Colorado State University Receives Top National Honors for Public Relations Initiatives

National public relations honors have been awarded to Colorado State University’s Division of External Relations for campaigns focused on groundbreaking work from two of the research university’s professors and for the redesign of the College of Agricultural Science’s magazine.

“CSU Biologist Builds Bomb-Sniffing Plant” was awarded a national Gold CASE Circle of Excellence Award, the top honor in the category of Media Relations Programs and Plans. The campaign gained world-wide media attention for Professor June Medford’s work with a computer designed detection trait that changes a plant’s colors when pollutants or explosives are detected.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education – or CASE – is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,400 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in 74 countries. This year, 567 higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits from around the world submitted more than 2,800 entries for consideration in the CASE Circle of Excellence awards program. Judges awarded 275 bronze, silver and gold awards to organizations both locally and globally.

“Temple Grandin – The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” a campaign to promote Grandin, an animal sciences professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and other CSU experts as part of Autism Awareness Month, won a national Award for Publication Excellence in the category of Meeting and Event Campaigns, Programs and Plans.

“These awards demonstrate the professionalism and expertise of the communications team at Colorado State as well as the impact our faculty are having around the globe,” said Tom Milligan, vice president for External Relations at Colorado State. “While it is great to win these awards and we’re proud of the work that led to them, we’re even more proud to work with people like Temple Grandin and June Medford and to share their amazing stories.”

Along with the campaign awards, Coleman Cornelius, director of Communications for CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences won an APEX Award in the category of Most Improved Magazine for the College of Agricultural Science’s college magazine, “Food for Thought.” Colleen Rodriguez, Cathay Zipp and Joe Mendoza with the Department of Creative Services won an APEX Award in the category of Best Redesigns for their redesign of the publication “Eating Smart Being Active Cookbook.”

The 2012 APEX Awards were based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence.

Earlier this year, CSU’s Division of External Relations won two Gold Pick Awards from the Colorado chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for the unit’s work promoting university research.