July 17, 2013

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 24 - 28, 2013, 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 nearly 6,000 contestants competing in 98 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 and Design medalists at the secondary school level were:
•    Gold: Spencer Smith from Kettering-Fairmont High School, Kettering, OH
•    Silver: Emily Westerback from Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg, MA
•    Bronze: Philip Gemmell from Chester County Technical College High School - Brandywine, Downingtown, PA

At the post-secondary school level, the winners were:
•    Gold: Nathan Ribelin from Riverside Community College, Riverside, CA
•    Silver: Shane O’Brien from Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA
•    Bronze: Mercedes Montgomery from Rolla Technical Institute, Rolla, MO

Graphic Communications medalists at the secondary school level were:
•    Gold: Ben Ellsworth from S & W Washtenaw Consortium, Saline, MI
•    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: Jovie Camarce from Riverside Community College, Riverside, CA
•    Silver: David Watson from Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL
•    Bronze: Shelby Johnson from Tulsa Technology Center – Lemley Campus,  Tulsa, OK

Screen Printing Technology medalists at the secondary school level were:
•    Gold: Rachel Rock from Sammamish High School, Bellevue, WA
•    Silver: Dasean Stokes from Waynesville Career Center, Waynesville, MO
•    Bronze: Nicole Welsh from Delcastle Technical High School, Wilmington, DE

At the post-secondary school level, the winners were:
•    Gold: Patrick Wadleigh from Waynesville Career Center, Waynesville, MO
•    Silver: Julianne Abrams from Ocean County Vo-Tech High School - Brick Center,  Brick Town, NJ
•    Bronze: Nicholas Hill from Chowan University, Murfreesboro, NC

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

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: