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Western marketing team wins prestigious award for recruitment video

Video won school’s second Grand Gold CASE VIII award

Western alumna Rashawn Nadine Scott giving someone a hug. Screencap taken from the University Marketing team’s “Fall Anthem†video that won a Grand Gold CASE VIII Award. // Courtesy of University Relations and Marketing

Fall Anthem,” a recruitment video produced by Western Washington University’s marketing team, was awarded the prestigious Grand Gold award in the 2021 Best of CASE VIII competition for the second year in a row. Seven other awards were also given to Western for marketing work this year.

CASE, or the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, is a global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement.

"Winning a Grand Gold is a big deal … [they] are not given lightly," said Brian Armstrong via email, the assistant director for recognition & stewardship with the Philanthropic Recognition Programs and a volunteer CASE leader. 

Faith Haney, a videographer with university relations and marketing who edited and helped shoot the "Fall Anthem" video, said via email that the video team consisted of Visual Journalist Rhys Logan, Digital Media Production Manager Suzanne Blaise and Vice President for University Relations & Marketing Donna Gibbs. 

Haney said Logan shot a lot of the student and campus footage, Blaise managed and directed the project and Gibbs provided essential feedback.                                                                         

“I was feeling fired up that day at the state of things — the political scene, gross inequalities globally, our world under a pandemic — and the song we ended up with [No Limits by Royal Deluxe] had the right energy to fit that mood,” Haney said, referring to the day she heard about her assignment to the “Fall Anthem” video. “I could imagine the anger and frustration of students dealing with all of this, on top of the usual stresses of trying to figure out what their future holds.”

Haney said she wanted students to understand that they have a key in education, and by channeling their passion through knowledge, can change the world. She said at Western, students can dive in and start participating right from the get-go.

“I think that's probably why [Western is] known as being attractive to activists, movers and shakers,” Haney said. “This video was an anthem for that passionate group of folks — our future leaders and world-changers.” 

Western also won three Gold awards:

  • "Window Magazine" edited by Mary Gallagher and designed by Chris Baker of the Office of University Communications which won the Grand Gold award at the previous competition won two of the three Gold awards this year
  • "New Student Orientation" by New Student Services/Family Outreach, Web Communications Technologies, and University Relations

And four Silver awards:

"The awards can be a good measurement for how our work compares with that of other institutions in the region," said Mary Gallagher, publications editor with the Office of University Communications, in an email. "When Western wins awards like these, it means our work is being held up as an example of a best practice in higher education marketing and communication." 

The district of CASE that Western belongs to includes Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, British Columbia and Alberta. This year CASE VIII received 336 submissions from 47 institutions, and only 11 submissions won a Grand Gold award, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said this year has been strange, with the CASE Awards conference being virtual and award categories added to reflect work being done around the pandemic. 

“The committees devote weeks to thoughtfully reviewing each entry, debating which ones stand out and finalizing their choices,” Armstrong said.

Paul Heaton, a staff member of the CASE Awards, said the judging criteria consists of: goals and objectives, concept and creativity, execution (scripting, videography, visuals, sound, and editing), understanding of the target audience, budget and creative use of available resources, and impact and results.

"It really comes down to what moves them,” Armstrong said. “I think that’s part of what makes CASE Awards so much fun — It’s a panel of peers recognizing that you did indeed put together one of the best pieces of work in our district over the last year.”

More information about the awards can be found here.

Gaia Crans

Gaia Crans (he/him) is the student administrative assistant for The Front. He is a senior news/editorial journalism student minoring in sociology. When he’s not writing or stressing over the existence of the Oxford comma, Gaia enjoys climbing at Vital or spending time outside with his dog, Nova.

You can find him and pictures of his adorable pup on Instagram @captaingooya or contact him at


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