Honolulu CC students sweep Pele Awards

Communication Arts students bring home the gold and 3 bronze awards

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: May 16, 2013

Honolulu CC CA students at the Pele Awards on April 27.
Honolulu CC CA students at the Pele Awards on April 27.
Heather Saenz's Gold Pele entry.
Heather Saenz's Gold Pele entry.

Honolulu Community College’s Communication Arts (CA) students swept the student category at the annual Pele Awards held on April 27.  For local designers, the Pele is what the Oscars are for actors. Sponsored by the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the annual competition recognizes the best advertising and design work created in Hawai‘i.

For 13 of the last 16 years of entering the Pele Awards competition, Honolulu CC has brought home the gold in the student division. This year only four finalists were named in the student category, all of them from Honolulu CC.  Heather Saenz won Pele Gold while her Honolulu peers Jillian Roque, Blaine Bastatas, and Kara Nynha each won a Bronze award.  No Silver awards were given in the student category this year.

“These four students did me proud.  This just goes to show that our two-year Communication Arts program produces professional grade work,” explains Sandra Sanpei, professor of Honolulu’s Communication Arts program. “The core of what we teach in the program is design. With design as your foundation, students can do anything – web, print, packaging – they can transcend all avenues of media.”

And the winners are…

Heather Saenz loves graphic design. A Mililani High School graduate, Heather was encouraged by her high school design teacher, a Honolulu CA graduate, to pursue her education at Honolulu CC. Her entry “Habitat for Humanity Logo Design” incorporated vibrant color with clever usage of the H’s in the organization’s name to create a fresh, simple logo design.

Having graduated from Pearl City High School in 2002, Jillian Roque has gone on to complete her undergraduate degree in biology. She was half way through her master of science program at Mānoa when she realized that her true passion was not science, but art.

She returned to school in the Communication Arts program at Honolulu, and in her first year achieved a Pele Silver distinction and went on to receive a Silver Addy at the national competition.  This year, Roque’s entry “State Tourist Brochure – Maryland” was inspired by her desire to learn more about the state she will be moving to after her wedding this fall.

“My goal is to win Pele Gold next year and get a job in the industry,” says first year CA student Blaine Bastatas.  He received a Bronze award for his Heineken annual report. Bastatas focused on colors green and the golden caramel of the beer to keep a reader thirsty throughout their reading experience.

Kara Nyuha, a first year CA student, came to Honolulu CC a bit hesitant but has since grown to enjoy graphic arts. “The teachers are designers themselves," she explains. "They bring great experience and valuable resources with them.” Her brochure entry “Vangauard Loft Real Estate” was a clean, classy product that visually translated the feel of the million dollar lofts.

These up and coming graphic designers recently served up their signature talent and delighted guests with an appetite for exquisite design at the senior portfolio show entitled, Design de Jour.  Heather, Jillian, and eight other Communication Arts seniors graduated with their associate in science degrees at Honolulu’s commencement ceremony on May 10.    

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