MSU alum walks into strategic sector of Campbell Ewald

Posted on: January 18, 2017

In the advertising industry, it can be tricky for students to decide on the concentration that best suits their skillset or interests. From creative to production, account, strategy and more, each team comes together as one to make up an agency and make the magic happen for clients. For 2014 communications grad Ken Walker, he credits a specific class that he took as an undergrad at ComArtSci, ADV 342: “Account Planning and Research,” for pointing him in the direction that led to his position today at Campbell Ewald, an advertising agency in Detroit.

“Initially, I didn’t understand the different departments and their roles in an agency as an undergrad,” said Walker. “I think in order for me to discover my niche, it took different courses that were tailored toward each aspect and component that an agency needs. That makes the ADV courses more valuable, because working as an account person, you learn what every department does, which that in itself has its own value to your growth in this industry.”

“Planning” for the future

After interning as an account executive for a couple years at a local agency in Okemos, Walker landed a position post-graduation as a strategic planner at Campbell Ewald on the Cadillac account. With this role, his hope to “be the voice of the consu14117718_10207414730347698_5314308850025772459_nmer” came to life, for he is now in a department that is more hands-on and he has a bigger input on a campaign’s augmentation.

“I knew right a way that I didn’t want to be an account person after working as an intern, because I wanted to have the ability to give some insight or thought when it comes to creating ads,” said Walker. “If you’re a thinker, I think planning is always a good choice, but if you have some ability to use some level of persuasion, then an approach with more research involved is your saving ground.”

A strategy for strategy

In the words of Walker, strategy is the ability to give an insight from a point-of-view that the client, the account team and creative team hasn’t thought of yet. The challenge of this is that consumer behaviors are constantly evolving, but it’s up to you to find a new, strategic way that makes sense for the campaign’s message and target.

“The key to strategy and planning is curiosity. Your curiosity is what makes you better, and it causes you to always ask ‘why’,” Walker said. “You can challenge research that way, and become more equipped by constantly finding more useful insights out of the data.”

Walker continued, “Strategic planning is all about connecting the dots and bringing everything together. Everybody has an opinion, but you can inspire effective creative in ways that encapsulates everybody’s thoughts if done the right way.”

Life in the agency

The culture in an agency is very different from that of your “average corporate America role,” but Walker states that the fast-paced atmosphere never allows for a dull moment.

“Advertising, as a whole, is an industry that is easy going,” Walker, said. “My favorite thing about working at Campbell Ewald is how highly collaborative it is. The agency is one of the few that promotes an open architecture (which) helps inspire us all, no matter the department.”

Everybody brings their own personal story and skillset to the workplace, too, according to Walker, which makes it a special place to be and create.

“Diversity is important in this industry. (Campbell Ewald is) actively improving the ways that we educate each other about our differences and how they make us who we are,” he said. “I think a lot of the effective work that our agency has created (i.e. the recent Find Your Words campaign for Kaiser Permanente) has been mindful of different cultural tensions, because ultimately we want to compete with culture, not advertising.”

Advice for the aspiring

Just like many students toward the end of their college careers, Walker felt lost in terms of how to approach finding where he belonged in the advertising industry. Based on his experiences, he has a couple of useful tips for students that are about to graduate.

“I can attest that MSU has the best advertising department. It is both robust and challenging, which will teach and prepare you for all aspects of this industry,” said Walker. “The courses are there to help you find your way, but you must be resourceful.”

Walker states that it is up to the student to define their future.

“It’s your job to be proactive enough to talk to your professors on a personal level, because you are part of a network where Spartans are literally all over the world. If you learn how to be resourceful and proactive at such a young age in college, that persistence is only going to help you build life-long useful connections.”

For more information about Campbell Ewald and the work they do, visit here.

By Emmy Virkus

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MSU ComArtSci to honor alumni and industry professionals at annual awards ceremony

Posted on: January 16, 2017

While their careers vary, one word describes a group of alumni and industry professionals associated with the MSU College of Communications Arts and Sciences: extraordinary.

This spring, alumni, faculty and friends will be recognized for their exemplary achievements at "The Celebration”, the College’s annual alumni awards ceremony and strolling dinner on Saturday, April 8, in the WKAR Studios located in the ComArtSci Building, 404 Wilson Road, East Lansing, Mich.

UnknownSeven alumni will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award, an honor which recognizes
ComArtSci graduates who have obtained the highest level of professional or academic achievement and demonstrated service to the college and community.

A journalism graduate will receive the Rising Star Award, which honors an alumnus or alumna who graduated within the past 10 years and has a strong record of accomplishment and service to the community.

Recipients will also be recognized with the college's Honorary Alumni Award and Faculty Impact Award.

"These exceptional people are deserving of high praise and exemplify Spartans Will," said telecommunications alumnus and ComArtSci Alumni Board President Phil Bertolini. "Their ongoing achievements in communication arts and sciences engage communities, affect the lives of individuals, and make a difference in today's world through creative thought, innovation and research. We are proud of all they have accomplished, and look forward to showcasing their successes through this special celebration."

