Nine Black Hills State University students who participated in the inaugural Student Design Jam. Students who competed include: top row, left to right, Makena Peet,Sarah Jackson, Josh Rundell, Laura Howard, Taylor Hagel, and Allison Praeuner. Front row,  Evan Bruce, Emily Morse,and Carissa Doolittle.
 Allison Praeuner works hard on her design during the recent Student Design Jam. Praeuner finished the competition in third place.
Black Hills State University recently hosted a live graphic design competition which pitted nine students against each other in timed challenges.

The first ever Student Design Jam consisted of four rounds. In the first three rounds, three students were given 10 minutes to complete a specific design challenge. The students did not know what the challenge would be beforehand. During the challenges, music was playing and audience members were encouraged to continue talking and enjoying themselves, according to Dustin Hinson, assistant professor of mass communication.  In each of the first three rounds, one winner was chosen by a panel of design professionals who served as the judges for the competition. The three finalists then went on to a final round and were given 15 minutes to complete another challenge.  In the final challenge, the judges picked the first-, second-, and third-place contestants.

“The Design Jam was a great opportunity to get your name recognized within the design community. It was also a fantastic opportunity to introduce myself to advertising and marketing professionals in the Black Hills,” said Josh Rundell, mass communication major from Norfolk, Neb., and the first-place winner of the competition. “One of the main highlights of the event was the social hour before the Design Jam began.  Being a nontraditional student from Rapid City, it was a nice way to meet other design students from the main campus in Spearfish.”

Rundell’s winning design was a Halloween themed wine bottle label. He received a prize package sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) which included a portfolio, some design books and an annual membership to the local AAF chapter.

Makena Peet, art major from Rapid City, won second place; and Allison Praeuner, commercial art major from Rapid City, won third place.

Other students who participated included: Evan Bruce, mass communication major from Biddle, Mont.; Carissa Doolittle, commercial art major from Midland; Taylor Hagel, mass communication major from Rapid City; Laura Howard, mass communication major from Belle Fourche; Sarah Jackson, mass communication major from Rapid City; and Emily Morse, mass communication major from Rapid City.

“We had a good sampling of students, faculty and local professionals in attendance. Everyone really enjoyed the event and are looking forward to seeing it again next year,” Hinson said.

The Student Design Jam at BHSU was inspired by the AAF-Black Hills Design Jam held this past spring in Rapid City. The nine students who participated were chosen by Hinson and Gina Gibson, assistant professor of mass communication. The event was organized by Hinson and was sponsored by Swarm Advertising Solutions, the graphic design club on campus.

“The feeling of winning was honestly a surprise, knowing the talent of the other contestants, but it did feel good knowing that the preparation and hard work was paying off,” Rundell said.