Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication


Student takes first place in design competition

Student takes first place in design competition
By Jessica Brown

Lauren Rasch, an English and Integrated Advertising and Public Relations double major, earned first place in the 11th annual PSAid contest. The contest asks for public service announcements (PSAs) that encourage Americans to donate money, rather than food, clothes or toys to victims of disasters. The “Smart Compassion” campaign is sponsored by the USAID Center for International Disaster Information (USAID CIDI).

“Cash donations are less expensive for donors and more beneficial to recipients than in-kind donations,” according to PSAID.org.

Rasch, 22, entered the contest as part of an assignment in COMM 329: Advertising and Public Relations Design taught by Dr. Pam Morris and Prof. Jessica Brown. Rasch’s design was one of 80 record-breaking entries for this year’s contest.

“I’ve never really considered myself a design person necessarily,” Rasch said. “I’ve always been interested and pursued art and design, but I’m definitely a writer by trade.”

Rasch won the print category of the contest. There was also a commercial broadcast category. Past winners have had their PSAs broadcast on television and printed in popular publications.

Paris Jackson, PSAid contest coordinator, described Rasch’s entry as “distinguished,” and said this year’s contest had many creative, earnest entries, which carried the same message of smart compassion.

“They [designs] are a great way for students to contribute to real-world problem solving while having their work judged by an experienced panel of communication and humanitarian relief experts,” Jackson wrote in an email. 

Rasch, whose entry was titled “Flexibility Matters,” was notified via phone and the win was quite unexpected.

“I was honestly shocked when I got the phone call,” she said. “I feel like there's a lot of those type of contest opportunities that pop in classes – especially when you're younger – and nothing ever comes of them. You submit it and you don't really think anything of it after that.”

The win has inspired Rasch who is set to graduate in May.

“I'm really starting to notice this semester how much being a writer can help with branding and design,” she said. “And I'm starting to consider for the future more content strategy and branding functions.”

To view Rasch’s winning design “Flexibility Matters” click here: http://www.psaid.org