Steal this Idea is ACUI’s annual marketing and graphic design competition. Professionals and students from around the world compete for top honors while inspiring colleagues through their innovative marketing solutions and design.

2023 best in show Beyond the conversation,
california State university–Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton’s ASI began its inaugural Beyond the Conversation speaker series in the 2021-22 academic year in its year-long efforts to contribute to social justice and student wellness causes. Student Illustrator Alden Brownstone set the tone for the brand with his hand-drawn portraits for the first-time series that saw speakers Angela Davis (activist), Daniel Day Kim (actor/activist), and Michael Phelps (Olympian) speak in front of students and university special guests.

The digital illustrations were the main imagery for the full brand campaign that lasted for the spring semester. There was a portrait done for the Fall 2021 speaker Yara Shahidi after the event was branded with the current look for the Spring events. Full digital and print efforts advertising the event were done for each event.

Entries are now closed.

Submission materials include a description of the project and the opportunity to upload examples of the work. Each entry must be listed in a designated category; entries can only be submitted into one category. A campus may submit as many entries into a given category as desired.

  • Brochures
  • Calendars/schedules
  • Cards/invitations
  • Digital campaign
  • Interior/wall art
  • Logo/brand identity
  • Miscellaneous
  • Multi-page publications
  • Posters
  • Promotional campaigns
  • Promotional products
  • Signs/banners
  • Social media campaign
  • T-shirts
  • Video and animation
  • Website

An entry fee is required for all entries and must be paid prior to judging. The fee will be $50 for the first entry from an institution, then $40 for each additional entry. View entry instructions here.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to January 26. If you have any further questions, please contact Marcos Fausto at

Note: The submission process is updated this year through our new membership platform—which means applications can autofill with your profile information, be saved as pending for edits until you officially submit, and be stored for your future access. In order to submit an application, you will need to create an account login, if you don’t already have one.

Steal this Idea is open to any professional or student working within college unions and student activities at an ACUI member institution. Submitted entries must have been created within the calendar year.

ACUI selects judges from across the United States to determine the first place through honorable mention in each category. Criteria includes concept, design, editorial content, effectiveness, and originality. Best in Show is chosen from the first place winners in all categories. Winning entries are featured in The Bulletin and published online. Best in Show is announced during The Honors at the Annual Conference.

2023 Steal this Idea Winners

  • First: College of Dentistry – Together; University of Illinois Chicago; Weltonia Harris
  • Second: Social Media Guidebook; UNC Charlotte; Kyahdric Moses
  • Third: University Commons Event Services Brochures; University of West Florida; Shelley Henseler, Rachel Gibbs, Olivia Ashcraft, Nell Arnett, Morgan Givens, John Perkins
  • Honorable Mention: Student Life Desktop Tool; University of Delaware; Abby Phillips, Division of Student Life Leadership, University Printing
  • First: Week of Welcome Campaign; University of Vermont; Kyle Challancin
  • Second: SOAR Handout; UW-Whitewater; Jada Thur
  • Third: Gallery Visiting Artist Brochures; Sacramento State; Sammy Zumaran
  • Honorable Mention: 13th Annual Last Lecture; Rowan University; Aarushi Gupta
  • First: Student Union Activities Board Fall Calendar; Oklahoma State University; Kailey Bookout
  • Second: Campus Activity Board Fall Event Schedule; University of West Florida; Rachel Gibbs, Olivia Ashcraft
  • Third: 2023 CDS Calendar; University of Illinois Chicago; Jason Dabrowski
  • Honorable Mention: Maximize Your Matador Experience; CSUN; James Matzen
  • First: UPC Fall 2022 Calendar; University of North Texas; Julian Quiroz, Erika Sevilla
  • Second: SCCA Fall 2022 Calendar of Events; Rowan University; Emma Stanley, Julie Menna
  • Third: LGBTQ History Month Calendar; University of Houston; Christopher Edwards
  • Honorable Mention: SUAAB Fall Calendar; University of Texas at Dallas; Lyn Zhang
  • First: Wellness Bookmark; UC Irvine; Student Center Board of Advisors 2021-22, Brian Petyo, Diana Schombert
  • Second: Family Feud Card-Flyer; Sacramento State; Dryden Nagtalon
  • Third: A.S. Generic Business Card; SJSU; Helen Tillmann
  • Honorable Mention: College of Pharmacy Tri-Fold Invitation; University of Houston; Rosemary Dao
  • First: Mr Hooper Card-Flyer; Sacramento State; JC Sanchez
  • Second: Celebrating Diversity Through Self-Portraits; Cal State Fullerton; Alyssa Fujiwara
  • Third: Friends of Dorothy Invitation; IUPUI; Kayla Ettline
  • Honorable Mention: Week of Kindness Postcards; University of Vermont; Ava Feuer
  • First: Humans vs. Computers Virtual Background Design Contest; UC Irvine; Student Center Board of Advisors 2021-22, Brian Petyo, Diana Schombert
  • Second: Spotted at IUPUI Campaign; IUPUI; Mary Olk Knarr, Nathan Mugg, Lexa Muehlbauer, Nicole Reitz, Liz Kaye
  • Third: NUGuardian Safety Campaign; Northwestern University; Alexandria Dravillas
  • Honorable Mention: LSU 30th Anniversary Celebration Ads; CSUDH; Victor Gonzalez
  • First: Tobacco Cessation; Indiana University; Bre Castaneda, Lucas Beam
  • Second: Skate Date; Rochester Institute of Technology; Sash Sriganesh
  • Third: Happy Holidays Digital Campaign; Sacramento State; JC Sanchez
  • Honorable Mention: Bookstore Gift Ideas; Colorado State University; Sydnie Scruggs
  • First: Before I Graduate Wall; UC Irvine; Diana Schombert, Tony Gonzalez, Kendi Rosas Goss, John Ma, Greg Ryan, Ryan Hulbert, Randy Aceves
  • Second: Interior Directional Decals; UC Irvine; Amy Schulz, Joe Ayoub, Brian Petyo, Diana Schombert, John Ma
  • Third: University Commons Spirit Murals Set; University of West Florida; Shelley Henseler, Rachel Gibbs, Olivia Ashcraft, Bailey Walker, Nell Arnett
  • Honorable Mention: DREAM Center Window Graphics; CSUN; James Matzen
  • First: UNT Union Mural; University of North Texas; Rebs Beers
  • Second: LEAD Lab Mural; The University of North Carolina Asheville; Cayla Ritchy
  • Third: Wellness Wall; Chapman University; Victoria Bello, Jamie Suyemoto
  • Honorable Mention: CSI Window Artwork; University of Houston; Gerald Sastra
  • First: The 405 Deli; Oklahoma State University; Amanda Hamlett
  • Second: LSU NEXT30 Responsive Logo; CSUDH; Victor Gonzalez
  • Third: Bobcat Welcome Toolkit; Texas State University; Taylor Morey
  • Honorable Mention: Board of Directors Logo; CSUN; James Matzen 
  • First: Safer Sex Supplies Logo; IUPUI; Jacob Chaves
  • Second: Purple Pantry Logo; Northwestern University; Ashley Guo
  • Third: Summit Logo; CSUN; Natalie Ball
  • Honorable Mention: Leadership for Racial Equity Logo; Northwestern University; Adele Marchiando
  • First: Don’t Throw It Away, Reuse Today; University of Illinois Chicago; Godfrey Carmona
  • Second: Oasis Breathing Cards; CSUN; James Matzen
  • Third: All Day ASI Sticker Package; CSUF; Mike Greenlee
  • Honorable Mention: Updated OSU Floor Plan Maps; CSUMB; Karina Rios Alvarez
  • First: LSC Venue Slides; Colorado State University; Rothavie Toum
  • Second: CUBE Handout; IUPUI; Kat Thomas
  • Third: SDSU Sorority Recruitment; South Dakota State University; Gayle Hansen
  • Honorable Mention: Sticker of The Month Club; Sacramento State; Valentina Duong
  • First: ASICPP Journal; Cal Poly Pomona; Nicolette Mendez, Kim Sumida, Shellyn Liska, Neil Heacox, Nathan Gray, Samual Chih, Asha Ray-Chaudhuri, Andrea Garcia, Dustin Glauser
  • Second: College of Pharmacy 2021 Annual Report; University of Illinois Chicago; Godfrey Carmona
  • Third: AS Cookbook; CSUN; Kevin Mojaradi
  • Honorable Mention: Fall 2022 Family Magazine; UNC Charlotte; Max Hofmann
  • First: Fine Arts Series 118th Season; University of North Texas; Mir Ortiz
  • Second: 2022 Panhellenic Recruitment Handbook; Oregon State University; Hope Stephens
  • Third: SCCA Annual Report; Rowan University; Gus Van Walsen
  • Honorable Mention: A.S. Annual Report 2021-2022 Moving Forward; San Jose State; Sena Atesoglu
  • First: Kornbread Jete & LaLa Ri Drag Show Poster; Sacramento State; Erin Umipeg
  • Second: Disrupting Racism Through the Lens of Langston Hughes; CSUN; James Matzen
  • Third: Influencer Series; CSUN; James Matzen
  • Honorable Mention: The Almanac Poster; Sacramento State; Dryden Nagtalon
  • First: Garden Harvest Festival Poster; SJSU; Sena Atesoglu
  • Second: Wish Upon a Star Poster; Sacramento State; Thomas Streb
  • Third: ¡Sí Se Puede!, SJSU, Skye Ocaranza
  • Honorable Mention: CASE Volunteer Event – Blood Drive; University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; University Centers Student Marketing Dept.
  • First: Elevated; Mount Aloysius College; Samuel Wagner, Sean Steffy, Courtney Edmundson
  • Second: WELLcome Back Promotional Campaign; Sacramento State; Erin Umipeg
  • Third: USU Hiring Campaign; Cal State San Marcos; Anthony Ferrer, Nick Melanese, Sebastian Ayala
  • Honorable Mention: Leader Corps Recruitment Graphics; Rutgers-New Brunswick; Kim Deng, Zain Bhatti
  • First: Beyond the Conversation Spring 2022; CSUF; Alden Brownstone
  • Second: El Grito Promotional Campaign; Sacramento State; JC Sanchez
  • Third: Spring Concert; CSUF; Colin Vail, Natalia Medina
  • Honorable Mention: All Night Study Fall 2022; CSUF; Lillian Van, Vyvyan Nguyen
  • First: Toromoji Socks; CSUDH; Victor Gonzalez
  • Second: University Commons Promotional Products; University of West Florida; Shelley Henseler, Olivia Ashcraft, Nell Arnett
  • Third: Build-A-Bronco T-Shirt Graphic; Cal Poly Pomona; Dustin Glauser, Nathan Gray

