Newhouse advertising creatives dominate Graphis New Talent awards

With 74 awards in the 2021 Graphis New Talent competition, the Newhouse School led every school in the country.  Only six Platinum advertising awards were given worldwide, and Newhouse creative advertising students won three of them. Nineteen Gold, 27 Silver and 25 Honorable Mentions complete the record award total. This is up from the previous Newhouse record of 61 advertising awards won at the 2020 competition.

The impressive award-winning campaigns were created in portfolio courses taught by Newhouse advertising professors Mel White and Kevin O’Neill.

“When students start in their first Newhouse creative advertising course, Portfolio I, they’re in awe of the ads that won in this competition from our school in previous years,” White says. “Then, three months later, they end up creating campaigns that win in this very competition.”

Senior Sam Luo won two Platinum awards and recent graduate Xinran Xiao won the third. Junior Allison Scherger won a Gold and two Silver awards. Seniors Derek Rosen and Jeffery Robie both won two Gold awards.

 “Every creative in the ad business shows up every morning committed to having the next best idea,” O’Neill says. “It’s enormously valuable for the students to engage in these competitive exercises because that’s what their careers will demand of them.

Luo, art director, won his first Platinum award for his Best Damn Beard Oil print ad campaign “Tame the Animal.” To create a visual metaphor that communicates how the beard oil can soften even the wildest beards, he shows wild animals in the beards of men whose facial hair has been tamed.

“I had a lot of failed attempts and ideas with this campaign,” Luo says. “I went back to the drawing board three times, but I remember being proud of this idea.

White says “going back to the drawing board” is common and students often come back with stronger ideas. No one should feel like a failure because coming up with multiple ideas until you find the right one is part of the creative process, she says.

Luo won his second Platinum award for his McDonald’s print ad campaign “McDelivery,” which features 3-D renderings of the restaurant chain’s iconic golden arches going through city windows to represent the reach of its delivery service.

“The one thing McDonald’s has that Burger King doesn’t is its golden arches,” Luo says. “I thought of how the golden arch would work in real life and came up with the idea of it arching through windows into people’s homes.”

Xiao, art director, won the Platinum award for her Ziploc print ad campaign “Keep Fresh.” She used the insight that Ziploc bags keep food fresh to help guide the campaign.

“It was a long process to figure out the strategy, insight and visual solution before I executed it,” Xiao says. “During my years at Newhouse, I thought the creative thinking process was more important than the execution. I don’t execute every detail perfectly but will insure the insight and creative thinking behind the work are strong.”

Scherger, art director, won Gold for her Decibullz print ad campaign “Decibullz Earplugs,” one of her first campaigns ever. She says her campaign was driven by the insight that most earplugs just reduce decibels instead of blocking out sound.

Allison Scherger’s Gold-winning campaign for Decibullz

“The campaign I created for Decibullz wasn’t about blocking out sounds, but minimizing them,” Scherger says. “As an art director, most of my campaigns are visual solutions. My idea for this was to take the thing making the loud sound and actually minimize it by photoshopping it to be smaller.”

Professor White focuses on teaching students how to create visual solution advertising, where the concept of the ad is communicated in the visual, usually accompanied by a headline.

Scherger won Silver for her OFF Deep Woods campaign “OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and Hulu print ad campaign “Hulu No Ads.” Scherger says it was an amazing feeling to receive recognition from Graphis New Talent.

“I felt like all of my hard work had paid off,” Scherger says. “I spent countless hours making adjustments to the campaigns. Professor White was very helpful in giving feedback during each round. And I spent 20 hours just photoshopping each campaign. Receiving my first three Graphis Awards made me feel like all of my work was worth it.”

Rosen, copywriter, shares a Gold award with Joyee Lin, art director, for their Burger King mobile app extension “Rumble Detector.” Rosen also won Gold for his Michelin Tires print ad campaign “Noticeable Benefits.”

Derek Rosen’s Gold-winning “Noticeable Benefits” campaign for Michelin Tires

For “Rumble Detector,” Rosen and Lin created the digital idea based on a brief from the Young Ones competition to create Burger King digital coupons to delight and surprise consumers. It rewards app users based on the growl of their hungry stomachs. The louder the rumble, the better the coupon.

“We were thinking about what could make people happy,” Rosen says. “We came up with the idea that the hungrier people are, the more food they want. We thought, ‘Why don’t we give them more coupons or better ones depending on their level of hunger?’ Then we thought rumbles from your stomach was a funny way to show this and also fit into Burger King’s comedic and edgy tone.”

