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WVNCC Wins Prestigious Paragon Award

Posted 03/30/12

From left are Jason Adams, TSG Studios video production manager; Pamela Woods, WVNCC institutional research director; Philip Bishof, WVNCC application programmer; Hilary Curto, WVNCC graphic arts designer senior and Webmaster; Wes Ebeling, TSG Web project manager/senior designer, developer; Robert DeFrancis, WVNCC dean of community relations; Michael Bizanovich, TSG president; Abbey Kurtz, TSG Web/graphic designer, and Travis Sutphin, TSG Web/database developer.The redesigned Web site for West Virginia Northern Community College has won the top award given by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, it was announced earlier this month at NCMPR’s annual conference in San Francisco.

NCMPR's prestigious Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges, and winners receive gold, silver or bronze designations. “We are extremely pleased that Northern’s Web site received the gold, or first place, in its category,” Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, president, said. “The Paragon Awards is the only national competition of its kind that exclusively honors excellence among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges, and Northern is honored by the designation,” he added.

Redesign of Northern’s Web site,, was coordinated by the college’s Information and Technology and Community Relations departments. The bid to redesign the site was won by a Wheeling firm, Technology Services Group, Inc.

Attending the San Francisco conference were Robert DeFrancis, the college’s dean of community relations, and Hilary Curto, Northern’s graphic arts designer senior and Webmaster. Curto received the gold award at the Paragon Awards ceremony and banquet held at the historic Fairmont Hotel which overlooks San Francisco’s famed Nob Hill.

“Even though we realize the Web site often is the first place people visit for information about Northern, a major goal was to have that site be as student-friendly as possible,” Curto said, “and our students tell us they have been very pleased.”

DeFrancis said, “We are proud of our Web site and know that it serves students, faculty and staff, potential students and the public in an easy to maneuver format. That it’s been cited for a national award is most gratifying. The internal community continues to be thankful to Technology Services Group for its expertise and guidance.”

Michael Bizanovich, TSG founder and president, said, “Technology Services Group is proud to have been selected by Northern to design and develop its new Web site. I commend our entire Web and video production staff for the work they did on this project.” He added, “Northern is a quality educational institution which serves the region well and we congratulate them on receiving this national award.”

According to NCMPR officials, the judges numbered more than 80 marketing and public relations professionals from throughout the country that reviewed and scored the Paragon entries for 2011. There were nearly 1,800 entries in 44 categories from 276 two-year institutions in the U.S. Paragon Award winners hail from large, multi-campus districts and small institutions, from large staffs with healthy budgets and from one-person shops with limited resources. “All of them demonstrate that creativity, originality and unique approaches to problem-solving set the winners apart,” it was stated.