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Senior Named Among Nation's Most Promising Minority Students in Advertising

Sean Casa honored by American Advertising Federation

Southern Methodist University student Sean Casa has been named by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) as a winner in the AAF’s Most Promising Minority Students national competition for 2011. Casa, a Hispanic student from Coppell, Tex., is a senior advertising major in the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. In addition, Casa was named by AAF as one of four recipients of a CNN Impact Grant for academic excellence and community service. Casa was recognized for his contributions to the community through the campus ministry group PULSE. Casa has worked with PULSE for three years and currently serves as both its president and advertising chair.

The 50 top winners of the Most Promising Minority Students competition, who represent some 32 colleges nationwide, attended a three-day program in New York City recently, which included an awards luncheon and the opportunity to meet with recruiters and executives from leading agencies, advertisers and media companies.

Now in its fifteenth year, the AAF’s Most Promising Minority Students program connects the advertising industry with the nation’s top multicultural college seniors in advertising, marketing, media and communications. The program provides opportunities to recruit fresh talent, to further prepare advertising’s best young prospects and to help the industry’s workforce better reflect the multiculturalism of today’s society. The program not only honors the students, but enhances their knowledge and understanding of the advertising industry by offering networking, interviewing and industry immersion opportunities with advertising professionals.

“We are committed to recognizing deserving students who have shown academic excellence, leadership potential, community service activities and a desire to pursue a career in advertising,” said Tiffany Foxworth, program manager at AAF. “By honoring these students who exemplify such a great commitment toward their educational endeavors, our hope is to impact the numbers of diverse talent entering into the advertising industry and provide them with the tools to succeed.” 

“Sean exemplifies the qualities that are critical to the future of the advertising industry,” said Dr. Patricia Alvey, distinguished chair and director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute at the Meadows School. “He is an outstanding student, and we are very proud of him.” Meadows advertising students have been honored as winners in 12 of the 15 years of the AAF competition’s existence.

The competition provides a significant career advantage to winners. Alumni of the Most Promising Minority Students Program from 2006-2010 were recently surveyed by Alice Kendrick, professor of advertising at SMU, and Jami Fullerton, professor at Oklahoma State University. The survey found that 80 percent of the winners were successfully employed in advertising and marketing communications and were satisfied with their jobs.

“The Most Promising Minority Students event was an amazing experience that gave me the opportunity to meet and network with business professionals and other finalists,” said Casa. “There were several informative seminar sessions about job searching and the advertising industry. It was an honor to be selected as an MPMS finalist and stand among the future stars of the advertising field. I believe that this opportunity provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create lasting and valuable professional relationships.”

The AAF competition is open to all graduating seniors of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander or Native American heritage. The program recognizes those minority students who are deemed exceptional by their college professors, advisers and/or local professional ad club. Pepsi-Cola Company is the program’s principal underwriter and JCPenney is the principal sponsor.

Established in 2001 in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, the Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research is the country’s first endowed institute for the study of advertising. Offering both B.A. and M.A. degrees, TAI trains students to search for unique solutions in advertising, preparing them for work in advertising agencies, media firms, corporate marketing departments and design studios. In its first decade of existence TAI has established an award-winning track record. Students have earned numerous honors, including two national and four district championships in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition and dozens of creative awards in prestigious regional, national and international competitions including
The One Show, CMYK Magazine and The Art Directors Club of New York. In addition, the Temerlin Institute has been named one of 10 leaders in advertising education among colleges and universities in the U.S. by Stuart Elliott, advertising critic for The New York Times.

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