Robie, copywriter, won two Gold awards for his Bulldog Skincare print ad campaign “Bulldog Skincare for Men” and his Spalding print ad campaign “Spalding.”

Professors White and O’Neill are two of the five Platinum award-winning advertising instructors worldwide in this competition. White won three Platinum, 16 Gold, 23 Silver and 16 Honorable Mention teaching awards. O’Neill won two Platinum, six Gold, six Silver and 10 Honorable Mention teaching awards. According to the Graphis website, the annual competition “presents award-winning work from students whose instructors have inspired and challenged them to achieve brilliance.”

The Graphis New Talent Awards is an international competition that honors the best rising talent in advertising and other communication arts. The Platinum, Gold and Silver winning campaigns are featured in a hardcover book called the “Graphis New Talent Annual,” and the Honorable Mentions are listed. The Newhouse creative advertising winners are also featured on the Graphis website for advertising print and outdoor and for advertising case study videos.

Newhouse Winners

Newhouse creative advertising Platinum winners: Sam Luo (“McDelivery” and “Tame the Animal”) and Xinran Xiao (“Keep Fresh”).

Newhouse creative advertising Gold winners: Talia Adler (“Inescapable”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Google Mind”), Maia Baptiste and Joe Cutuli (“Cashcan”), Catarina Baumgart de Melo (“Sony Sportable Handycam”), Brian Chau (“All great work starts with a sketch”), Xinyue Chen (“ Print Ad”), Rachel Hayashi (“Avoid the Mess”), Benjamin Lin (“Must’ve been a Wrangler”), Joyee Lin and Derek Rosen (“Rumble Detector”), Sam Luo (“Go Wild,” “See Bigger,” “The New E-Golf,” “Go in deep,” and “Exhale!”), Jeffrey Robie (“Bulldog Skincare for Men” and “Spalding”), Derek Rosen (“Noticeable Benefits”), Allison Scherger (“Decibullz Earplugs”), and Jennifer Suhr (“Mophie Powerstation Campaign”).

Newhouse creative advertising Silver winners: Talia Adler (“Flakes Don’t Belong in Your World”), Selin Akyurek (“It’s Better to be Taller”), Emily Bright (“Brita Filter Campaign”), Alye Chaisson (“What If?”), Addie Christoper and Jack Lyons (“Thursday Boots Co. Campaign”), Clare Coey (“Unimaginably Fresh”), Grace Curran (“Ugly Fruit”), Joe DeBlasio (“Perspective” and “24/7, 365”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Miller Genuine Draft: No Bull, Just Beer”), Sierra Fentress (“Sierra Club Print Ads”), Olivia Gormley and Sam Luo (“A Step Behind”), Rachel Hayashi (“Snack Healthier”), Benjamin Lin (“Upgrade your Home”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Jessica Mastorides (“Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”), Alex Mayeri (“The North Face: Concrete Jungle”), Sierra Outcalt (“Smells So Natural”), Jeffrey Roble (“Samsung 8K”), Derek Rosen (“Long Lasting Impact”), Allison Scherger (“OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and “Hulu No Ads”), Lynn Seah (“Haribo”), Yuri Suh (“Evolution of Ideas with Post-it Notes”), Jennifer Suhr (“The Special Olympics Exhibition”), and Ashley Watchfogel (“Finis Duo Underwater Headphones” and “National Geographic Magazine”).

Newhouse creative advertising Honorable Mentions: Megan Adams (“Converse Renew”), Selin Akyurek (“Get. Real. Write it by hand”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Talk to the Times”), Alye Chaisson (“Spotlight”), Clare Coey and Sierra Outcalt (“BLM x The Economist”), Grace Curran (“The Outcast” and “Ugly Fruit Outdoor”), Joe DeBlasio (“Any Environment.” and “The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’”), Olivia DeLorenzo and Mike Gaines (“Nike+ #Shutout”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Honest Tea”), Sierra Fentress (“Herschel Backpacks Print Ads”), Rachel Hayashi (“The Only Tool You Need”), Kristen Heglin (“Calphalon – Too Slick”), Camille Lavoie (“Ketel One Print Campaign”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Amelia Lytle (“Oberon Brewing Summer Love” and “Trader Joe’s Print Ad”), Jessica Mastorides (“Windex Campaign” and “Vans Campaign”), Maggie de Poortere (“The Loss of Simple Joys” and “Concert Quality Sound”), Lynn Seah (“Adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic Primeblue Sneakers”), Eric Storms (“Ray-Ban: Timeless Confidence”), Yuri Suh (“Prevent Sweat That’s Horrifying to Go Near”), Jennifer Suhr (“This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray”), and Shaoli Yusaf (“The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’” and “Calphalon – Too Slick”).

