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The Paradigm Shifters

February 01, 2022 12:00 AM
For BYU Homecoming each year, descendants of George H. Brimhall sponsor an essay contest honoring a BYU founder. The 2021 honored founder was longtime BYU Program Bureau director Janie Thompson. Below is an excerpt from the winning essay, by design major Shannon G. Spencer (’23).
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BYU Barlow Endowment for Music Composition announces 2019 award recipients

November 11, 2019 12:00 AM
Nearly $100,000 was granted by the endowment to more than a dozen composers
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BYU Center for Animation Claims Sixth Student Academy Award

October 18, 2019 12:00 AM
https://vimeo.com/295876694 BYU’s highly esteemed Center for Animation became even more reputable when the short film “Grendel,” directed and produced by BYU animation students, recently won its sixth Student Academy Award. This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,615 entries from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities. Only 16 entries received an award. Student director Kalee McCollaum and student producer Austin Rodriguez worked with approximately 40 students to make this film a reality. Thousands of hours went into the project which was supervised by professors Kelly Loosli and R. Brent Adams. The story of “Grendel” is a reverse telling of the classic Beowulf tale where Grendel, the friendly monster in the film, is joined by rowdy Viking neighbors who harass him. He slowly starts to retaliate until he realizes he’s the one who has become the monster. This realization spikes a change in character as he chooses to help save the Vikings from other creatures. Read more at news.byu.edu, sltrib.com or usatoday.com
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The BYU Launchpad

August 05, 2019 12:00 AM
With a boost from BYU’s top-ranked advertising program, students are blasting off—creating iconic campaigns and landing at the world’s most-respected agencies.
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Married BYU Alums Surprise Filmmaking Community with Silent Documentary

July 22, 2019 12:00 AM
BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts grad Jared Jakins and his wife Carly win Best of Show and Utah Short Film of the Year for “El Desierto”
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BYU Students Touch Hearts with ‘Handimojis’ Creation for Deaf Community

July 02, 2019 12:00 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I2koKZUFRk BYU students from the School of Communications and the Department of Design came together to create ‘Handimojis’ — an ASL-friendly version of Apple’s ‘Animoji’ BYU students Sam Carlson, Amanda Rasmussen and Coni Ramirez were given an assignment in their advertising class — create an idea that uses technology to connect customers to a brand. The result of this project extended beyond the classroom walls and has encouraged a wider conversation about inclusivity and diversity. Carlson knew he wanted this project to focus on the deaf community because of his deep admiration of American Sign Language and deaf culture — a respect he gained while serving an ASL mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and working as an ASL teaching assistant for BYU. During the brainstorming phase, Carlson proposed to Rasmussen and Ramierez that they use the idea of Apple’s Animoji technology and add the ability to depict hand movement. This would allow users who couldn’t previously use the feature to have access to Animoji technology in a new, exciting and personalized way. In addition to using this for their class project, the team decided to enter ‘Handimojis’ into the Future Lions advertising competition. The challenge for the competition was to “connect an audience of your choosing to a product or service from a global brand in a way that wasn’t possible three years ago.” ‘Handimojis’ fit the goal of the competition, so they decided to make the April 15 deadline. When the team presented the idea of ‘Handimojis’ to their BYU class, they were met with hesitation as many people were under the assumption that it would be impossible for deaf users to be able to hold their phone and use ‘Handimojis’ at the same time. However, the team explained that deaf people already use just one hand when video chatting on the phone. The new feature could be easily integrated into the existing culture. The team enlisted the help of Britta Schwall, a member of the Salt Lake Deaf Community, to sign in the one minute and 15 second video clip. After they finished shooting the footage of Schwall and others from the Salt Lake Deaf Community, there was still an integral part missing — the animation for the ‘Handimojis’ hands. This task proved to be the most challenging aspect of bringing ‘Handimojis’ to life. The three advertising students knew what they wanted but didn’t have the skills themselves to execute the 3D graphics for ‘Handimojis.’ As the team hurried to find someone to do the animation before the upcoming competition deadline, they turned to the Department of Design and its animation students. They eventually got in contact with Emily Ellis, who had just learned in her animation class the exact skills and techniques that would be required to complete the ‘Handimojis’ idea. “Emily was the answer to our prayers,” said Carlson. “With four days until the deadline, she pulled off some kind of magic. Seeing her animation was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen — it was exactly how we imagined it.” Rassmussen took Ellis’ animations and added them into the video only hours before the Future Lions competition deadline. Although the team’s idea didn’t advance in the competition, the team felt proud of their work and commitment to include a group of people that had previously been excluded from using Animojis. Schwall asked the team for permission to share their video on her Facebook to show what she had helped with. While the post was initially intended for Schwall’s immediate family and friends, the post now has over 48k views and 800 shares. Many of the comments on the post ask if ‘Handimojis’ is available for download or mention they weren’t able to find it in the App Store. While this app hasn’t been picked up by Apple, these comments show high interest and appreciation for this idea created by BYU students. “Seeing how the Deaf community reacted to it was more fulfilling than winning any award,” said Carlson. “It was a reminder to me why I first got involved with advertising — there's so much good and positive change we can be a part of.” Read additional coverage at ABC4.
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BYU Music Students Excel in Classical Singer National Convention Competition

