Design students sweep awards again

Winning awards has become an annual rite of passage for students in the  York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design. For the fifth consecutive year, they swept the awards in the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) of Ontario’s student competition. They took 23 of the 40 prizes awarded, placing first in ten of the 15 top categories and earning 13 honourable mentions. 

Above: Wendy Wong, Chair of York’s Department of Design (far right) with
students from the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design, who won
first place in the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario
student competition

Wendy Wong, Chair of York’s Department of Design, says she’s not at all surprised by the continuing success of students in the program. “The York-Sheridan joint program strongly supports RGD and our colleagues are the founding members of the association. All our students are RGD student members and we encourage them to enter competitions because we want them to be aware of the professional world beyond school. Also, the awards and scholarships benefit them. The future direction of the department and the joint program will continue to develop in this respect.”

The York/Sheridan first-place winners and their $1,000 cash awards are:

  • Ines Aguileta: Applied Arts Award for Magazine Design
  • Neshantheny Balasubramaniyam: Philip Sung Award for Composition
  • Theodore Daley: Barking Dog Studios Award for New Media
  • Pietro Gagliano: Adobe Design Award for Web Design
  • Joanna Jung: Shikatani Lacroix Award for Packaging and the Philip Sung Award for Colour
  • Josh Levitt: M-real Award for Use of Paper
  • Erin McCluskey: Somerset Graphics Award for Print
  • Vince Rozas: Engine Room Creative Award for Direct Marketing
  • Laura Sullivan: Koskie Minsky Award for Excellence Across Media for Central Ontario

Click here to view their winning design projects. 

Right: Theodore Daley’s award-winning design titled “Einstein’s Dreams” 

Honourable mentions went to York/Sheridan design students Sarah Anderson, Lucia Chu, Ching-Ying Huang, Vanessa King, Kim Leung, Erin McCluskey, Christina Pinto, Stephen Taubman and Scott Wise.

The winners collected their prizes from the sponsors at a special awards ceremony on Sept. 7 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery District. Wong and York design Professor David Scadding, along with Michael Large, associate dean of the School of Animation, Arts & Design at Sheridan, were on hand to toast their success.

Most of the York/Sheridan honourees have now completed their Bachelor of Design degrees and are poised to enter the professional world.

Left: Erin McCluskey’s award-winning direct marketing campaign design

The RGD awards competition is open to any student RDG member enrolled in a three- or four-year graphic design program at a recognized college or university in Ontario. Entrants are required to submit three samples of their work, from Web pages to book design and corporate identity packages. Submissions are juried by RGD Ontario members. For more information about RGD, visit

Earlier this year, York/Sheridan design students also distinguished themselves at the national level. Fourth-year design students Emily Tu and Stephanie Campbell were honoured with awards for excellence in design by the Society of Graphic Designers (SGD), Canada’s national graphic design association. Tu won the $1,500 Veer Scholarship and Campbell’s work yielded the $1,000 Adobe Scholarship.

Funded by the country’s top design-related companies, the SGD national scholarship awards are Canada’s pre-eminent educational awards. Click here for a complete list of winners.

Further afield, York/Sheridan design alumnus Jonathon Corbiere (BDes ’06) was a finalist in the motion graphics category of the 2006 Adobe Design Achievement competition. This prestigious international competition, showcasing the convergence of technology and the creative arts, drew submissions from students at postsecondary institutions in 24 countries throughout the world. Corbiere and other honourees were recognized by Adobe and the design community at a special event on July 20 at the Royal Ontario Museum. Click here to view Corbiere’s design project. 

The York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design is Ontario’s first Bachelor of Design degree program, offered jointly by York University and the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville. 

This article was submitted to YFile by Mary-Lou Schagena in the Faculty of Fine Arts.