Samantha Savery is a graduate student in arts journalism and communications at the Newhouse School.

Carolyn Hedges among this year’s cohort of Kopenhaver Center Fellows

Assistant professor of communications Carolyn Hedges has been named a 2021 Kopenhaver Center Fellow.

Carolyn Hedges

As part of the fellowship, she will participate in the workshop “Women Faculty Moving Forward: Leading the Future of Academia,” which precedes the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in August.

The Kopenhaver Center Fellow designation is given by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University and co-sponsored by the AEJMC Commission on the Status of Women.

The center was created to empower both women professionals and academics in all the fields of communication in order to develop visionaries and leaders who can make a difference in their communities and their profession. The intensive workshop is designed to assist new tenure-track professors navigate academic life, learn how to achieve success in the academy and prepare for possible leadership roles.

“As an early-career woman in academia, I am looking forward to expanding my network in the greater academic community,” Hedges says. “I am most looking forward to developing my leadership skills while working with others in our discipline to innovate our teaching practices, adapt to the demands of our soon-to-be post-pandemic lives as faculty members and, most importantly, draw on others’ experiences to inform my own.”

Hedges, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the Newhouse School, joined the Newhouse faculty in 2017 as the inaugural director of the school’s online master’s degree program. She recently earned the 2021-22 Teaching Recognition Award for Early Performance from Syracuse University’s Meredith Program.

Newhouse School announces winners in 2021 Mirror Awards competition

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications today announced the winners in the 2021 Mirror Awards competition for excellence in media industry reporting.

Chosen from by a group of journalists and journalism educators, the winners are:

Best Profile

Lauren Markham

The Heat Reporter

Columbia Journalism Review

Best Commentary

Issac J. Bailey

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and One Journalist’s Painfully Honest Self-Examination on Racism

Is Biden’s Stutter Being Mistaken for ‘Cognitive Decline’?

Will This Racial Reckoning Finally Force Newsrooms to Listen to Every Staffer’s Voice?

Nieman Reports

Best Single Article/Story

Charles Bethea

What Happens When the News Is Gone?

The New Yorker

John M. Higgins Award for In Depth/Enterprise Reporting

Micah Loewinger and Hampton Stall with Brooke Gladstone and Katya Rogers

How Zello Became A Recruitment & Organizing Tool for the Far Right

On the Media Produced by WNYC Studios

Best Story on Media Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lynsey Chutel, Lauren Harris, Linda Kinstler, Tony Lin, Zainab Sultan and Stephania Taladrid

Infection and Repression

Columbia Journalism Review

Best Story on Media Coverage of the 2020 Presidential Election

Casey Quackenbush

Without a Campaign to Cover, Reporters Shift to Covering the Voting Process Itself

Nieman Reports

In addition to the juried journalism awards, the Newhouse School presented the Fred Dressler Leadership Awardto Jorge Ramos of Univision Noticias, and the inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award to Brown Girls Doc Mafia, accepted by co-founderIyabo Boyd.

Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato presided over the virtual ceremony, and Newhouse alumna Michelle Marsh ’05 of ABC7 in Washington, D.C. served as master of ceremonies. 

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. For information about the awards, visit or email  

Regina Luttrell named a 2021 Kopenhaver Center Fellow

Regina Luttrell, associate dean for research and creative activity at the Newhouse School, has been named a Kopenhaver Center Fellow by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University.

Regina Luttrell

This year’s cohort of Kopenhaver Center Fellows will participate in the workshop “Women Faculty Moving Forward: Leading the Future of Academia,” held in conjunction with the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in August.

The Kopenhaver Center was created to empower both women professionals and academics in all the fields of communication, in order to develop visionaries and leaders who can make a difference in their communities and their profession. The intensive workshop is designed to assist new tenure-track professors navigate academic life, learn how to achieve success in the academy and prepare for possible leadership roles.

“As I progress in my career as an academic and administrative leader, this fellowship will be instrumental,” Luttrell says. “This is a tremendous opportunity to connect with and learn from others, share leadership ideas and ultimately become a change agent within my community.”

The Kopenhaver Center was created to empower women professionals and academics in communications. The fellowship is co-sponsored by the AEJMC Commission on the Status of Women.

