Communication Studies professor, students, win awards at national conference

Andy Stanton, assistant professor of communication studies at Fort Hays State University, recently placed first in the nation in an advertising competition. The National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) gave Stanton its highest award in color print media advertising, institutional or image.

This is the second year in a row that FHSU communication studies faculty members have placed first in national competitions. In 2006, Jennie Straight, assistant professor of communications studies, placed first in NFPW competition for her research in the field of crisis communication.

The NFPW is one of the largest and most prestigious professional organizations in the country for individuals (both male and female, despite its misleading name) in the fields of journalism, public relations and advertising. Both Stanton and Straight teach advertising and public relations courses.

Stanton is involved in Kansas Professional Communicators and won first-place at the state competition in May. He said the state chapters automatically send the first-place winners to the national competition, but he hadn't yet heard anything about the results.

Then, a few weekends ago, he received an envelope in the mail from NFPW with a first-place certificate in it.

"I had to ask my wife Dana, 'would you read this to make sure that I'm reading it right?' She said, 'Yeah, it says first place,' " Stanton said.

Stanton said, "it's nice to be recognized by a peer organization." He also said it's beneficial for bringing the skills back to the classroom.

Every year, they look for student work to send to the competition, and this year, four of Straight's students won.

Jayna Montoia, Hays special student, Katie Weigel, Plainville special student, Alicia Donovan, Norton special student, and Danielle Windholz, Victoria special student, won first place in the nonprofit division. They created a campaign with collateral materials for Crossroads Pregnancy in Straight's public relations campaign class during the spring 2006 semester. In the class, students are required to do a service learning project with an actual client.

After winning first place at the state level through the Kansas Professional Communicators, their work was submitted to the competition through the NFPW, and they won first place.

For more information about the NFPW, visit

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