Alise Crittendon named AAF Most Promising Multicultural Student

Alise Crittendon, an advertising student from Mableton, Ga., has been selected to the American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2022 class of Most Promising Multicultural Students.

“This is one of the biggest honors I’ve received thus far because it represents everything I have been striving for: increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry,” said Crittendon. “I even wrote about this in my Grady statement of interest two years ago!”

The AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Student program is part of an initiative to promote diversity in the advertising workplaces. Crittendon will participate in a four-day workshop that will help advance skills, enhance professional development and provide exclusive networking opportunities.

Crittendon and her fellow 49 honorees from around the country were selected by a judging panel featuring representatives from Amazon, The Coca-Cola Company, TikTok, and many more leading advertising organizations.

“We are so proud to add Alise to the UGA Department of Advertising and Public Relations alumni who have been selected to participate in the highly competitive American Advertising Federation Most Promising Students program,” said Bryan Reber, Advertising and Public Relations Department Head.

Crittendon was also selected as a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies  Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) earlier this year.

Crittendon credits Women in Media and Talking Dog as organizations that have helped her grow during her time at Grady College.

Reber says Crittendon has become a superstar student and has grown through mentoring with faculty.

“Special thanks go to faculty who teach and mentor these students as they prepare their portfolios for the competitions,” Reber said. “Dr. Kirsten Strausbaugh has been a special mentor to Alise.”

After graduation, Crittendon plans to join an advertising agency as a copywriter where she would develop campaigns and powerful messaging for brands. She says she found a love for storytelling at Grady College and wants to use that passion to help brands execute strategy with creativity. She also credits her extra-curricular activities with helping her grow into a young professional.

“Women in Media and Talking Dog Agency are both special to me for different reasons, but my involvement in these gave me the confidence and experience I needed to continue working towards my goals,” said Crittendon.

See the full release from the American Advertising Federation here.

You can learn more about Crittendon in this InternViews piece published earlier in 2021.

Olamide Ogunjobi (AB ‘20) named one of AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Students

Recent graduate Olamide Ogunjobi (AB ’20) was recently named one of the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF)  Most Promising Multicultural Students. She and about 50 other students from across the country participated in the program’s virtual session in late January.

“Ola is one of the most hard-working, deserving honorees I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Kirsten Strausbaugh, senior lecturer in advertising.

The AAF connects the best multicultural college seniors and young graduates with the advertising industry. This year’s virtual program provided students with networking opportunities and personal brand coaching. The AAF hopes to help ad agencies recruit new talent and properly reflect today’s diverse society.      

“It’s a challenging climate for advertisers and their clients currently, with budget cuts, layoffs, businesses closing and all of the uncertainty surrounding us,” Strausbaugh said. “Participating in this program will give Ola the exposure she needs to active, healthy ad agencies who are in a position to recruit and hire top entry-level talent.”

Ogunjobi graduated in May 2020 with degrees in advertising and economics. The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed her to branch out and try new roles in UX design and public relations. 

“Trying new things helped me figure out what was the perfect fit for me. I’ve now found the right role for me in operations at an ad agency,” Ogunjobi said, who currently works for Porter Novelli.  

While a student, Ogunjobi participated in Ad Club and Grady’s Ph.D. Media Collective. These clubs gave her insight into how real-world ad agencies worked, and she heard from both experts and interns about things they wished they knew before jump starting their careers. 

The AAF program taught Ogunjobi how to be more confident in her craft, she said. The program’s creative workshops inspired her to change how she presents her work. 

“The recognition meant a lot, especially since I’ve known amazing people that were a part of the program,” Ogunjobi said. “It means even more to be in community with a lot of amazing groups of individuals.”

Two AdPR students named to AAF’s 2020 Most Promising Multicultural Student Program  

Two Grady College advertising majors were selected for the American Advertising Federation’s 2020 Class of Most Promising Multicultural Students.

Jayda Hill and Natalie Ferguson are among 50 other students from AAF’s college chapters admitted into the program. They were selected by senior advertising leaders after submitting a lengthy application which included essays, letters of recommendations, and resume submission.

AAF’s MPMS program is part of the AAF’s Mosaic Center initiative which began 24 years ago and continues to promote diversity and inclusion in the advertising and communications industry. This year’s MPMS application pool was one of the largest to date. 

“This award shows how I am a part of the future of advertising and that the AAF saw a lot of potential in me,” Hill said. “They believe that I can help make the industry even more diverse and inclusive. This award allows me to follow in the footsteps of others who have received it in years past and are currently making their mark in advertising.” 

As program participants, Hill and Ferguson will attend a four-day industry immersion program in New York City from Feb. 10 to 13 that includes professional development workshops, site visits, an awards luncheon and recruiter’s expo. 

“I am excited for the opportunity to network with my fellow peers,” Hill said. “A lot of times at networking events people mainly focus on networking with industry leaders. They forget to network with each other. I have already started a GroupMe just to get to know the people I will be spending a week with in New York.”  

Ferguson shared the excitement. “I hope to learn more about the industry in which I’m about to enter as well as networking with industry leaders,” she said.  

“Grady has given me so many opportunities to thrive and grow in my education,” Ferguson said.  “What I’m learning in my classes has really prepared me for this next phase in my life as I will be graduating in May.  

With an average GPA of 3.6, this year’s class represents 29 schools and 19 states across the country according to AAF’s news release.  

Leading agencies and companies, including 72andSunny, Apple, FCB, Google, IPG, McCann, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Wieden+Kennedy use MPMS as recruiting tool which ultimately benefits companies by providing top talent and students with more directed opportunities.