Newhouse students win three national Mark of Excellence Awards

The Society for Professional Journalists announced the national winners of their annual Mark of Excellence contest, which recognizes excellence in student journalism. Newhouse students and student projects took three categories with first place wins, and were finalists in nine total categories. Congratulations, all!

National Winners:

Television Feature Reporting
National Winner
: “Joe Biden’s Time at Syracuse Law School,” Ricky Sayer (Citrus TV)

Online Sports Reporting
National Winner:
“How sports culture undermines athletes long after they graduate,” Madeleine Davison (The 61% Project)

Online/Digital Sports Videography
National Winner:
“Chasing the dragon,” Cole Strong (The NewsHouse)

National Finalists:

General News Reporting, Large School Division
National Finalist: “Between 2 worlds: how Syracuse’s racist housing policies created a racial divide,” by Marnie Muñoz (The Daily Orange)

Feature Photography, Large School Division
National Finalist: “Hemp Harvest Festival buzzes with freedom,” by Emily Kenny (High Stakes)

Sports Photography, Large School Division
National Finalist:
 “Men’s lacrosse grinds out second-half comeback for massive win in defensive showdown,” by Zoe Davis (The NewsHouse)

Radio Sports Reporting
National Finalist: “SU’s fight for social justice,” by Jenna Fink (WAER)

Television Breaking News Reporting
National Finalist:
 “Trolley accident,” by Greg Bradbury (Citrus TV)

Online In-Depth Reporting
National Finalist:
 “High stakes: The risks and rewards of legalizing marijuana,” by High Stakes Staff (The NewsHouse)

Best Independent Online Student Publication
National Finalist:
 “The 61% Project,” by 61% Project Staff

Broadcast Sports Videography
National Finalist:
 “Project Dad’,” by Julianna D’Urzo, Lindsay Eastwood, Peyton Smith (ACC Network)

Immersion Journalism
National Finalist:
 “Tour Cornell’s research facility where New York’s hemp industry takes root,” by Sonny Cirasuolo, Amanda Paule (High Stakes)

View the full announcement>>

Ortiz co-authors paper examining relationship between partisanship and victim-blaming in #MeToo incidents

Rebecca Ortiz, assistant professor of advertising, co-authored the paper “A Social Identity Threat Perspective on Why Partisans May Engage in Greater Victim Blaming and Sexual Assault Myth Acceptance in the #MeToo Era” with Newhouse Ph.D. candidate Andrea Smith. The paper was published by Violence Against Women, a peer-reviewed journal from Sage Journals.

“We found that the stronger the partisan identity of Republicans and Democrats, the more likely they were to engage in victim-blaming attitudes and the less likely they were to perceive the #MeToo movement as having a positive impact in the United States, possibly as a way of defending their political identities,” says Ortiz.


This study examined how U.S. partisans (N = 1,154) may engage in greater victim blaming and sexual assault myth acceptance to defend their political identities in the #MeToo era. The more Republicans and Democrats identified with being a member of their political party and reported feeling defensive when members from their political party are criticized, the more accepting they were of common sexual assault myths and thus the less likely they were to perceive sexual assault as a serious issue in need of addressing and the #MeToo movement as having a positive impact in the United States.

Munno to present two papers at AEJMC 2021 virtual conference

Greg Munno, assistant professor of magazine, news and digital journalism, is first author on two papers accepted to the 2021 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) virtual conference.

“Journalists with Different Mindsets Agree on Truth as the Profession’s First Obligation” was co-authored with Newhouse assistant professors Meg Craig and Alex Richards as well as Katherine Farrish G’18 who now teaches at Central Connecticut State University.

“Student Journalists Exhibit Different Mindsets, Agree on the Need for Truthful Reporting,” was co-authored with Meg Craig, Alex Richards and Newhouse doctoral student Mohammad Ali.

The AEJMC annual conference will be taking place online August 4-7, 2021.

Luttrell co-authors paper on student awareness of diversity, inclusion and equity through PR campaigns

Regina Luttrell Ph.D., associate professor of public relations, co-authored the paper “Shifting the Paradigm – Improving Student Awareness of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts Through Public Relations Campaigns” with Adrienne Wallace Ph.D. of Grand Valley State University. The paper was published by the Journal of Public Relations Education from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).


