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ASU design students shine in disaster relief PSA contest

"Disaster Relief Design"
“Disaster Relief Design”

Graphic design students from Arizona State University (ASU) recently demonstrated their talents in a public service announcement (PSA) contest focusing on cash’s role in global disaster relief. Supervised by the Center for International Disaster Information and the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance of the USAID/BHA, over 40 ASU students created many innovative PSA solutions highlighting the importance of cash donations. Accolades were heaped on their work, effectively communicating complex issues such as how cash donations support local economies and ensure efficient aid delivery.

The students’ multifaceted talents were not lost on the competition’s organizers, who noted the excellent combination of technical skills, research, and empathy displayed. They further appreciated that the submissions did more than just show off the students’ artistic abilities; their high-quality work also tackled significant global issues, demonstrating their keen social awareness.

Several of the students’ entries were shortlisted for the contest’s final round, showing the judging panel’s recognition of the high quality of their work. Meanwhile, the university community awaits the contest’s final results. Regardless of the outcome, the experience has been immensely beneficial for all involved, fostering a greater understanding of humanitarian aid’s global importance.

The ASU students outperformed their competition, clinching the top three awards across all categories, including the coveted ‘People’s Choice Award.

ASU students’ impactful contributions to disaster relief

As recognition, their winning designs will be exhibited across major US cities and popular streaming services, enhancing the visibility of the student’s work and helping to drive the ‘Cash is Best’ campaign run by CIDI.

For one student, Izie Figuero, the contest offered a unique opportunity to investigate the complexities of aid distribution and the relative benefits of cash donations versus physical goods. Izie’s dedication to the task and the new insights he gained have inspired his fellow students and added a deeper dimension of understanding to the competition.

Other students, including participant Sydnee Reed, echoed a focus on real-world problems. She underlined the vital importance of effective communication in international relief efforts, emphasizing the need to understand different languages, cultures, and potential obstacles. The students’ efforts were rewarded with prestigious awards, demonstrating their ability to apply creative thinking to address pressing global issues.

Among the winning designs, “Send Cash!” by EL Mikkelsen, “Unblocking Relief Efforts” by Emma Klarin, and “Change is Magic” by Sydnee Reed stood out. These emerging designers not only showcased their creativity but also their understanding of global concerns. Their thought-provoking entries offer insightful perspectives on disaster relief, emphasizing the power of creative expression to shed light on critical global issues.

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