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Graphic Design Alumna, Students Take Home ADDYs

Graphic Design Alumna, Students Take Home ADDYs

Posted: April 4, 2019

Megan Sweeney, ’16, an alumna of Buffalo State’s graphic design program, was recently hired as an art director at the Martin Group. She held a similar role at integrated marketing agency Gelia.

Just a few years out of school, Sweeney has risen to positions it usually takes graphic designers years to achieve. In early March, Sweeney’s work was recognized by the Buffalo State chapter of the American Advertising Federation. She received the Future Star Award at the ADDYs award banquet held in March.

“This is quite an honor and not something she applied for,” said Stan Friesen, associate professor of graphic design/communication design.

The ADDYs awards ceremony is considered the biggest night for the local advertising industry. More than 400 local advertising professionals and students attend each year.

“I was really excited to learn I had gotten this award,” said Sweeney, who was nominated by her supervisor at Gelia. “I also feel like I have to live up to it.”

Additionally, five current graphic design students took home eight awards in the Student Category. Of the 19 student awards, eight went to Buffalo State students. The winners were:

  • Holly Henderson, silver
  • Andrea LoPiccolo, silver and gold
  • Alexis Hinkley-Maier, two silver, one gold
  • Philip Miller, gold
  • Robert Rivera, silver


Their work was created in Buffalo State web design, graphic design, typography, and advertising classes. View the ADDYs showbook (PDF).

“Each year, our students bring home awards from the ADDYs,” Friesen said, adding that the Buffalo State has garnered a reputation for producing talented designers.

“The awards earned and jobs landed after graduation speak to that in a clear way. Nearly every advertising agency, marketing company, printing house, promotions department, newspaper or magazine in the area employs or is run by former Buffalo State communication design/graphic design majors.”

Sweeney said Buffalo State prepares future graphic designers and art directors by teaching them old-school techniques to understand the process behind design. During her junior year, assistant professor of design Brent Patterson joined the faculty and encouraged his students to experiment.

“With both methods, I feel like we got a well-rounded education,” said Sweeney, who landed an internship at Gelia while in college. They hired her soon after she graduated. “I really think that Buffalo State helped me reach where I am today.”

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