Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin

What do Jimmy Fallon, Buzzfeed, The New Yorker, GoPro, Mashable, Grumpy Cat, Colorado State University Animal Sciences Professor Temple Grandin and the CSU social media team have in common? They’re all 2015 Webby Award winners.

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences named“Temple Grandin Talks to Reddit – Now Most Popular Science AMA. Ever.” the 19th annual Webby Award winner in the category of Social: Education and Discovery.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, the Webby Awards is the leading international recognition of excellence on the Internet.

“The Temple Grandin Reddit AMA has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”

Grandin is an animal behavior pioneer, autism advocate and best-selling author. She’s on the Time 100 Most Influential List and her life was featured in an HBO biopic starring Claire Danes. Grandin is also a longtime professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State. The public is fascinated with her and her research, but connecting with her on a person-to-person basis is nearly impossible. CSU’s social media was committed to make the impossible possible for her fans by trailblazing Reddit as a platform for higher education.

In November 2014, CSU’s social and digital media team facilitated an enormously popular Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session with Grandin. The successful AMA became the most popular and highest-rated session in Reddit’s Science section, receiving nearly 4,200 votes and spawning more than 1,300 comments.

“Communications is a rapidly changing and fascinating business, and I am proud of how our team at Colorado State has shown they know how to package and deliver content as well as anyone, anywhere," said Tom Milligan, vice president for External Relations at CSU. “Clearly, Professor Grandin is a global thought leader, and our social media team shared her and our university with the world through this award-winning effort.”

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, which nominates and selects The Webby Award winners, is composed of digital industry experts including Tumblr founder David Karp, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, Grantland’s Bill Simmons,Lucky magazine’s Editor-in-chief Eva Chen, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, and Steve Wilhite, creator of the .gif file format.

A full list of Webby Awards winners can be found at http://www.webbyawards.com/winners/2015/