First-Generation Graphic Design Contest Winner

First Gen Logo with blue person and content "I'm First-Gen" in the center with green, orange, blue, tea, and yellow feed surrounding it.

The Student Success Initiatives Unit is pleased to announce that Dennis Benlot, a junior majoring in Design in the College of Fine and Performing Arts, is the winner of Western’s inaugural First-Generation Graphic Design Contest.  
The purpose of this contest was to create an identity mark or design that celebrates and supports our first-generation community at Western.  First-generation students are defined by Western as students whose parents or guardians have not completed a Bachelor’s (four-year) degree.  
A committee of first-generation students and employees reviewed all eligible submissions and used a scoring rubric to evaluate and score the overall design, visual impact, artist statements, and technical guidelines to select a winner.  The winning graphic design created by Dennis will be reproduced and displayed in a variety of ways, which may include signage, clothing, printed and electronic materials, social media and website pages.  Our goal is for students, faculty, and staff to identify as part of Western’s first-generation community.  Dennis will receive a $100 gift card for winning the graphic design contest.    

Dennis Benlot smiling for camera

Statement from Dennis:

“I chose to participate in this contest because I am a first-generation student.  My graphic represents that no matter your race, ethnicity, and culture, you are leading your own future and have accepted Western as your platform for moving forward in whatever career pathway you choose.  The gradient chosen is an analogy that identifies that not all First-gen students are specifically from one background and that we have many unique experiences and perspectives.  The abstract shape of a human in the middle represents the embodiment of Western Washington University. The human icon is not the center that unites all the other gradients, rather it is acting as the platform to where the human gradients surrounding it can still have an opportunity to identify with their intersectionalities freely without having to assimilate into a melting pot. I am so excited and thankful to be the winner of the contest and that my graphic design was chosen to represent the First-gen community here at Western.”   

Once again, congratulations to Dennis Benlot for winning the First-Generation Graphic Design Contest!