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Oklahoma State University


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.


You are invited to create imaginative designs for the new Digital Badge critical success skills program. Contestants must be currently enrolled graduate students in good academic standing for fall semester 2016. Only one entry is allowed per student, and the entry must be an original design created by the student contestant. The winning entry will be selected by a jury selected by the Graduate College, and their decision is final. The entry will become the property of Oklahoma State University with all rights for exclusive use (Oklahoma State University has the right to modify and revise the deliverables as it desires without consent of the winning contestant). The winning contestant will receive a $1,000 award to the student’s bursar account. Should none of the entries be selected by the jury, then no awards will be made.
Digital badges are needed for six critical success skills competences of communications, instruction, research services, management, service, and wellness with four levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Graduate College Digital Badge for each competency. In addition, a single ultimate badge is needed for acquisition of the Graduate College Digital Badge in four of the six skill competencies with a theme of “completion” and “360 degrees” (“360” Critical Success Skills Badge). Designs for twenty-five digital badges in total are required.
Badge Levels Critical Success Skill Competencies
Communication Instruction Research Services Management Service Wellness
Level 1

Communications Level 1

Instruction Level 1

Research Services Level 1

Management Level 1

Service Level 1

Wellness Level 1
Level 2

Communications Level 2

Instruction Level 2

Research Services Level 2

Management Level 2

Service Level 2

Wellness Level 2
Level 3

Communications Level 3

Instruction Level 3

Research Services Level 3

Management Level 3

Service Level 3

Wellness Level 3
Graduate College Communication Badge Graduate College Instruction Badge Graduate College Research Services Badge

Graduate College Management Badge

Graduate College Service Badge

Graduate College Wellness Badge
Overarching Critical Skills Acquisition
Graduate Dean’s Certificate and “360” Critical Success Skills Badge
Here are the description of each of the competencies:
Communication: Skills acquisition for communications involves clear, concise, and engaging speaking and writing for both public and specialists audiences.
Instruction: Skills acquisition for instruction involves an understanding of learning modes and instructional strategies to best communicate information, concepts and understandings to students.
Research Services: Skills acquisition for research services involves understanding information concepts and use of technologies to support research endeavors. 
Management: Skills acquisition for management involves understanding and applying techniques for the best use of time and finances as well as successful development of relationships and careers.
Service: Skills acquisition for service involve engaging one’s self in community and professional organizations and development of leadership skills.
Wellness: Skills acquisition for wellness involves understanding the basis for wellness through good nutrition and exercise as well as healthy relationships and habits.
Digital Badge Design Guidelines
Branded: Digital badge components will use Oklahoma State University colors, styles, fonts, etc.
Unifying: Overall, the 25 badges will have a unifying concept, while being distinctive in the 6 critical success skill competencies and 4 levels.
Forward Looking: Rather than being emblematically “static”, the individual competencies and badge levels will convey progression and accomplishment.          
Desirable: Overall, the badges will have a pleasing and desirable appearance.
Deliverables Format
For judging, submitted entries must be in either .jpg or .gif format.  Selected winners may later be requested to submit the 25 badge images in a higher DPI format or an alternate format (ex.  .psd). The individual images are required to be square, 100 X 100 pixels.
Contest opens Monday August 29 and closes Monday September 26, 2016. To enter, please go to: and complete the entry form and upload your entry. 


Graduate students, who experience circumstances that prevent them from enrolling the  semester they were admitted to and wish to be considered for a single-semester change in their admission, must submit a completed Admissions Deferral (AD) request form to the Graduate College. Admission Deferrals are not automatic and are at the discretion of the Graduate College and graduate program.