Department of Art announces that Taylor Valerio earned a Golden Addy award at the American Advertising Federation Pittsburgh Addy Awards on May 15. The event, originally scheduled for March, was delayed and held online due to COVID-19.

Valerio, a senior Graphic + Interactive Design student from Campbell, is also a member of the Honors College. Two of her design entries, one from publication design and another from packaging design, were selected for recognition, and she was the only student featured during the awards ceremony.

Her winning entry was an assignment from the publication design course at YSU, which directed students to create an engaging and informative piece that showed the artistic creative process. For the competition, the American Advertising Federation was the fictional sponsor and the target audience was college freshmen. The goal was to inform students of the creative process as well as persuade them to join a design or marketing organization on their local campus, or to join their local Ad Fed chapter.

The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry's largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club competitions. The mission of the competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

The American Advertising Federation Pittsburgh is a thriving community of engaged marketing and advertising professionals dedicated to creativity, integrity and forming long-lasting relationships.

Valerio said, "I am truly honored that my work is successful and publicly recognized. I couldn't have done it without the aid and guidance of faculty member Rich Helfrich, Assistant Professor of Graphic + Interactive Design. With his support, I truly feel like the sky is the limit."

In October 2019, Valerio also participated in the AAF Pittsburgh competition, thePitch, a one-day competition focused on advertising and its associated disciplines. Students from eleven colleges and universities comprising seven teams received hands-on experience by working at one of Pittsburgh's advertising agencies on a real-world project for a local non-profit organization.


Pittsburgh museum The Mattress Factory was the 2019-2020 client.

Valerio's team, hosted by the advertising agency Chemistry, won the competition and was also recognized at the Pittsburgh Addy Awards virtual awards ceremony. Students on the winning team represented Youngstown State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University, Point Park University and Duquesne University.

Other YSU students who participated in thePitch and their host advertising agencies are Carly M. Redmond, Garrison Hughes; Jayde E. Faustino, Brunner; Ryan T. Lantz, Tonic; Andrea J. Minotti, Gatesman; Brooke M. Lissy, Marc USA; and Elaine Ngo, Moxie.

"We are very proud of Taylor's accomplishments and the recognition she has received from the American Advertising Federation's Pittsburgh Addy Awards," said Joy Christiansen Erb, Chair of the Department of Art. "Her success is a testament to the strength of the Graphic + Interactive Design program and is reflective of the dedication of our faculty teaching in that area. It is exciting to see one of our undergraduate students making a mark on the world before her graduation."

More information is available by calling the Office of Community Engagement and Events at 330-727-7514.