July 02, 2019 12:00 AM
BYU professor Diane Reich accompanied three students to a national vocal competition Members of the BYU School of Music made a favorable impression on and off the stage at the annual Classical Singer National Convention Competition, which took place in Chicago at the end of May this year. The Classical Singer National Convention Competition is a multi-round elimination contest for both students and non-students. BYU students Josie Larsen, Abigail Yingling Ketch and Courtney Lawson competed in this year’s convention. All three passed the preliminary round, qualifying them to continue to the national round. “Any opportunity to perform, get feedback and experience the discipline of the profession is very valuable,” said vocal performance professor Diane Reich. “Classical Singer Music (CSMUSIC) is one of the prominent organizations for rising singers in our country. Our students were seen by numerous universities and vocal programs — exposure which could be beneficial after their studies at BYU.” Reich and fellow BYU vocal performance professor Darrell Babidge mentored the three students and supported them as they competed against some of the top classical singers in the country. “I know how hard these students work all year long, so it was wonderful to see them apply their training in a competitive situation — and do well,” said Reich. Read the rest of the story at music.byu.edu.
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BYU Students Set Record at One Club for Creativity Competition in New York

June 25, 2019 12:00 AM
Students from the BYU School of Communications and the Department of Design competed in an event hosted by one of the most prestigious graphic design and advertising organizations in the world BYU design and advertising students dominated at The One Club for Creativity competition held each year in New York City — considered to be one of the top international award competitions for advertising and graphic design students. While the categories for these awards are vast, recognition in even one category showcases excellence in creativity and is a high honor. Collectively, BYU took home a new school record of awards during this year’s One Club for Creativity competition. Six advertising students and one graphic design student received gold for their portfolio submissions — more than any other university. To win a portfolio award, students must submit their best pieces in a portfolio as a single unit, which the judges — approximately 10 industry leaders from various artistic specialities — will look at collectively. This year, The One Club for Creativity reported that there were 8,751 portfolios submitted from designers in 45 different countries. From these submissions, the judges chose 14 gold winners from diverse disciplines, half of which were BYU students. “The portfolio competition in particular is held in such high esteem because they are not just recognizing one piece in your portfolio, but your entire body of work,” said Alexa Spiroff, an advertising student. “To be a portfolio winner means the judges are acknowledging that every piece of work in your book is award-winning.” Cam Tribe and Sara McLaws won for advertising. Connor Dean, Jedediah Thunell, Bentley Rawle and Alexa Spiroff won for film and TV commercials. Laura McNeill won for graphic design. In addition to the seven golds won by BYU students for portfolios, four individual advertising projects won gold, three won silver and one won bronze. They also won five gold cubes, two silver cubes and one bronze cube in the ADC Awards category. In the One Show category, BYU advertising students won one gold pencil, one silver pencil and three merit awards. McCall Keller, another BYU graphic design student, won a bronze cube for his redesign of King Kong Magazine. Nineteen advertising and graphic design projects were merit winners — all contributing to the competition’s ultimate ranking of BYU as the #2 program in the world. BYU advertising professor Jeff Sheets, who is a board member and judge for the One Club for Creativity, was asked to present the portfolio awards and give students their awards on stage. “It was a very fulfilling moment for me personally to be able to present so many awards to our very own BYU students,” said Sheets. “I had witnessed first-hand all of their hard work and creative determination.” Winning such a prestigious award can help students put their names out there and launch their professional careers after they leave BYU. “The One Club is really well known across the graphic design and advertising communities, so to be able to have that on my resume would really help with validating my work,” said McNeill. “I think even the networking that can happen from it is valuable.”
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BYU Communications Grad Students Take Home Second Place at Case Study Competition

April 06, 2019 12:00 AM
Communications graduate students Kylie Brooks and Sara Bezdjian May took second place in the communications division of the Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition, which features original cases studies from students across the U.S. This is the third year in a row that graduate students from the School of Communications placed in the competition. Read more on the School of Communications website.
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BYU Design Student Recognized by International Publication

