Recruitment program and YorkU win CCAE awards


Above: Cover images from the award-winning Faculty handbooks produced by the Account Direction unit of Communications

York’s Communications Division has won five awards for excellence from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

At the CCAE’s annual meeting in Halifax, a gold, a silver and a bronze “Prix d’Excellence” award went to York’s innovative, nature-themed student recruitment program and its material, while the University’s new magazine, YorkU, won two silvers, including one in the best magazine category.

Left: Cover of the first issue of YorkU, produced by the Publications unit of Communications

“We are particularly pleased that York has won these awards so early in the tenure of the new Communications Division,” said York’s Chief Communications Officer Richard Fisher. “It shows that our specialist model of units staffed with experienced professionals is being rewarded.”

York’s integrated “Enter Here 2004-2005” program aimed at prospective students, initiated by the Account Direction unit in Communications for Admissions and designed by Toronto’s doug agency, won gold as Best Program: Student Recruitment from the CCAE judges.

The program included such items as the undergraduate handbook, the graduate handbook, all Faculty handbooks and a variety of brochures, posters and newsletters. All utilized nature images representing the “transformation and growth” that York students experience.

“Overall branding is outstanding,” the judges said in their report. They cited the consistent design through all pieces, the “modern, cutting-edge look”, the “distinctive” use of rounded corners and “excellent” photography choices. “Our gold-medal winner,” they said, “showed great creativity and individuality, setting it apart from the other submissions.”

In addition, an “Enter Here” piece (left) aimed at international students won silver in the Best Flyer category, and another acknowledging a student’s application, “Your Exclusive Pass to the Summit at York,” won bronze in the Best Brochure category.

The award-winning team, led by Jessie-May Rowntree and Jennifer Wing from Account Direction and Barbara Brown and Glenda Gill from Admissions, focused on creating an integrated marketing campaign that distinguished York from its competition and positioned it as an innovative, interdisciplinary and cutting-edge institution. “We sought to create a consistent, coherent look for the whole University,” said Rowntree, who heads Account Direction. “This was a wonderful team effort involving all the Faculties.”

YorkU magazine, which began publishing in September 2003, entered its first two issues and won silver in the Best Magazine category. Featuring a bold design and strong photography, the cover stories profiled York-educated TV meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai and York’s top-ranked undergraduate students.

Left: Photo of Natasha Ramsahai in YorkU magazine that earned silver in the Best Photograph category

The judges said in their point-form report: “Engaging covers, full of energy. Wide audience appeal. Stories are very accessible and told for readers, not for administrators. As far as pushing the boundaries of university magazines, York is the forerunner. Brand support is subtle and effective, not overbearing. Professionally done.”

Sharing in the award were editor Berton Woodward, managing editor Michael Todd, art director James Nixon, staff writers Cathy Carlyle and Martha Tancock, associate art director Cindy Wilce and copy editor Marie Kopf.

“Considering that we faced competition from across Canada, and had only produced two issues in the qualifying period, it’s very gratifying that the judges have recognized YorkU and what we are trying to do,” said Woodward, York’s publications director.

The Ramsahai package also earned a silver in the Best Photograph category, for an inside shot by freelance photographer Edward Gajdel showing Ramsahai using an umbrella under a shower (fully dressed). Judges called it a “dynamic photo; great image for inaugural edition” and said it “projects a positive environment; great sense of fun.”

Right: Berton Woodward, director of publications, and Jessie-May Rowntree, director of account direction, hold awards in Halifax