Selected annually by the ComArtSci Alumni Board, the 2017 alumni award recipients are:

Outstanding Alumni

  • Haz Alwattar, B.A. '86 Telecommunication, Vice President of Content, Univision Radio
  • Lois Bernstein, B.A. '73 Communication, Chief Community Executive, MultiCare Health SystemKathy
  • Kathy Foltner, M.A. '76 Audiology and Speech Sciences, President of Foltner Consulting; Adjunct Faculty, Rush University Medical Center
  • Rackeline Hoff, B.A. '65 Advertising, City Commissioner, Birmingham, Mich.
  • Amy McGraw, B.A. '89 Telecommunication, Vice President of Marketing, Tropical Financial Credit Union
  • Jeff Sinelli, B.A. '90 Communication, Founder, CEO, and Chief Vibe Officer, Which Wich, Inc.
  • Tim Staudt, B.A. '71 Journalism, Sports Director, WILX TV; Radio Host, Staudt on Sports

Rising Star

  • Jon Erickson, B.A. '08 Journalism and Finance, Honors; Reporter, ABC 15, Phoenix

Honorary Alumni

  • David and Sarah Taft, Ph.D. '63 Natural Science (Chemistry/Teaching)/ B.A. '62 Arts and Letters (English)

Faculty Impact

  • To be announced in late February

Online registration for the "The Celebration" will open in late February. For more information, go to

MSU Federal Credit Union is the premier sponsor of the event, reflecting their commitment to MSU alumni, the pursuit of excellence and community engagement.

"The Celebration" is one of several events during ComArtSci Awards Week, April 5-9. For a complete list of ceremonies honoring students, alumni, faculty and friends, visit

About the MSU Federal Credit Union

MSU Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest university-based credit union, offers a full range of personal — and business-related — financial services to Michigan State University and Oakland University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and their families worldwide, in addition to a variety of select employee groups. Founded in 1937 by MSU professors, MSUFCU has 17 branches, nearly 230,000 members, more than $3.3 billion in assets, and over 730 employees. In 2016, MSUFCU was recognized as the #1 Top Workplace in the large employer category by the Detroit Free Press, as well as one of Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads. Also in 2016, MSUFCU was selected as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, receiving the Michigan Business Professional Association’s top honor of Elite Overall – Best of the Best award. MSUFCU has a national reputation for excellence, and was recognized in 2016 as fifth in the nation for its financial education program by the National Youth Involvement Board.

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ComArtSci alumnus Geoff Johns named President & Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment

Posted on: December 9, 2016

Many people dream of turning their passions into a career. For Geoff Johns, his love of comic books and their iconic characters - Superman, Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern - was all the fuel he needed to pursue a career in media and entertainment.

In 2016, Johns hit superhero status at DC Entertainment when he was promoted to president and chief creative officer of the company. Johns is now leading a new era for the DC Universe, revamping the stories of his favorite childhood superheroes - including Wonder Woman, who will be at the center of the first female-powered superhero movie, set to release in summer 2017.


Geoff Johns

Becoming Geoff Johns
Johns graduated from Michigan State University in 1995 and studied media arts, screenwriting, film production and film theory. As a student, he took advantage of the unique opportunities at MSU, from film club to physics classes.

“I’ll set aside the fact that it’s a beautiful campus, that the culture is amazing, that it has the biggest comic book collection in the world, which is awesome,” Johns told us, while reflecting on his time at MSU.  “But, the thing that was so valuable to me is that you find that whatever you’re interested in, they have something for it.”

Johns was drawn to classes in film and media production, and crashed MSU’s library of comic books, as he worked to develop a better knowledge of film, screenplays and characters. He also found value in the basics like economics and physics, ultimately preparing him for the business side of his budding career.

Two physics classes in particular made a lasting impact. “The physics of light and color and the physics of sound. Those two classes were really valuable to me both in my storytelling as a writer, as well as in production, because they actually taught me how light works, how color works, how we interpret sound and how sound works.”

He continued, “If you want to be a screenwriter, my advice would be don’t just take writing (classes). You need to study production, accounting, history, everything that you think will help you tell your story. I think that the more you can broaden your horizons the better, and you can do that at MSU.”

Meanwhile, across the country...
After college, Johns started his career in Los Angeles, working as an intern alongside the original Superman director, Richard Donner. He later became an assistant to Donner, wrote alongside him, and picked up industry insights along the way. In his professional career, Johns has become one of the most decorated comic book writers of his time. He has written highly acclaimed stories starring Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Teen Titans and Justice Society of America and is a New York Times best selling author for his comics.

As a hero in the halls of his office, Johns will play a crucial role in DC Entertainment’s current rebirth, aiming to bring DC Comics back to the basics and focus on storytelling first. Ultimately, striving to minimize the gap that lies between diehard fans and movie critics.

