The American Advertising Federation of Northeast Tennessee (AAF-NETN) has awarded academic scholarships for the first time, to Milligan student Gloria Vazquez and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) student Olivia Page. The awards were announced by AAF-NETN’s education co-chairs: Dr. Carrie Swanay, chair of Milligan College performing, visual, and communicative arts; and Art Brown, Milligan College assistant professor of graphic design. The scholarships are given for the 2016-2017 academic year.
“We’re excited about the new scholarship initiative offered by our local chapter,” Swanay said. “In addition to the scholarship awards, each student will receive a free one-year membership to AAF-NETN. This gives students the opportunity to network and will help them get to know local industry professionals.”
Vazquez, a sophomore at Milligan College, is pursuing a career in graphic design. “I have always enjoyed creating art since I could hold a pencil,” Vazquez said. “It made my day when I would show friends and family a sketch, and they would be surprised with what I had drawn. Graphic design is a career that communicates a message through the arts, and I want to create designs that could change the world.”
The first of her family to attend college, Vazquez sees this as a real opportunity. “This scholarship will greatly help me to continue my work as a graphic designer and meet designers in this region,” she said. “Since the scholarship was determined by the quality and uniqueness of the student’s online portfolio, I was nervous about developing mine for the first time. When I knew that I had impressed the AAF-NETN panel, it gave me more confidence toward my work.”
“I chose the field of media and communications because of the impact it can make on people’s lives,” Page said. “I love to engage and be present with the people around me, and I believe communications can provide an opportunity to do that. Whether working for a corporation’s next campaign or creating a press release for a new children’s hospital unveiling, there is always a new challenge in front of you to make a difference in the piece you are working on.
“I realized early that this field is the perfect blend of creativity and organization,” Page added. “That is a big reason why I enjoy it so much. These characteristics are what really led me to this field.” Upon graduation, Page plans to pursue graduate school and earn her master’s degree.
“Our local club is proud to provide deserving students with additional resources to further their education in our industry,” says club president, Samara Bolling, who is the director of integrated marketing and insights for Ntara. “Our affiliation with area colleges and faculty allows us to stay involved and see new young professionals enter the field of advertising.”
Dr. Stephen Marshall, chair of the ETSU department of media and communication, agreed. “AAF-NETN has always been amazing and supportive of student outcomes,” Marshall said. “I don’t know another group that is more focused on education.”
AAF-NETN meets monthly to provide speakers and workshops as continuing education for local professional members and the community.