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UMUC Creative Entries Shine in a Field of 6,000

University of Maryland University College's Office of Institutional Advancement has won three 2015 Hermes Creative Awards for outreach and social-marketing campaigns designed to connect with alumni and encourage their engagement with UMUC.

The top honors were bestowed by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which administers and judges the international Hermes Awards competition for creative professionals who conceptualize, write, and design materials and programs for traditional and emerging media.

This year's competition comprised nearly 6,000 entries from across the United States and 22 other countries. Submissions came from a wide range of corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, and PR firms—Fortune 500 companies and media conglomerates included—as well as graphic design shops, production companies, web and digital creators, and freelancers.

"Having our programs receive top honors among other universities and Fortune 500 organizations is impressive and speaks to the quality and commitment UMUC provides to the alumni community," said Nikki Sandoval, UMUC associate vice president of Career and Alumni Services.

She credits Director Danielle Werner and the Career and Alumni Services staff for being the driving force behind the campaigns—and for the campaigns' ultimate successes.

Winning Entries

UMUC received two first-place Hermes Platinum Awards, which recognize excellence in quality, creativity, and resourcefulness and are presented to those entries judged to be among the most outstanding in the competition.

The Valentine's Day campaign entitled "Love Your Career, Your Journey, Your Alma Mater," with its call to join the UMUC Alumni LinkedIn Group, won platinum honors in the e-mail communications category.

UMUC also garnered platinum in the Facebook category for engagement and user experience (January–April 2015) with its alumni page.

In addition to its two first-place honors, UMUC won a second-place Hermes Gold Award in the social-marketing campaign category for "2015: Your Year to Shine," a four-day campaign that focused on ways alumni could jump-start their new year. The Gold Award is presented to those entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm.

"Being named platinum and gold recipients of these awards is a great honor. This was a group effort, and I am extremely honored to work with Career and Alumni Services," said Werner.

Entries that met judges' expectations were granted Honorable Mention certificates. UMUC received three of them. The UMUC new graduate e-communication, the UMUC alumni monthly e-newsletter, and a social-media marketing campaign focused on alumni week each received honorable mention nods.

Said Werner, "All six entries into this competition were selected [for awards]. This is a great honor considering we were competing against other universities and Fortune 500 companies."

And while receiving Hermes Awards for these social-media campaigns is rewarding for both UMUC and its thriving alumni community, the honors signify but one measure of campaign success, Sandoval said.

"We saw the campaigns' strength [in] the number of alumni connecting with each other and with their alma mater, [and that number] exceeded projected goals."

Learn more about the 2015 Hermes Creative Awards and see the complete list of winners, along with selected samples of winning entries, at