Posted February 25, 2016
Public Relations senior Cameron Kirksey was recognized as one of the 50 Most Promising Multicultural Students (MPMS) in the nation by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) at a ceremony in New York February 15-18.
Designed to promote diversity and inclusion within the advertising and marketing-related industries, Kirksey is the 26th student from the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications to win the award since its inception in 1997.
Kirksey is a Dean’s List student and a member of the USC Student Ad Federation (SAF) and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She has held internships with several agencies, including Confetti Events, where she assisted in the planning, implementation and production of weddings, and The Reynolds Group, where she created and facilitated press releases and other material for clients.
Dr. Shirley Staples Carter recommended Kirksey for the award. Kirksey's performance in her public relations management class, coupled with her prior academic accomplishments, is what caught Dr. Carter's attention. “Although she is a public relations major, Cameron already has experience in integrated marketing communications from several internships that exposed her to the integrated nature of advertising, marketing and public relations,” Carter said.
Professor Bonnie Drewniany, head of the advertising sequence and advisor to the SAF, said the school has had a student win the award 19 of the 20 years and that Cameron is truly deserving to be counted among them. She said, “I’m so impressed by Cameron’s intellect and passion for our business. She’s destined for great things.”
As an award recipient, Kirksey’s four-day celebration and networking event included a tour of some of the biggest advertising agencies in New York, panel discussions on how to succeed in the industry and a national job fair.
Kirksey said the experience further inspired her to follow her passion and reinforced the importance of hard work. “Everyone has a different path, but when you’re passionate about something, your dreams will come to fruition,” she said. “I am thankful for the experiences and for the forever friends that the MPMS has given me.”
The AAF is the oldest advertising trade association. The 2016 class of Most Promising Multicultural Students was selected by judges representing DigitasLBi, ESPN, General Mills, GSD&M, Lapiz, Omnicom Media Group, Omnicom Group, Razorfish and Wieden+Kennedy. The students were selected through a vetted application process that included essays, letters of recommendation, resumé and specific academic requirements.