UCSF Wins 8 Regional CASE Awards in 2020 for Communications Excellence

By Nina Bai

UC San Francisco won eight awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in this year’s regional competition recognizing the best communications and outreach from educational institutions.

The awards include a Grand Gold award for the UCSF.edu redesign, three Gold awards, three Silver awards and a Bronze award for work from across the Office of Communications, Community and Government Relations, and University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR).

The annual Awards of Excellence recognize and showcase the best practices at educational institutions, including work in alumni relations, fundraising, public/government relations, advancement services, special events and outstanding communications. UCSF competes in CASE’s District VII, which covers Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands and Utah.

Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners in more than 60 categories are judged by experts from a variety of disciplines throughout the district. This year’s winners were selected from 543 entries.

Grand Gold

Hand holding an iPhone with the new UCSF.edu website

The redesign of UCSF.edu won a Grand Gold award from CASE. Photo by Susan Merrell

Institutional Websites
The redesign of UCSF’s flagship website, led by the Office of Communications and launched in April 2019, created a new digital experience that’s increasingly mobile-friendly, searchable and visually engaging. The first major overhaul of the site since 2015, the redesign also provides visitors with new ways to browse and read stories about UCSF’s research, education and patient care. According to CASE, “Grand Gold designations are awarded to submissions that stand out to the judges as truly innovative or best in that category.”


Advocacy Publications/Campaigns
UCSF Government Relations organized an advocacy day at the California State Capitol in spring 2019 to request funding for UC’s Program in Medical Education (PRIME), which trains diverse medical students to provide high-quality, culturally accountable health care in underserved areas. UCSF PRIME students and faculty met with over 15 state officials while UCSF Advocates on campus contacted legislators and the Governor’s office hundreds of times online to garner support.

Medical students meeting with State Assemblymember

PRIME students met with Assemblymember José Medina as part of an advocacy day organized by UCSF Government Relations to support PRIME. The campaign won a Gold award from CASE. Photo by Noah Berger

Innovative Use of Technology
In support of UCSF’s Saturday Night Science donor event, UDAR created an innovative post-event strategy to enhance donor participation. Using a cloud-based platform, the team built personalized password-protected microsites for each attendee, including thank you messages, videos from faculty members, photo gallery, and more.

Fundraising Videos
The Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Chuck Feeney, has invested generously in UCSF to support community health programs and the physical environments that facilitate this work. UDAR produced The Forever Part video to highlight UCSF’s gratitude and how these investments have transformed UCSF’s ability to support world-class research and health care.


Social Media
Throughout Women’s History Month, the Office of Communications and UDAR collaborated on a social media campaign that highlighted inspiring women across UCSF – scientists, clinicians, students, staff and alums – who shared, in their own words, their experiences with gender, science and success. The campaign engaged broad audiences on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.

News Writing
A selection of writing from the Office of Communications and published on UCSF.edu showcases some of the great storytelling that brings to life UCSF’s world-renowned research, patient care, and education for its audiences.

UDAR created a poster to honor a famous musician and donor who has hosted annual benefit concerts supporting the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.  

UCSF Magazine cover with graphic of gun and crying eye

UCSF Magazine, produced biannually by UDAR, won a Bronze award from CASE.


Special Constituency and Annual Magazines
The biannual UCSF Magazine, produced by UDAR, aims to advance readers’ understanding of biomedical sciences, human health and health care. The winning issues featured a guide to healthy eating, a profile of the first genome surgeons, and popular pieces about super-agers and sugar’s dangerous secrets.

Read about all the 2020 CASE Awards of Excellence winners on the CASE website.