Thursday is Career Awareness Day at PRINT 13

Thursday is Career Awareness Day, an event that the Graphic Arts Education and Resource Foundation (GAERF), in collaboration with the Graphic Arts Show Company, has staged for more than two decades.

At PRINT 13, nearly 800 high school students from the greater Chicago area, as well the neighboring states of Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin, are participating in this year’s event. Their instructors will accompany the students.

An award ceremony honoring the GAERF 2013 Student Design Competition’s first place winners will kick off the program on Thursday, September 12, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of McCormick Place. First place winners will be presented with a $2,000 check at the award ceremony. Along with their instructors, they received a two-day, all-expense paid trip to attend PRINT 13.

GAERF uses the competition to dispel the myth that the graphic communications/printing industry is a low-tech field offering low pay and few opportunities for financial and personal growth.

For this fifth annual National Student Design Competition, themed “Forever Print”, students from secondary and post-secondary institutions were challenged to demonstrate their creativity and skill by producing a printed product that in today’s world cannot be replaced by electronic media.

From among the 133 entries, six winners were chosen, three at the secondary school level and three at the post-secondary school level.

Winners at the secondary school level are:

  • 1st Place: Krista Sanders, Monroe Technology Center, Leesburg, VA (Instructor: Pamela Smith)
  • 2nd Place: Ashley Farias, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fall River, MA (Instructor: Siobhan Santos)
  • 3rd Place: Coral Peters, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fall River, MA (Instructor: Siobhan Santos)

Winners at the post-secondary school level are:

  • 1st Place: Deborah Jones, Wright State University – Lake Campus, Celina, OH (Instructor: Teresa Richter)
  • 2nd Place: Desiree Sullivan, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA (Instructor: Steven Gonsowski)
  • 3rd Place: Kalen Blackburn, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA (Instructor: William Baldwin)

Scott Backovich, known as a student leadership expert and teen advice guru, will conclude the program. Students then have the opportunity to visit the exhibition floor and see firsthand the latest technologies.

Students will also take a stroll down Education Main Street, where 10 colleges and universities are represented, including Ball State University, Cal Poly, Ferris State University, Clemson University, Harper College, New York University, Pittsburgh State University, RIT School of Media Sciences, and the University of Houston. Students are able to gain information on curriculum offerings, scholarships, and internship opportunities.

The exchange between students and professionals is not only a learning experience for future printing industry professionals, but also allows current industry professionals a chance to connect and engage with their future employees.