As PR professors it is our responsibility to make diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)  top of mind when teaching our students to develop comprehensive campaigns. It is our role to educate the next wave of practitioners to take the “diversity first” approach when working with clients or organizations. Through learning how to apply the researcher-developed Diversity & Inclusion Wheel for Public Relations Practitioners, this paper illustrates how students can operationalize this tool to build strategic campaigns that encompass DEI principles.

Garrett Wagner co-authors paper on the law and sexually explicit speech

Kyla Garrett Wagner, assistant professor of communications, co-authored the paper “The Three Conundrums: Doctrinal, Theoretical, and Practical Confusion in the Law of Sexually Explicit Speech” with P. Brooks Fuller, which was published by Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal.


In First Amendment law, one rarely disputed notion is that sexually explicit speech is less valuable than so-called “core” forms of expression, such as political discourse. This study revives that dispute with a focus on the Supreme Court’s justifications for categorizing sexually explicit speech as “low-value” in the first place. The analysis reveals three conundrums plaguing the Court’s jurisprudence: categorizing restrictions on sexually explicit speech; interpreting the value and harms of sexually explicit speech; and assessing the evidence (or lack thereof) for restrictions on sexually explicit speech. This article explains how these conundrums should be resolved in sexually explicit speech cases with an emphasis on adopting an analytical framework that requires substantiation similar to intermediate constitutional scrutiny as in commercial speech cases.

Univision’s Jorge Ramos to receive Fred Dressler Leadership Award at Mirror Awards ceremony June 9

Jorge Ramos, anchor with Univision Noticias, will be honored with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at the 15th annual Mirror Awards ceremony June 9. The awards, sponsored by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, honor excellence in media industry reporting.

Jorge Ramos

Ramos’ daughter Paola Ramos, a correspondent with Vice, will present the award during the virtual event, which will be available for viewing beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Register now>>

Perhaps the most trusted figure in Spanish language television news, Jorge Ramos is known for his relentless pursuit of the truth and his commitment to being a “voice of the voiceless,” particularly America’s immigrant population.

“Jorge Ramos’ work over the course of his career epitomizes the impact journalism can have on our world,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “At a time when the news media is under scrutiny, it is important to recognize the impact of the profession. He is unafraid to hold the powerful accountable and shine a light on the pressing issues of our time.”

“Jorge Ramos’ journalism is an example and inspiration for all of us,” says Daniel Coronell, president of Univision News. “His unwavering drive to seek the truth every day has influenced the lives of millions of people who, thanks in part to his journalistic work, are able to learn and defend their rights, while finding a place for themselves in this great country.”

Born in Mexico, Ramos has spent nearly 40 years in the U.S., during which time he has won 10 Emmy Awards for excellence in journalism, including the first award ever presented to honor leaders in Spanish language television. The Wall Street Journal called him “Hispanic TV’s No. 1 correspondent,” and he appeared on the cover of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” issue of Time magazine in 2015. Said Forbes: “Ramos carries near biblical authority, at least in the eyes of his nearly 2 million nightly viewers.”

Ramos was named anchor of “Noticiero Univision” in 1986 at age 28, becoming one of the youngest national news anchors in the history of American television. His nightly newscast is seen in the U.S. and 13 Latin American countries. In addition, nearly a million people tune in to his Sunday morning political show, “Al Punto,” Univision’s weekly public affairs program. He is also the anchor of “Real America with Jorge Ramos.”

He has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the world, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, John Kerry, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Felipe Calderon and dozens of Latin American presidents. He has covered five wars (El Salvador, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq) and has been a witness to some of the most important news stories of the last three decades, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

His weekly column, distributed by The New York Times Syndicate, appears in more than 40 newspapers in the U.S. and Latin America.

Ramos is the author of 14 books and has been instrumental in promoting literacy among Latinos. In 2002, he created the first book club in the history of Hispanic television, “Despierta Leyendo” (Wake Up Reading).

In his most recent book, “17 minutes; Interview with the Dictator,” Ramos narrates how he was able to unmask Nicolás Maduro while on camera, along with everything that happened before and after the meeting.

The Dressler Award is given to individuals or organizations that have made distinct, consistent and unique contributions to the public’s understanding of the media.

About the Mirror Awards

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.

The 2021 Mirror Awards ceremony will be held online Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. ET. Lodato will preside over the ceremony, and Newhouse alumna Michelle Marsh ’05 will serve as master of ceremonies. In addition to the Dressler Award, the inaugural Lorraine Branham IDEA Award will be presented to Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and juried journalism awards will be presented in six categories. Finalists were announced last month.

For more information, email