July 30, 2014

For More Information Contact:
Contact: Eileen D. Cassidy
(703) 264-7200


Medalists in Advertising Design, Graphic Communications, and Screen Printing Technology Announced

Reston, VA — The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) awarded nearly $30,000 in scholarships to the nation's top advertising design, graphic communications and screen printing technology students who participated in the SkillsUSA Championships held June 22-27, 2014, in Kansas City, MO.

GAERF is committed to supporting programs that prepare our workforce of the future," said Ralph J. Nappi, GAERF President. "In this spirit, we are delighted to recognize our industry's most talented students and encourage them to consider the many exciting career opportunities the graphic communications industry has to offer."

The annual event, which this year hosted 6,000 contestants competing in 99 different skill and leadership contests, showcases the top career and technical education students in the nation. Its purpose is to reward students for excellence, directly involve industry in evaluating student performance, and provide training relevant to employers' needs. To that end, the exhibition—which occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields—is held with the assistance and support of industry, trade associations and labor organizations.

To become eligible for the national competition, students must first compete at the state level. Two representatives from each state—one at the secondary school level and one at post-secondary—then advance to the national competition.

Advertising Design medalists at the secondary school level were:

  • Gold: Vanessa Vilchez from Americas High School, El Paso, TX
  • Silver: David Moy-Albrecht from Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, Grayslake, IL
  • Bronze: Carly Sauro from Oxford Hills Technical School, Norway, ME

At the post-secondary school level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Amber Jackson from Sullivan College of Technology and Design, Louisville, KY
  • Silver: Brett Koster from University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI
  • Bronze: Alaney LeDay from SOWELA Technical Community College, Lake Charles, LA

Graphic Communications medalists at the secondary school level were:

  • Gold: Chandler Kerr from Center of Applied Technology – North, Severn, MD
  • Silver: Jackie Nowotarski from Berks Career & Technology Center – West Campus, Leesport, PA
  • Bronze: Kristopher Nixon from Dubiski Career High School, Grand Prairie, TX

At the post-secondary school level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Shelby Johnson from Tulsa Technology Center – Sand Springs, Sand Springs, OK
  • Silver: Nathan Ribelin from Riverside Community College, Riverside, CA
  • Bronze: Theresa Calabrese from Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC

Screen Printing Technology medalists at the secondary school level were:

  • Gold: Miranda Haller from Nichols Career Center, Jefferson City, MO
  • Silver: Nataly Patino from North Garland High School, Garland, TX
  • Bronze: Mary Beth Albertson from Pickens County Career and Technology Center, Liberty, SC

At the post-secondary school level, the winners were:

  • Gold: Kimberly Jeppson from Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Silver: Rashaun Edwards from Forsyth Tech Community College, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Bronze: Barbara Paris from Waynesville Career Center, Waynesville, MO

For complete information about GAERF scholarships, contact GAERF Director Eileen Cassidy at phone: (703) 264-7200 or e-mail:

About GAERF®
The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation was established in 1983 by the National Association for Printing Leadership, NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the Printing Industries of America. These three national associations jointly own the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC). GAERF was created to channel a portion of the revenues earned by GASC-managed shows into projects supporting a strong future for the industry. For additional information about the Foundation and its programs, visit the GAERF website at: or call toll-free at: (866) 381-9839.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations to excel. SkillsUSA has more than 300,000 students and instructors as members. For more information on SkillsUSA, visit: