ZTA honored during FCA Annual Conference 2021

Like most everything else in the last year or so, the Fraternity Communications Association Annual Conference was held virtually in 2021. ZTA staff members attended educational and networking sessions online, as well as the Recognition Program at the close of the conference.

ZTA received nine awards during the Recognition Program. Additionally, a ZTA staff member and an alumna were honored for their commitment to FCA, and ZTA staff members and alumnae were elected to the FCA Board of Directors. Read on to share in the excitement!

Pictured, top row: Senior Director of Communication Ashley Sherman, Director of Digital Media Hailey Rogers (Delta Psi Chapter, Samford), Graphic Designer Katherine VanSickle
Bottom row: Graphic Designer Kahlie Cannon, Staff Writer Christy Barber (Alpha Psi Chapter, University of Missouri), Editor Ensley Caldwell (Omicron Chapter, Brenau)

The following work submitted by ZTA stood out amongst the more than 750 award submissions from fraternity and sorority headquarters around the country.

Second Place, William C. Levere Award for Total Communication

Virtual Sisterhood Celebration

This is one of FCA’s highest honors and recognizes a complete communication package or campaign. Submissions are evaluated on content, writing and design as they relate to forming one comprehensive and cohesive message that brings amazing communication together in one place. Judges said, “Overall the messaging checks every box. It is clear and engaging. It captures relevant points and answers many questions through the use of stellar graphics and video components.” Relive the Virtual Sisterhood Celebration by checking out our recaps.

First place, Annual/Biennial Report

Biennial Report 2018-2020

This award honors outstanding efforts in presenting material for an annual/biennial report. Entries should display organization, attractiveness and relevance to the intended audience and purpose. Judges said, “Their report employs a highly creative use of type to create an understandable hierarchy of information. The clear and easy to follow graphs are spread out throughout the report. There's an effective use of white space and margins to create a sense of calm with the layout. This piece excels across the board with photography, type, and illustration.” Take a look for yourself by clicking here.

First Place, Critics' Choice - Single Page Design

“From Texas to Tour Jetés”

Critics’ Choice Awards are voted on by FCA members and are coveted because winners are recognized by peers. This particular award is for the design and layout of a single page from a magazine, workbook or other printed material. Enjoy this Themis article here.

Second Place, Video - Educational

What the HEC?: Mystifying Picture

This award honors outstanding efforts related to videos intended for educational purposes. Winners demonstrate creativity, originality and inventiveness. Those three words certainly describe our Archivist Patti Cords Levitte (Beta Phi Chapter, Michigan State University). Judges said, “This video was a fun direction to talk about the history and the Mystifying Picture. The story was cohesive and brought many interesting facts for a viewer.” Watch this episode of “What the HEC?” to see for yourself.

Third Place, Printed Materials - Promotional

ZTA Foundation Fall Mailer

This award honors an outstanding promotional brochure, poster or another communication piece that publicizes the organization, an event, a program or a product. Accolades are given based on how well persuasive copy and attractive design work together to “sell” an idea. A judge applauded this piece, saying, “I truly love this brochure—the balance of text and graphics, the balance of text and ‘numbers,’ the balance of text and ‘open space,’ and the clear color and image branding. It's beautifully done and obviously by the return on their investment—effective. The thoughtful use of a powerful piece of the organization's history to make an emotional connection with the reader is very nice, too.”

Third place, Publication Improvement

Guide to the Alumnae Chapter President

This award honors outstanding efforts to improve an existing printed material other than a magazine or tabloid. The piece must have undergone significant change during the calendar year of 2020. Didn’t everything go through a significant change in 2020? ZTA’s training materials certainly did. What was once a simple black and white PDF came to life when it moved onto Z-Learning with added videos and interactive modules to help Alumnae Chapter Presidents thrive in their roles. Judges held this change in high regard, saying, “It's proof of a radical investment in membership development and learning, meeting them where they are in the most effective way possible.”

Third Place, eNewsletter

Quarterly Alumnae Newsletter

This award honors outstanding efforts in communication through an eNewsletter—a publication that gives specialized information to a limited audience on a regular basis, in an electronic format. Award recipients display excellence in overall content, design, creativity and organization. A judge said the newsletter is, “clear, nicely designed and focused. This was one of the best entries.”

Third Place, Inter/National Website


This award honors outstanding efforts in communication through a website. Entries should display excellence in overall content, design, creativity and navigation. The website where you are likely reading this description was honored with this award. A judge said, “The homepage makes you want to learn more with the stories ZTA is telling. It felt like an experience and the gradients used were fresh and on trend. The menu being on the side was very helpful and easy to navigate. The Chapter Locator was a highlight as well because it was easy to follow.”

Third Place, Specific Purpose Website


This award honors outstanding efforts in communication for a specific purpose through a website. These might include the organization’s site for its Foundation, convention, fundraising campaign, etc. Entries should display excellence in overall content, design, creativity and navigation. A judge said, “Very well done. The way this day of giving was set out was very creative. I'm sure it would have been fun to watch along all day as challenges were unlocked.” The hundreds of ZTA members who engaged online during the Foundation’s first Day of Giving on Oct. 15 would agree! If you missed it, check out our recap blog to catch the fun.

The Fraternity Communications Association also gives individual recognition to FCA members for their work to advance the associations’ mission and fraternal life.

Outstanding Committee Chairperson

Ashley Sherman, ZTA Senior Director of Communication

A member of Alpha Phi International Women’s Fraternity, Ashley joined ZTA International Office staff in 2015 as the Senior Director of Communication. Ashley leads ZTA’s Communication Department with dedication and care. These attributes also helped her as FCA’s Brown Bag Chair, as she lined up monthly virtual educational and networking sessions for FCA members. Her nomination said she went above and beyond. “Taking the FCA Strategic Plan to heart, she worked diligently to provide a rotating schedule of educational sessions and roundtable discussions. Working with her own network of communications professionals as well as FCA Associate Partners and member organizations, she arranged sessions on racial injustice, member engagement, virtual events, data and analytics, social media advertising, branding and more.”

Outstanding Committee Member

Monica Ceja, Lambda Gamma Chapter alumna (UTSA)

Monica is a former ZTA staff member, current ZTA volunteer, and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity National Headquarters Assistant Executive Director for Communication. She is dedicated to the advancement of fraternity and sorority life, so much so that she joined the Fraternity Communications Digital Communications Committee in 2019. As a member of the committee, she helped create FCA's website and social media content. When the Digital Communications Chair had to step down, Monica did not hesitate to step into the role and assume more responsibility within FCA. In her nomination, Monica was noted as, “very knowledgeable and helpful asset to the Marketing Committee for several years. She always offers constructive feedback and she gives great advice to other committee members.”

During the association's Business Meeting, the conference body elected FCA's Board of Directors.

Ashley Sherman
was elected Director of Recognition and Director of Digital Media Hailey Rogers was elected Director of Marketing. ZTA alumna and North American Interfraternity Conference Senior Director of Communication Andrea Benek (Beta Theta Chapter, Franklin College) was re-elected to the FCA Board as Vice President Operations.

Alongside their fellow 2021 board members, Ashley, Hailey and Andrea will help carry out FCA's Strategic Plan and lead the organization into 2022.


Learn more about ZTA's award-winning programs

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