March 04, 2019 12:00 AM
Each year, world-renowned publishing company Graphis Inc. recognizes the work of up-and-coming design students during their New Talent Annual. This year, they received 1160 submissions from around the world and chose to recognize 22 of the 25 projects sent in by BYU. Design major Todd McAllister was the only student from BYU — and one of just 21 students total — to walk away with the annual’s highest honor: the Platinum Award. “I was pretty surprised when I found out that I had won the award,” said McAllister. “It’s nice to get some validation after working hard on a project like that. There are a lot of great designers that submit to Graphis each year, so it was a significant personal achievement to win an award against such tough competition.” The designs that won McAllister the award were for Dwell Magazine. McAllister was tasked with re-designing the magazine’s current cover in a way that was aesthetically pleasing but still on-brand. McAllister’s approach to the project was centered on his love for clean, uncluttered design. “I seem to be drawn to simple, minimalistic design because it leaves me with a sense of awe or piques my interest somehow,” said McAllister. “The design direction was inspired by wanting to achieve that same feeling in a magazine cover.” McAllister said he isn’t sure exactly what set his designs apart from the rest of the competition, though his guess is that it was how well the designs paired photos and text. “In my opinion, a lot of beautiful cover photographs are ruined with really busy headlines and other text elements,” said McAllister. “I think that trying to reduce that as much as possible so the photos can speak for themselves might have set my designs apart from the rest.” While McAllister’s designs may have been simple, the creative process that led to the finished pieces was not. He repeatedly designed covers and critiqued them until he settled on three final designs. McAllister said his favorite part of working on the project was figuring out the title part of the design. “I had been through tons of iterations that didn’t seem to feel right, but something about the lowercase masthead placed vertically along the side of the cover seemed to click, and then things sort of fell into place from there,” said McAllister. His experience working on the designs and winning the award impacted McAllister in a lasting way. “I definitely think this experience will have a positive impact on my future career,” he said. “If nothing else, it has helped me feel a bit more confident in my abilities, which is pretty vital to creativity.” After graduation, McAllister doesn’t imagine his future as a concrete, five-year-plan type of journey. “My future career goals basically involve waking up everyday excited to work on whatever project I have,” said McAllister. “I guess I don’t really have a specific position or place I want to be in, I just want to be excited about the work that I’m doing while pushing the boundaries of what I’m able to do.” For now, McAllister and the other students who were honored by Graphis Inc. are waiting for their work to be published in the hardcover version of the New Talent Annual, which comes out May 1, 2019.
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Animation students create award-winning video game

June 14, 2018 12:00 AM
Combine elements from classic video games like Mortal Kombat and Guitar Hero, and you will see the recipe for success behind the new game developed by animation students called “Beat Boxers.” The project, which recently took home the top prize at the E3 College Game Competition, follows on the successes of past projects like Nokbak, Vanguards and Relic Hunter. The competition is held annually and students from the BYU Center for Animation are not strangers to the event. “This project was a massive undertaking,” said Vanessa Palmer, a recently graduated illustration student and art director over the game. “If our team wasn’t so supportive of each other, there is no way I could have balanced working on the game with classwork and graduation.” “Beat Boxers,” was a combined effort from students in the Department of Design, Department of Theater and Media Arts, and Department of Computer Science. Read more about this story on news.byu.edu.
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TMA Students and Faculty Prepare for 2018 Regional Theatre Festival in Arizona

February 16, 2018 12:00 AM
As participants prepare to attend this year’s festival, theatre Professor Stephanie Breinholt reflects on last year’s achievements
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Art Student Beats Out 2,300 Artists From 90 Countries In International Competition

February 14, 2018 12:00 AM
Julian Harper wins the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER and was featured as a finalist in a special exhibition at Art Düsseldorf
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BYU ad students sweeping national and international awards shows

June 12, 2017 12:00 AM
A team of BYU students took the top prize in the country’s most competitive student advertising competition — for a project they did not for a class or client, but for fun. It was summer and they had a little extra time, so the crew set out to create “something big and cool and different,” said senior Taylor Dahl. Their finished product — a whimsically illustrated and filmed Vespa commercial — took national best of show at Saturday’s Student American Advertising Awards Competition (commonly referred to as the ADDYs). Awards committee chair George Riddell called the competition a “showcase of bright new talent” that provides “a glimpse at the advertising industry of tomorrow.” The best of show award, one of eight national ADDYs BYU received, is a high point in a season of high points for BYU’s ad program. Click here to read more...
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Department of Design Takes Home 19 Graphis Awards