  • First: Union Y2K Throwback Buttons; University of North Texas; Rishi Choudhary, Chelsea KingSecond: Lory Student Center Stickers; Colorado State University; Bronwen Cartwright, Rothavie Toum, Sasha Beran-Hughes, Jake DunevitzThird: GameDay at the Union Stickers; Oklahoma State University; Sierra Do, Elena Staubus, Kailey BookoutHonorable Mention: SUAAB Merchandise; University of Texas at Dallas; Godha Battu, Carolyn Zhang
    • First: Indiana Memorial Union – Heart of the Campus Lamp Post Banners, Indiana University, Damen Morris
    • Second: Anteater Steps Pole Banners; UC Irvine; Amy Schulz, Brian Petyo, Diana Schombert, Tony Gonzalez, Sal Aduna, John Ma
    • Third: LSU 30th Anniversary Facility Graphics; CSUDH; Victor Gonzalez
    • Honorable Mention: Branded Sign Template & Library; UC Irvine; Brian Petyo, Diana Schombert

  • First: IU Outdoor Adventures Mobile Climbing Wall Banner; Indiana University; Lucas BeamSecond: Regatta Signs; IUPUI; Kat ThomasThird: LBJSC Banners; Texas State University; MarQuise Prince-SaloneHonorable Mention: CougarCon Signage, University of Houston, Emma Matocha
    • First: ‘What’s in my Bag’ Campaign; Oklahoma State University; Kailey Bookout, Jenna Murray, Elias Braver
    • Second: Regatta Social Media Campaign; IUPUI; Mary Olk Knarr, Lexa Muehlbauer, Garret Jochem, Cordel Blair
    • Third: Monthly Summer Pop-Up Events; University of Minnesota Twin Cities; Courtney Meyer
    • Honorable Mention: Binghamton University Men of Color Summit 2022 Instagram Campaign; Binghamton University; JR Beckford
    • First: Spartan Recreation Outdoor Adventures; SJSU; Ryan Huang
    • Second: EMU Historical Tours; University of Oregon; Quinn Connell
    • Third: Zero Waste Bins Campaign; CSUDH; Gabriel Perez
    • Honorable Mention: Spring Break Affirmations Campaign; CSUDH; Erin Alvarado
    • First: Phlagleblast Shirt; Sacramento State; Kenji Enos
    • Second: Afternoon Kickback with President Beck Shirt; CSUN; Arriana Martin, Kevin Mojaradi
    • Third: Wisconsin Hoofers T-Shirt; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Max Homstad, Isabel Finn
    • Honorable Mention: Student Staff Recruitment T-Shirt; Rutgers University – New Brunswick; Elizabeth Desimone
    • First: Campus Activity Board After Dark Event T-Shirt; University of West Florida; Shelley Henseler, Bailey Walker, Nell Arnett, Samantha Mumma
    • Second: Intramural Sports Tee; CSUN; Saul Prado
    • Third: Legacy Month Speaker Series T-Shirt; SJSU; Sena Atesoglu
    • First: Year-End Video; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Isabel Finn, Kay Sakiya, Jessica Seeland, Tamsin Ford
    • Second: Tom Deluca Digital Screen Animation; Sacramento State; Dryden Nagtalon
    • Third: K-State ID Center Video; Kansas State University; Robert Howard, Jessica Maxwell, Hailey Miller, Zach Dillenger
    • Honorable Mention: Cinco de Mayo Digital Screen Animation; Sacramento State; Patricia Gomez
    • First: SAPB Hype Video; IUPUI; Rachel Knierman
    • Second: Welcome to the USU; Cal State San Marcos; Nick Melanese, Samantha Wilson, Mason Broadway, Eryqa Flores, Anthony Ferrer
    • Third: We are AS Promo Video; CSUN; Alex Jocson, Shaun Riel
    • Honorable Mention: Yoga Night Digital Screen Animation; Sacramento State; JC Sanchez
    • First: Student Center Website Rebrand; UC Irvine; Student Center Directors, Event Planning Team, Marketing Team, Student Dev Team
    • Second: Annual Report 2021; CSUN; James Matzen, Steven Wein, Mifiel Valdes, David Tschan
    • Third: Loker Student Union; CSUDH; Victor Gonzalez, Emily Vargas, Gabriel Perez