decorative image of National-Winners-e1501014404111 ,   2017-07-25 09:21:48 Published: 07-25-2017

Two Pensacola State College students won silver medals at the 2017 American Advertising Awards national conference held in June in New Orleans.

Current Pensacola State student Zack Blessing and Amber Sidner, who graduated in December 2016, were among the winners in the AAF Student American Advertising Awards competition.

The American Advertising Awards, formerly the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition.

The American Advertising Awards Competition: Student Division, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation and National Ad 2, is a national awards program designed for college students. Work entered at the local level can advance to the regional and national judging, just like the work entered by professionals across the country.

Pensacola State students, Zack Blessing and Amber Sidner, won silver at the 2017 American Advertising Awards national conference. The two also were among seven Pensacola State students to win at the 2017 AAF Fourth District ADDY Awards held in May. Pictured are, from left, Kyle Stamm, Blessing, Sidner, Darrian Montgomery, Kelli Bestgen, Timothy Bednarczyk and Katherine Chen.

Pensacola State students, Zack Blessing and Amber Sidner, won silver at the 2017 American Advertising Awards national conference. The two also were among seven Pensacola State students to win at the 2017 AAF Fourth District ADDY Awards held in May. Pictured are, from left, Kyle Stamm, Blessing, Sidner, Darrian Montgomery, Kelli Bestgen, Timothy Bednarczyk and Katherine Chen.

Blessing won in the Cover/Editorial Spread or Feature series category for his cover of the Arkady Renko Spy Novel Series.

“It was kind of a shocker to do so well at state and advance to the national competition,” said Blessing who will graduate in December.

Sidner, who works at Lamar Advertising Co. in Pensacola, placed in the Book Design category for her work, Bike: A History.

The two graphic design majors were among seven Pensacola State students who placed at the 2017 AAF Fourth District ADDY Awards held in Miami in May.

Overall, the Pensacola State student-delegation won a Best of Show, eight gold medals and two silver medals, with Blessing and Sidner advancing to the national competition.

At district level, Blessing earned a gold in the Collateral Campaign Material category, and a silver in the Book Cover Design category for the Arkady Renko Spy Novel Series.

Sidner won Best of Show and a gold medal in the Collateral Publication Work category for Bike History.

Kelly Bestgen won gold for her Book Cover Design and a silver for Conference Material entry.

Other Pensacola State students to place include:

Kyle Stamm who won gold in the Out of Home and Ambient Media – Poster Work category for Lyceum Visual Arts Poster. He also won gold in the Out of Home and Ambient Media – Poster Work category for Lyceum Music Poster.

Tim Bednarczyk won gold in the Product Photography Work category for Angry Orchard Hard Cider.

Katherine Chen won a gold in the Identity System category.

Darrian Montgomery won gold in the Product Photography category.

Linh O’Briant, graphic design instructor and co-program coordinator for the graphic arts department, said she was extremely proud of the students.

“We had seven students going to the award ceremony and they walked away with 10 medals and a Best of Show,” O’Briant said. “I thought the students did amazing. Our school won more medals than the bigger schools in the competition.”

Blessing, a self-described doodler, credits the Pensacola State graphics design program with preparing him.

“The college’s graphic design program is phenomenal. The opportunities are endless as long as you are willing to put in the work and the instructors and professors are so willing to help you along the way,” he said.