March 23, 2015 12:00 AM
The BYU Department of Design wrapped up this year’s Graphis awards with 19 of their 21 entries selected to be featured in the Graphis magazine.
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Celebrating the HFAC 50th Anniversary with student creativity and $300 awards

February 06, 2015 12:00 AM
In light of the April Gala Celebration, the CFAC Student Association has teamed up with the Dean's Office to hold a creativity competition, with awards for the most-liked entries on social media. The rules for the competition are as follows: ● Create an entry (can be an art piece, choreography, musical arrangement, etc. etc..) that connects the present of the College of Fine Arts and Communications and its students with their past. It must relate to the theme “From This Place Into All the World.” We want to emphasize that the HFAC has had a big global impact as they have been at BYU as students and left them as professionals. To post their submission, students need to tag their photo on their personal social media accounts (Facebook or Instagram) with the hashtag #icreateHFAC and another hashtag with their department name (ie. #Dance #Music #Comms #TMA #Art #Design). As a committee we will look over the submissions and organize them by department and decide which entries will make the final cut for voting on the college social media sites. Each department will have one winner ($300 for each department and a prize for the best interdisciplinary collaborative project, with at least two different departments involved from the college). They will win based off the number of likes they get on their entry. The final submission date will be March 15 so the CFAC-SA can judge and decide on the winners well before the HFAC 50th Anniversary Gala. For any questions, email Shelbi Anderson at sja1@byu.edu.
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BYU Students and Faculty Receive KCACTF Awards

May 13, 2014 12:00 AM
Seven BYU playwrights worked tirelessly for weeks to create a performance that included seven, 7 minute plays in what came to be known as the Microburst Theatre Festival. Under the direction of George Nelson, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA), the group acquired five actors to play all the roles. The show went on to receive three prestigious awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Student playwriting achievements have been celebrated at KCACTF throughout the nation for over 40 years. These BYU playwrights put in weeks of work, and the stories they told have been received with near universal acclaim. According to Nelson, these playwrights all have one thing in common. “This is the writing of my very beginning playwriting students,” Nelson said in regard to the KCACTF awards. “I’m really kind of flabbergasted.” The plays, written by Taryn Politis, Amy McGreeby, Katie Jarvis, Amberly Lourde, Amanda Welch, Chelsea Hickman and Chauntel Lopez, tackle the topic of love in comical and touching ways, exploring its unpredictable and sometimes awkward development. Students won the Distinguished Production of New Work Award and a Performance Award for Distinguished Achievement. Nelson was recognized at KTCACTF as well, receiving the Distinguished Direction of a New Work Award. Wade Hollingshaus, a fellow TMA faculty member, received the Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the festival as well. Hollingshaus mentioned that his coworkers help make these recognitions possible. “I love working in TMA. The TMA faculty–we have great relationships, we have great respect for each other,” Hollinghaus said. “I want to continue to work in this environment, and to make sure to do my part so the environment stays the way that it is.” Nelson said that playwriting is most rewarding when writers get an opportunity to see their work performed, receive feedback on it and rewrite the script. This pattern has proven to be successful with BYU’s popular sketch comedy group, Divine Comedy, which Nelson advises. He decided to try this rigorous system with these new playwrights. “This was our first attempt to do that, and to get this kind of a reaction–it’s remarkable,” Nelson said happily. “If BYU is to distinguish itself from other universities that exist in the world, the greatest opportunity we have to do that is in writing. If we get good at it, then we can change the landscape of the theatrical world.” Nelson noted that while modern views of love take on a variety of perspectives, the Microburst Theatre Festival attempts to show the truth about love without being crude or vulgar. “We don’t have to reflect the voice of the world,” he said.
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BYU TMA Graduates and Faculty Garner Eight Rocky Mountain Emmy Award Nominations

September 14, 2013 12:00 AM
The nominations for the Rocky Mountain Emmy awards were just announced this week and the BYU Theatre and Media Arts graduates and faculty received eight nominations. In the professional category, Brad Barber's Beehive Stories film, Iron County, was nominated. In the student category, Dante's Hamlet (produced by Brynn Zimmer and directed by Babetta Kelly) received five nominations; Dance (produced by Erin Anderson and directed by Eric Pasternak) received one, and Mr. Bellpond (produced by Nick Dixon and directed by A. Todd Smith) received one. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) will host its 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Gala and Auction Saturday, October 19 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in partnership with the Arizona Cardinals. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a membership organization dedicated to excellence in television by honoring exceptional work through the prestigious EMMY(r) Award. They are the only professional association representing television professionals from all disciplines of the industry, serving as the common meeting ground for individuals dedicated to advancing the art and science of television. The Chapter region serves Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and El Centro, California.
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