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Oklahoma State University

Digital Badge Contest Winner Announced

This fall OSU Graduate College and Edmon Low Library created a jointly sponsored Digital Badge program to help students acquire and demonstrate mastery of diverse critical success skills. They invited all currently enrolled graduate students to create imaginative badge designs, 25 badges in total, in order to denote those who completed their badge requirements. The badges are designed to represent the six competency areas for acquiring critical success skills of communication, instruction, research services, management, service, and wellness with four levels of accomplishment for each competency. Students earning the highest level badges in four of the six competencies are awarded the Graduate Dean’s 360 Degree Badge in Critical Success Skills. The winning entry for the digital badge design would be selected by a jury, chosen by Dean Tucker, and the designer would be awarded $1,000. 
When the jury met in late September they chose the designs of Javier Carrera Gomez to represent the Digital Badge program. 

Gomez is currently in a dual graduate degree program, where he completes one year of graduate study at Oklahoma State University and one year at Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla and graduates with two master degrees. He is an International Studies major with a focus on International Development and Entrepreneurship. 
Before coming to OSU, Gomez completed his undergraduate degree at Monterrey Tech. Where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a minor in Social Development. 
“I became interested in graphic design while in architecture school. I started experimenting with Photoshop and Illustrator in class and that’s when my interest in graphic design grew to the point that I started taking extra classes on graphic design, going to courses outside the university and teaching myself through Google and YouTube,” Gomez said.
This isn’t the first design challenge Gomez has participated in, but it’s one of the first that doesn’t focus on architecture. He’s participated in the Design of Mexico’s World Pavilion, Monterrey Tech Design Garden and Monterrey City Downtown Redevelopment Proposals, to name a few. But this is the first major competition that Gomez has won.
Gomez first heard about the competition from a group of friends who thought he should participate. At first he was reluctant to enter the competition but his friends persuaded him to at least look at the competition regulations. He read what was required for the design, decided he liked the program and started sketching that night. 
“There is a strong sense of regional identity in the United States, be it the city, the school or Oklahoma. People are proud of where they come from, so I drew inspiration in the Western Heritage that both the State and OSU share,” Gomez said when asked about how he came up with his design concept. 
Gomez like most participants looks forward to winning competitions. But going into this competition he assumed his chances were low because he wasn’t enrolled in graphic design courses offered at OSU and he didn’t have any insight on his competitors in this university wide competition.
When he received his email congratulating him for winning the contest, he ignored it assuming it was a “thank you for participating” type of email. Later, when he looked again, he was surprised to see he had won. He called his coworker over to him, who assumed he broke or deleted something important, to celebrate the news. Afterwards he was too excited to go back to work. 
“Participating in competitions like this are always fun and they challenge your creativity. Having the university lean on the creativity and design of their students makes you feel valuable,” Gomez said.
After his graduation in December, Gomez would like to stay in the United States and work for a nonprofit in the development field.