Multiple Awards Won by Academy of Art University Students

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Top prizes awarded to multiple students, including First Place in Stanford University’s Design Challenge, Best in Show for San Francisco Student Addy Awards, Highest Honor at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, and Seven out of the Top 12 Spots for Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warfare Contest.

Academy of Art University students have recently won a total of 44 top awards in a series of design challenges and competitions work ranges from designs for Alzheimer’s patients, to innovative landscape design and a provocative :30 ad for Super Glue.

Stanford University’s Stanford Center on Longevity launched its inaugural annual Design Challenge, the first of its kind at Stanford, with the theme of “maximizing independence for those with cognitive impairment.” The center received submissions from 52 teams from 31 universities from 15 countries, representing a wide range of both applications and disciplines. The $10,000 first place prize was awarded to Academy of Art University student Sha Yao, for her project “Eatwell,” which involved the design of tableware specifically for people with Alzheimer’s. Yao earned her MFA in 2012 from the School of Industrial Design.

The 2014 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show awarded its highest honor, a silver medal, to “Urban Mixology,” an exhibit reflecting the diversity of landscape design in the contemporary urban environment. The design was created by a team of BFA and MFA students from the Academy of Art University’s School of Landscape Architecture. “This student-run, student-designed project was a visually stunning, sophisticated space and strikingly different than all the other installations,” says Heather Clendenin, director of the School of Landscape Architecture.

In its third annual student art contest, Blizzard Entertainment invited college students everywhere to submit original artwork or animation that would be a “a great fit” for its preternaturally popular game franchise, World of Warcraft. Students from the School of Game Design and from the School of Animation & Visual Effects were awarded seven of the top 12 rankings, and the top winning students, Sukjoo Choi and Duy Khanh Nguyen, received a three-month mentorship with a World of Warcraft artist.

At the 2014 San Francisco Student Addy Competition, entries from the Academy of Art University’s School of Advertising dominated, accounting for all but a handful of winners. MFA candidate Alan Shpakovski was awarded Best of Show for his video entry “Super Glue,” featuring an over-talkative skull. Academy students won a record seven out of eight Gold Awards given, 18 out of 21 Silver Awards given, and 10 out of 11 Bronze Awards given. “This was our best year ever—a great showing by our students,” says Vince Engel, School of Advertising co-director.

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About Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University, the largest private university of art and design in the United States, is educating students for the art and design jobs of the 21st century. Established in 1929, the Academy is an output-based higher education model that provides open admissions to all students, but imposes a rigorous curriculum that requires the students to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates a mastery of their field in order to graduate. Students are taught by a faculty of professionals from the existing marketplace, both online and on campus in San Francisco, who provide them with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s business environment. The Academy’s hands-on curriculum produces graduates who possess outstanding artistic and design skills— and equally as important, the ability to put those talents to work immediately after graduation. As a result, Academy graduates are ready to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st century in the fields of Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Styling, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography, Visual Development, Web Design & New Media and Art Teaching Credential. Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) (BFA/MFA-IAD), NAAB (B-ARCH*, M-ARCH), and California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). *B-ARCH program in candidacy status. Visit for more information.

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susan toland