Two Seniors Win Advertising Awards

"We have found the qualified minorities the industry is looking for," said American Advertising Federation president & CEO Wally Snyder at his organization's two-day conference in New York in February --- and he found two of them at Ithaca College.

The AAF Foundation, in partnership with Advertising Age magazine, sponsors the "25 Most Promising Minority Students" in advertising awards. The program, in its second year, was designed to foster the hiring and recruitment of minority candidates. Minorities currently comprise just 4 percent of the industry, which needs to reach a diverse and rapidly changing demographic base.

Eighty percent of the minority students from the first program are working in the advertising industry for employers like Nike, Leo Burnett Company, DDB Needham, BBDO, Campbell-Ewald, Gotham, Campbell Mithun Esty, and Arnold Communications. "We expect even better results this year," said Heide Gardner, the AAF Foundation senior manager of diversity and strategic programs.

This year's winners included two IC seniors: TV-R majors Jonathan Rosenfeld and Clarissa Gonzalez .Their sponsor, assistant professor of TV-R James Karrh, explained the process of selection: "Each AAF adviser in the United States may nominate up to two students for consideration. From this pool, the 25 most promising are selected, as well as a number of 'honorable mentions.' Note that IC is one of only four schools where both students nominated made it into the final group of 25."

Most promising: Clarissa Gonzalez '98, comedian George Wallace, Jonathan Rosenfeld '98, and TV-R assistant professor James Karrh at the awards ceremony

Photo by Monica Morgan


Winning students and their academic advisers were flown to New York City to network with some of the minority advertising legends they cited in their competition essays and to meet with recruiters and executives from large agencies, advertisers, and media companies. The event culminated with a salute to the students at an awards luncheon, emceed by comedian George Wallace, recipient of a 1995 American Comedy Award for best stand-up comedian and a former advertising executive himself.

Gonzalez, currently attending the College's Los Angeles program and interning at an L.A. agency, attended the conference with Rosenfeld and Karrh. She said, "It felt good that Jonathan and I were recognized for our hard work. He's in the creative side of advertising; I'm in the account management side. [She has a media management concentration; Rosenfeld's is advertising and public relations.] The award tells people that we've been trained properly at IC and have an enthusiasm for the field of advertising and communications in general."

Rosenfeld commented, "We met so many powerful, wonderful people at the conference, people who are industry leaders. It was great to have dinner with them and to now have their business cards in my wallet, to have them as contacts. I'm a scholarship student, and that made me strive to do my best. This award is a good reflection on the education I've gotten here." Added Gonzalez, "We've learned a lot, but we've had a lot of fun, too."  

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