Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF)

GAERF Awards Student Scholarships to Compete in SkillsUSA Championships

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) awarded nearly $30,000 in scholarships to the nation’s top advertising design, graphic communications and screen printing technology students who participated in the SkillsUSA Championships held June 22-24, 2011, in Kansas City, MO. Each competitor was given $250 to defray the costs incurred in travelling to the event.

“GAERF is committed to supporting programs that prepare our workforce of the future,” said Ralph J. Nappi, GAERF President. “In this spirit, we are delighted to recognize our industry’s most talented students and encourage them to consider the many exciting career opportunities the graphic communications industry has to offer.”

The annual event which, this year, hosted more than 5,700 contestants competing in 94 different skill and leadership contests, showcases the top career and technical education students in the nation. Its purpose is to reward students for excellence, directly involve industry in evaluating student performance, and provide training relevant to employers’ needs. To that end, the exhibition—which occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields—is held with the assistance and support of industry, trade associations and labor organizations.

To become eligible for the national competition, students must first compete at the local and state levels. Two representatives from each state—one at the high school level and one at post-secondary—then advance to the national competition.

Graphic Communications medalists at the secondary level were:

  • Gold: Christina Hillman from Effingham County High School, Springfield, GA
  • Silver: Zack Minor from Tri County Technology Center, Bartlesville, OK
  • Bronze: Craig Sweet from Sammamish High School, Bellevue, WA

At the post-secondary level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Jonathan Hand from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Silver: Amanda Breese from Riverside Community College, Riverside, CA
  • Bronze: John Bohnett from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI

Advertising and Design medalists at the secondary level were:

  • Gold: McKinzie Madsen from Desert Hills High School, St. George, UT
  • Silver: Emily Nelson from Arcadia High School, Phoenix, AZ
  • Bronze: Danielle Thompson from Miami Valley CTC, Clayton, OH

At the post-secondary level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Tiffany Baker from Rolla Technical Institute, Rolla, MO
  • Silver: Rheta Whittington from Guilford Tech Community College, Jamestown, NC
  • Bronze: Isaiah Johnson from Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA

Screen Printing Technology medalists at the secondary level were:

  • Gold: Travis Goad from Greenland High School, Greenland, AK
  • Silver: Austin Chupp from Elkhart Area Career Center, Elkhart, IN
  • Bronze: Domingo Ramirez from Austin High School, Austin, MN

At the post-secondary level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Danny Merritt from Forsyth Tech Community College, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Silver: Ross Irwin from Sikeston Career & Technology Center, Sikeston, MO
  • Bronze: Sara Newcomb from Arkansas Career Training Institute, Hot Springs, AR

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