Every summer, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announces the winners of its Circle of Excellence Awards. CASE is an association for professionals who work in advancement – alumni relations, communications, development and more – at universities and other collegiate institutions around the globe. The Circle of Excellence Awards highlight materials produced by these institutions that embody the mission of CASE.
This year, the Department of English entered a suite of materials produced for 2018’s Queernival into the running for a Circle of Excellence Award. The Queernival is an outdoor table fair, produced by OSU’s Multicultural Center for campus units to share resources for the queer community and celebrate queerness in a community setting. Specifically, the materials fell under the category of Design: Speciality Pieces. The project was headed by Breanne LeJeune, the former communications specialist for the Department of English, and the suite includes pins and bookmarks bearing lists of queer texual recommendations from faculty, staff and students. The judges were impressed by “the rainbow tassels on the bookmarks, the surprise rainbow printed under the buttons, [and] the poetry by queer authors tucked into the button cards.” LeJeune’s Queernival suite won gold in this category – the first of Ohio State’s entered materials to do so.
“You had us at ‘Queernival,’” proclaimed the judges. In their review of the suite, the judges stated their delight in how each piece contained a thoughtfully-designed surprise, prompting the judges to exclaim “Look at this!” and, “Can I please keep these?”
The judges continued their praise, saying “The elegant design surely grabs your attention, but this creative team kept going. There is so much value-added content: queer book and comic recommendations on the back of bookmarks, writings by queer authors, an invitation to a reading group on queer theories and studies. The LGBTQ community often feels marginalized at our schools, and this is a wonderful attempt to make people feel welcome and safe on our campuses but, more important, Ohio State made them feel celebrated!”