By Darla Shelden
Oklahoma City native Trey Aven will be honored by the University of Central Oklahoma with the Distinguished Alumni Award during the 2012 Alumni Recognition Ceremony at the Nigh University Center in Edmond on Friday November 2. Aven is currently serving as an associate professor and special assistant to the Office of International Cooperation at Xiamen University of Technology in China.
Aven, who once lived and worked in a studio in the Historic Paseo Art District, has taught in several countries around the world including the U.S., England, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
Aven may best be remembered for his advertising and design work, most notably as creator of the KATT and various other Oklahoma City promotions in the 70s and 80s. During his career he received numerous ADDY awards from the Oklahoma City Advertising Club.
A graduate of John Marshall High School, Aven said, “I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the University of Central Oklahoma and President Don Betz for honoring me with this very special recognition as a UCO Distinguished Alumni.”
Aven holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising Design, and a Masters Degree in Art Education from the University of Central Oklahoma, and an I.A.A. Diploma in International Advertising from City University of London, England.
In 1992, Aven became a member of the first group of U.S. Peace Corp volunteers to enter the former Soviet Union as a business advisor In Ukraine. He later served as a Public Information Consultant for the US Agency for International Development in the Republic of Moldova.
Since then, he has worked as the Dean of Academics for the Academy of Design and Technology in New Hampshire and Dean of Communications Technology for the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. He also served as an international observer for the Ukrainian presidential elections in 2005.
Aven spent 20 years in advertising including positions such as art director at Ackerman McQueen and President and Creative Director of The Quest Group in Oklahoma City, and Director of International Marketing for Communications Graphics in Tulsa.
In collaboration with the Xiamen University of Technology, Aven recently produced a children’s activity book, Alphabet Zoo, designed to assist Chinese children to learn English at an early age.
Aven, who was recognized last year for his contributions to international education in advertising by the Oklahoma City Advertising Club, credits UCO Professor Emeritus Hall Duncan, who nominated Aven for this award, with his interest in international advertising and education.
“I would also like to thank Dr. Hall Duncan, who has worked so hard and supported me on so many occasions over the years,” said Aven. “Hall’s inspiration as a teacher and mentor resulted in my decision to pursue an international career. Experiencing such a valuable relationship with Dr. Duncan has truly made a lasting impression on me.”
In addition to Aven, a committee of UCO alumni board members have selected four other individuals “based on peer recommendations and notable accomplishments in one of three categories: professional, community service and university service.”
Also receiving the UCO’s Distinguished Alumni Award are Chuck Mills, president and owner of Mills Machine Co.; Dana Murphy, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner; Chad Richison, chief executive officer of Paycom; and Randall Ross, executive director of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board and Mayor of Choctaw. The association will also honor the Dub Raper family as the 2012 Central Family of the Year.
“Homecoming has become one of our most favorite times of the year,” said Al Jones, director of the UCO Alumni Association. “Each time I am humbled by the wonderful things our alumni are out doing in the world, and this group is no exception. They make all of us proud to call Central our home.”
A formal awards presentation with video highlights of the honorees’ lifetime accomplishments will be shown during the reception.
The Awards Ceremony commences at 11:30 a.m. at UCO’s Nigh University Center Grand Ballroom, 100 North University Drive in Edmond.
For more information call 405-974-2421.