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American Advertising Federation honors two communications students

Ciara' Dixon ’16 and Simone Jackson ’16 have been named to the AAF's Most Promising Multicultural Students program, a highly selective annual award for college students with exceptional academic and professional achievements.

Simone Jackson ’16 (left) and Ciara' Dixon ’16 have been honored as Most Promising Multicultural Students by the American Advertising Federation.

​School of Communications seniors Ciara' Dixon and Simone Jackson have been selected for the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students program, the advertising industry’s premier multicultural recruiting initiative.

Two of 50 program participants, Dixon and Jackson will travel to New York City to participate in a four-day industry immersion program that includes professional development workshops, agency visits and a recruitment expo. The program will be held Feb. 15-18, 2016.

“To be selected for this honor means so much to me,” said Jackson, a strategic communications major. “This program connects the advertising industry with the nation’s top minority college seniors and I feel honored to be a part of the 2016 class of students.”

A strategic communications and music theatre double major, Dixon explained that her selection nearly left her speechless. “Words can't express how ecstatic I am to head to New York City and network with not only industry professionals but also other promising students from all over the United States,” she said.

Both students received the distinction based on their strong academic records and accomplishments through professional experiences with internships, campus involvement and Live Oak Communications, Elon’s student-run strategic communications agency.

Professional judges from DigitasLBi, ESPN, General Mills, GSD&M, Lapiz, Omnicom Media Group, Omnicom Group, Razorfish and Wieden+Kennedy selected the 50 students from the more than 200 AAF affiliate advertising clubs from universities across the country. Elon was one of only a handful of universities to have multiple participants.

This is the second year two Elon students were selected for MPMS. Marisa Moody '15 and Erin Turner '15 both participated in the 2015 program.

During the four-day, expenses-paid trip, MPMS participants will interview with industry professionals, be recruited by the nation’s top strategic communications firms, network with one another, and tour the facilities of several renowned advertising agencies.

With aspirations of working in the advertising field, Dixon expressed excitement to interview with participating companies and industry leaders. “I am eager to have the opportunity to both demonstrate my abilities as a strategic communicator and to glean knowledge from these industry giants," she said.

Jackson explained she also hopes the experience will jumpstart her career and find work at an agency in creative strategy.

Dixon and Jackson were both nominated by Hal Vincent, lecturer in Elon’s School of Communications and faculty director of Live Oak. Daniel Haygood, associate professor communications and AAF’s Elon adviser, and Nagatha Tonkins, director of internships for the School of Communications, also assisted the nomination process.

“To have two students selected for this prestigious honor in one year is outstanding, and to now have four students selected in the past two years is remarkable,” said Vincent. “These students have excelled and are a testament to Elon and classroom learning, plus university-sponsored experiences such as Live Oak Communications and the student ad club under the leadership of Daniel Haygood, plus professional internship experiences. Ciara’ and Simone are deserving of this honor and will make an impact in the advertising industry for years to come. It is a pleasure to be their mentor and nominator.”

Dixon served as an account executive for Live Oak in fall 2015 and was promoted to account supervisor for spring 2016. She has completed two terms as president of Lambda Pi Eta, Elon’s chapter of the national communications honor society. Dixon is also a fourth-year resident assistant and member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.

During summer 2015, Dixon worked as a content marketing intern at Content Mosaic, a content development and consulting agency in New York City. She was hired post-internship to work as an independent contractor.

Jackson is a marketing intern with Elon’s online health magazine, Student Health 101, a MAIP campus ambassador for American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), an internship ambassador for the School of Communications’ Internship Office, and a student-athlete on the university’s track and field team. She also worked as a Live Oak account supervisor.

In February, ​Jackson was selected for 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program and received an internship last summer at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in New York City. She worked with OgilvyOne’s customer engagement strategy team in direct marketing for American Express.

“It will be great to return to New York City after just interning there this past summer,” Jackson said.

The 2016 class of Most Promising Multicultural Students will be honored at the “Building Bridges for Our Future Awards” luncheon on Feb. 17, 2016, at the Roosevelt Hotel.

About Elon's AAF Student Advertising Club

Elon’s AAF Advertising Club is one of more than 200 college chapters with approximately 6,200 student members nationwide. The chapter serves students interested in advertising with opportunities to expand their knowledge and experiences through invited guest speakers, business tours, and professional and social networking events in partnership with industry affiliate members of the AAF and Ad2 organizations.

About Live Oak Communications

Live Oak Communications is Elon University’s student-run strategic communications agency, providing students unique experiences partnering with numerous businesses, nonprofits and organizations to achieve their business goals through targeted, multiplatform strategies and tactics. Live Oak’s capabilities include public relations, advertising, video, web design, social media solutions, graphic design, corporate identity and more.

Tommy Kopetskie,
12/15/2015 8:55 AM