The Fresno State Alumni Association and University Communications both won several 2016 Awards of Excellence from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), recognizing their accomplishments in university advancement.
“To be able to be recognized among our peers for the good work that our staff is doing is very positive,” Jacquelyn Glasener, executive director of the alumni association, said. “For the staff, it gives them a feeling that they’re doing good work on a daily basis.”
Peter Robertson, director of development for the association said that CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and professionals who work on behalf of advancement in alumni relations, communications, marketing and development or fundraising.
Awards come from peers at both public and private institutions of higher learning, Robertson said. Fresno State is in District VII, which includes members from California, Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands and Utah.
The alumni association won four awards including three golds in the alumni relations category, Robertson said.
Two gold awards recognized “Rainbow Alumni and Allies club: Engaging LGBTQ+Alumni,” and one gold award recognized the “Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala Program, 2015,” said Robertson.
He said a bronze was also awarded for “Marketing and Branding Through a Communication Re-Boot.”
Associate vice president of university communications Shirley Armbruster said University Communications won two awards.
A silver award in the digital communications: social media category recognized “Fresno State’s Introduction of the new live mascot, Victor E. Bulldog III and his new social media accounts,” said Armbruster.
A bronze award in the Best Article of the Year category recognized “A Generation of Firsts: Changing the Educational Make-Up if the Region One Graduate at a Time,” which was published in the spring 2015 issue of Fresno State Magazine, Armbruster said.
Usually the awards are a team effort, but in this case there were two individuals who spearheaded the awards, social media specialist Jenny Toste and writer and editor Eddie Hughes, said Armbruster.
“I am very proud of our staff—the two individuals that headed the teams that won these awards, as well as the rest of the staff that contributed in many ways,” Armbruster said. “I think these awards underscore the very fine work that University Communications does on a daily basis.”
Robertson said that awards are always nice, but when they come from professional peers they have an elevated and more special meaning.
“It’s a professional organization, and it’s nice to be recognized by your peers, at other organizations like yourself,” Robertson said.
“These disciplines support education through advancing the university in different ways than teaching,” Armbruster said. “There were some really big names in competition with us and I think we came out very nicely in those two categories.”
Armbruster said that University Communications took great pride in its work to help promote the image and the work of Fresno State.
“Awards like this are gratifying because they tell us that our peers in this professional work agree with the good work we are doing,” Armbruster said. “Because of awards like this, the community hears about the good work of our department and the good work of Fresno State. It all benefits not just our department, but the entire university as we help promote the wonderful things that are happening here.”
“It’s uplifting,” Glasener said. “It’s a great morale boost, and it lends itself to the fact that what we are doing matters.”