West Virginia University graphic design student Maria Cazares is the winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award in the student category of HOW Magazines International Design Competition. Her work is featured with winning designs from around the world in the magazines April issue.

Cazares, who is from Mexico, came to WVU on a Fulbright Scholarship in the fall of 2000. As a project for her masters degree, she chose Sept. 11, 2001, as her topic and created an 11-piece poster series titled”Emotions in September.”

“September 11 was a bitter surprise to all, but for me as a foreign student it was much more,”she said.”I was afraid that I would receive a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service telling me that I wouldnt be able to finish my studies here.

“This series is about eleven emotions that I felt, that I saw and read about, and that everybody else was experiencing: helplessness, guilt, falling apart, hopelessness, hate, anger, loss, grief, fear, anxiety and insecurity about the economy.

“I did not use the American flag or any American slogan because 9/11 affected not only America, but all of us,”she said.”I also did not use the towers because the attack itself was what I considered important. In each poster there are references to the attack, like the date worked differently in each piece, or the use of dingbats such as the planes, the bomb, the skull and the sad face.”

Cazares said her biggest challenge was to think about each of the 11 pieces in the series as individual works, so each of them would remain individually powerful and stand on its own.

“I did all the illustrations, photographs, graphics and the research,”she said.”I also received feedback from my professors, Cliff Harvey and Eve Faulkes.”

It took 8-10 weeks to complete the 11 pieces so that they were well-defined in all aspects, she noted. So far, she has received very positive responses from undergraduate students, faculty and visiting graphic designers, such as Malcolm Grear.

Grear, founder and namesake of the Rhode Island-based consulting firm Malcolm Grear Designers, was a visiting artist in the WVU Division of Art last April. He taught at the Rhode Island School of Design for more than 30 years and is widely regarded as one of the worlds premier visual artists.

Cazares was a professor of graphic design at the Universidad of Monterrey in Mexico before coming to WVU to study for her masters degree. She is a native of Monterrey and received her undergraduate degree in graphic design from the Universidad of Monterrey.

She came to WVU because of the quality of the graphic design program and also because she learned from the Internet that Morgantown is a safe place and that it was named the best small city in the United States. Monterrey, with 5 million people, is a large city and she wanted her children, currently ages 10 and 7, to experience a different way of life. Her husband is an architect who also works as a computer programmer.

HOW Magazines April 2003 International Design Annual features 247 winning designs in 15 categories, including advertising, annual reports, brochures/catalogs/flyers, covers/jackets, editorial, environmental graphics, illustration/photography, invitations/announcements, letterhead/logos, packaging, posters, seasonal/calendars, wearables, student winners and miscellaneous.

Cazares was one of only three outstanding student winners. The others were from Academy of Art College in San Francisco and Ringling School Design Center in Sarasota, Fla. There also were 17 student winners of merit awards.

Judge Theresa Westermeyer called the Cazares series”by far the best of all the 9/11 designs Ive seen.”

Judge Matt Mattus singled out Cazaresposter featuring the date 9/11 made to resemble the logo for 7Eleven convenience stores.”The 9Eleven poster was by far the most powerful,”he said.

Information about HOW Magazine and the April 2003 issue is available at http://www.howdesign.com .