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SFA students win top honors at American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Conference

November 16, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University students received top honors at the American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Conference held Nov. 3 and 4. Students from SFA's School of Art, Department of Management and Marketing, and Department of Mass Communication competed during the conference.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Six Stephen F. Austin State University students received top honors at the American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Conference held Nov. 3 and 4.

The federation comprises professionals from advertising, marketing and communications disciplines.

Students from SFA's School of Art, Department of Management and Marketing, and Department of Mass Communication competed during the conference.

SFA students Victor Henson, Houston junior, and Kourtney Williams, San Antonio senior, placed first. Joshua Robertson, Austin junior, placed second. Third-place finishers were seniors Amanda Campbell from Frisco and Jocelyn Paz from Houston, and junior Deon Egenti from Houston.

Three faculty advisors from SFA accompanied the students: Dr. Seth Bradshaw, assistant professor in SFA's Department of Mass Communication; Peter Andrew, professor in the School of Art; and Dr. Marlene Kahla, professor in the Department of Management and Marketing.

San Jacinto College was this year's competition sponsor, and students were tasked with developing advertising campaigns designed to increase enrollment among 22 to 34 year olds.

Dozens of students from 13 universities competed and were divided into 12 teams. Each team was allotted eight hours to create a campaign, which included creative aspects, research, marketing and media plans, and a presentation.

Bradshaw said the conference provided students with real-world application of materials discussed in class, as well as connected them to industry professionals.

"The broader goals of the competition and conference included connecting students to industry professionals and local media organizations," Bradshaw said. "Activities for attendees included a panel discussion from recent college graduates about how to break into the advertising industry, and professionals offered one-on-one feedback to students regarding portfolios and résumés."

Kahla agrees the conference "enables business students to better understand the roles of marketing, communications and art when working on a project."

The conference served as a district-level advertising competition and a precursor for students who plan to compete in the national competition in spring 2018.