UHV graphic designers win awards for creative work

Two members of the University of Houston-Victoria Marketing Department recently won awards in an international creative competition featuring more than 6,000 entries.

Cari Laza
Cari Laza

Work by graphic designers Cari Laza and Amberley Gutierrez took a gold medal award and an honorable mention in the MarCom Awards 2011 competition, which recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals.

This year’s competition featured work from the U.S., Canada and several other countries. Entries came from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.

“We are extremely proud of our graphic designers in the UHV Marketing Department,” said Paula Cobler, interim director of marketing and communications. “The quality of their work rivals anything I have seen at much larger institutions and in the professional print trades.”

Amberley Gutierrez
Amberley Gutierrez

A gold award was given for a poster designed by Gutierrez that advertised faculty member Keith Akins’ lectures series presentation “Hooded America: Undercover in the White Supremacy Movement.”


A logo designed by Laza for Jaguar Journey, UHV’s student orientation program, was given an honorable mention.

Only 18 percent of entries in the MarCom Awards 2011 competition were designated gold winners, and 10 percent were given honorable mention awards. Winners were selected from more than 200 categories in seven forms of media and communication efforts.

Gutierrez and Laza are part of the Marketing Department’s creative services team, which also includes manager Melody Vecera and Internet technician Harry Bashaw. The department develops, executes and monitors public relations and marketing plans for the university and its departments and schools. 

Jaguar Journey

Laza has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in communication design from Texas State University in San Marcos. She has worked at UHV since 2010 and designs promotional materials, logos and other creative elements. In addition, Laza does freelance print, logo and Web design for local customers.

Gutierrez also earned a BFA in communication design from Texas State University, where she won awards for her student work. She previously worked for Aloe Software Group as a designer and also designs websites for a company based in Austin. She began work at UHV in June.

MarCom Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals based in Arlington.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342