The Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication completed the fifth annual AdPR Academy’s on May 16-20. The Academy’s mission is to amplify the power of diversity, equity and inclusion while growing the pipeline of diverse advertising and public relations professionals. To date, the Academy has graduated 95 students from 21 universities to grow the pipeline of talented and diverse leaders for these industries.
Students from Albany State University, Augsburg University, Cal State Polytechnic University Pomona, Howard University, Middle Georgia State University, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of South Carolina, and University of West Georgia attended this year. They devoted five days and 30 hours to this first-ever online AdPR Academy.
“Thank you to Moxie, Solange M. Claudio, See.Spark.Go and Brittany Thoms (ABJ ‘04), for their sponsorship of the program. Moxie has made this diversity initiative possible from the beginning,” said Bryan Reber, Department Head, Advertising and Public Relations at UGA. “Students heard from and met dozens of professionals from across the country to learn more about the advertising and public relations professions and opportunities. They ended their week by presenting a capstone campaign project created for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce”, Reber said..
“It was inspiring to me to be surrounded by leaders in the communications industry as well as future leaders in the form of my peers,” said University of Florida Senior, Elgin Watts II. “Surrounding myself with professionals who look like me and come from similar backgrounds was great. Having peers in the cohort from all over the United States including Georgia, Illinois and California has helped me expand my peer network. A special thank you to the Parents Leadership Council that made this certificate program possible with their generous support,” said Watts.
For this special anniversary year, the University of Georgia’s Parents Leadership Council provided a grant to help support students and funding for the Academy.
Some of the professional organizations and their leadership who contributed to the week’s curriculum include: BBDO, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Creative Circus, Corning Incorporated, Delta Airlines, Fiserv, Georgia Pacific, LEVICK, Luckie & Co., McDonald’s, Morehouse College, Porter Novelli, Randstad, See.Spark.Go, SKDK, Sloane & Company, Unum and UPS. These partnerships are made possible through the leadership of the Academy’s director, DeShele Taylor. “The dedication of our incredible sponsors and volunteers elevates the Academy as a premiere training and development program for future leaders in advertising and public relations. We are so proud of our alumni and watch with anticipation for all they will accomplish in the years to come.”
“AdPR Academy has been one of the most enriching experiences I have had outside the classroom,” said UGA First Year MA of Journalism student, Dariel Stanford. “The pandemic really complicated the ability to meet and connect with people who share similar interests to my own. However, AdPR Academy gave me just that opportunity. Sharing a space with other like-minded students and industry professionals helped broaden my view to the career opportunities available in the advertising and public relations fields. Dedicating the week to investing in my professional growth was hands down the best decision I could have made for myself,” Stanford said.
Learn more about AdPR Academy and its mission at: adpracademy.uga.edu