PIA Announces Kagy and Education Award of Excellence Recipients

Pittsburgh, PA -- Printing Industries of America announced that Dr. Jerry Waite of the University of Houston was the 2017 recipient of the Education Award of Excellence and the Print Production Program at Carroll County (Md.) Career and Technology Center was the 2017 recipient of the Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence.

Initiated in 1984, the PIA Education Award of Excellence is awarded annually to an academic representative in recognition for outstanding contributions to education and training in the graphic arts. Dr. Waite was recognized for leadership that has directly resulted in a distinguished program and service to graphic communications education.

Professor Waite founded the University of Houston's graphic communications program and shrewdly transformed it in 2009 to Digital Media, a standalone baccalaureate degree program that covers print media, packaging, motion media, e-commerce, e-media, and gaming and simulation. The program has grown rapidly and has become one of the largest graphic media programs in the country.

His co-nominators describe Waite as a recognized leader in attracting, educating, and training new young talent to fill future leadership roles in the print communications industry. The advisory committee he created is comprised of industry leaders who help guide the program and participate in program activities. Another nominator pointed out Dr. Waite's foresight to work with University administrators to have new facilities built in order to accommodate the program's growth. "His colleagues, coworkers, and students have turned to Jerry again and again for advice, for cooperation, for 'sacrifice beyond the call of duty'--and never has he failed them," said the nominator.

The Frederick D. Kagy Award Education of Excellence celebrates an exemplary middle school, high school, or community college graphic communications program. The nomination for the Print Production Program at Carroll County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC), led by teacher David Hutchison, was submitted by a former student. The program explores all aspects of the industry including design, photography, various forms of printing, and binding and finishing.

Hutchison provides the students with real life business experience by operating the school's printing facility within the program. It is PrintED accredited (more than 470 of its students have been certified by PrintED), ensuring that its curriculum is aligned with sought-after industry skills and knowledge. Recently the program has produced a string of three consecutive gold medalists in graphic communications at the SkillsUSA national championships. The advisory committee is actively engaged and the program features innovative teaching techniques, such as the impactful human printing press activity.

One advisory committee member commented that "an indicator of the success of a program is the students that the program produces. I have been doing mock interviews for the CCCTC program for the last 10 years and I can't remember having a disappointing interview."

For more information on Printing Industries of America's Awards Programs or to nominate someone for next year, visit www.printing.org/awards. Nominations will be accepted starting October 1.