SOWELA Digital Arts Students Score First, Second and Third Place at American Advertising Federation Houston Conference

Students Showcased Graphic Design Skills in ‘Real World, Real Work’ Competition

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – November 17, 2023)

Earlier this month, seven Digital Arts and Communication students from SOWELA Technical Community College competed at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Houston Student Conference, with five students winning awards. The top teams included SOWELA students Chance DeCuir and Cameryn Schexnider claiming first place, Severina Estes earning second place and Braylon Jack and Kourtlen Thomas securing third place.

“I’m really proud of our students and what they’ve achieved,” said Digital Arts and Communication Instructor Darrell Buck. “At first, they were nervous about competing with students from 4-year colleges. But soon, they realized their own abilities and saw that they could compete with anyone. They’ve shown great strength and overcome every challenge. They’ve represented SOWELA brilliantly, showing how great our Digital Arts and Communications Department is. I’m also thankful for the amazing faculty and staff at SOWELA. Only through their support are we able to attend these conferences and provide opportunities for our students.”

During the competition, diverse student teams of eight to nine members from over 20 Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas universities collaborate on a creative solution for two distinct products. In addition, students craft a comprehensive marketing and media plan and deliver a compelling presentation.

The challenging aspect was the time constraint of eight hours to complete the entire project. Teams consist of an Art Director/Graphic Designer, Copywriter, Account Services, Marketing Strategist, Media Planner, and New Media Strategist, with each SOWELA student assuming the pivotal role of Art Director/Graphic Designer.

Additional participating SOWELA students were Sophie Candler and Madeleine Guillory. SOWELA Graphic Art Instructor Darrell Buck advised the students.

SOWELA’s Digital Arts and Communication program prepares students for employment and advancement within digital media and offers Graphic Design and Media Production concentrations. Students learn advertising, printing, videography, photography, website design, motion graphics and more. They also become skilled in the Adobe Creative suite. The program is available at SOWELA’s Main Campus in Lake Charles, LA.

The AAF Houston awards come on the heels of SOWELA’s Digital Arts video team bringing home second place at last month’s Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) national competition.

Spring registration is now open at SOWELA for all programs, with classes starting Tuesday, January 16. Students can apply by visiting our Apply page. Anyone needing additional assistance can call (337) 421-6550 or email

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 85 years.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

©2024 SOWELA Technical Community College, All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap | Website Accessibility