“At the end of the day, the thing I’m most interested in and the thing I’m most passionate about is story and character," said Johns.

One idea Johns picked up from Donner that stuck with him is the concept of superheroes as “healthy junk food,” promoting a positive message while also entertaining. Johns told us that Donner believed, "you never do entertainment under the guise of a message, you do a message under the guise of entertainment. Whether it’s Superman’s inspiration and hope, or Batman’s justice - they all have these wonderful moral qualities to them and I think that’s why people respond to these characters so much."

According to Johns, superheroes aren’t just fun to watch. It’s more about why they do what they do and how they do it that matters and is exciting to the viewer. When asked what superhero was most like him, he said it changes everyday.

“There are some days where you think you feel like Batman, where the world is dark and you have to fight back. There are days when you want to inspire like Superman. I’d say (I’m most like) Green Lantern. I love Green Lantern, I wrote him for 9 years, he’s all about willpower and perseverance and that’s how I got to where I am. I’ve got a lot of willpower and perseverance and I love what I do. And if you want to succeed that’s what you need to have.”

Wisdom built and shared
Perseverance, willpower and the ability to learn from past mistakes are all traits of popular superheroes - and even Johns himself. These traits have allowed him to face challenges head-on, working and learning as his career progressed.

“The truth is that the hurdles that I’ve faced in business and in my career have just been learning experiences. There are times when you try a new project and it doesn’t work or you’re working with someone and the chemistry isn’t producing the best work,” Johns told us. “Any kind of hurdle or challenge, as long as you keep working at it and try to learn from it, it’s ultimately a very good thing.”

Johns’ positive outlook on professional experiences - good or bad - has helped him to grow in his career. Never expecting a handout, always working for everything he’s received, Johns set out to prove himself and encourages current students to do the same.

“Being in the real world, in the job, you’re not going to be promoted just because you’ve been there a year. It’s not like school where you move on and you move up. You’ve got to prove yourself. You’ve got to work hard,” said Johns. “I loved Michigan State. I got so much from it and learned so much from my time there. And the one thing that they can’t teach you is when you’re in it. Get out here and really be a part of it.”

Sparty the next superhero?
Johns gave us some insight into what Sparty might look like as a comic book character, sharing how he would draw him.

“If we were going to draw him, he’d be as broad as Superman, maybe a little taller. We might want to give him a flowing cape, a green cape would be cool. I think he’d definitely be on the Justice League, though. He’s kind of a cross between a superhero and Popeye.”

And we’re sure that just like Johns, Sparty’s superhero would show the world how Spartans Will.

By Nikki W. O'Meara


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Online strategic communication degree empowers working professionals

Pretty woman is working in a café

Organizations seek out the abilities. Professionals strive for the knowledge and skills. And starting Spring 2017, the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences will welcome its first class into a new online master’s program, convenient for working professionals, on strategic communications.

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication represents the first time the College has offered a degree program 100 percent online. The program responds to the needs of professionals through its flexible delivery as well as through content that addresses the challenges of a 21st century communication environment.

"Given the rapidly changing communication ecosystem, mid-career professionals are eager for training to update their skills," says Prabu David, Dean of the College of ComArtSci. "Currently, communication professionals, including our own alumni, do not have rich, in-state options to learn new media techniques. This new online M.A. in strategic communication fills that gap."

Students in the nine-course, 30-credit program will examine how to leverage today's evolving media and digital mix into an integrated marketing and communications strategy for businesses, start-ups, non-profits or government agencies. Expert faculty will handle all aspects of course content and bring expertise in corporate messaging, news and information, fundamental communication processes, audience research and data analytics, and new technologies. Students will also complete a service-learning project that enables them to apply their newly acquired expertise within a community setting.

"The College of ComArtSci has long-standing leadership in an integrated theory-to-practice orientation toward effective communication strategy and tactics," says John Sherry, associate dean of for graduate studies in ComArtSci. "There is no other college in the world with such broad and deep coverage of these issues."

Students can complete courses and requirements from anywhere, anytime and at their own pace in one to three years. The program is ideally suited for working professionals with three to five years of experience in communications as well as for business and communication entrepreneurs. Students will also have opportunity to collaborate with other online learners, further enhancing their professional network.

"The ability for individuals to be located anywhere and enroll in this master's program is a distinct advantage," says ComArtSci Alum April M. Clobes, president and CEO of the MSU Federal Credit Union. "Being able to complete the program while working full-time is also essential for long-term success. MSU's high rankings in the field of communications along with excellent faculty, will make this a highly sought after degree."

The program is currently accepting applications and no GRE is required. To learn more about MSU's new online master's degree program in strategic communication through the College of ComArtSci, visit or contact the program director at

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Journalism Grad Pursuing Career in Storytelling, Human Rights

Posted on: April 25, 2016

journalism graduate Irum IbrahimBy Kelsey Block

Recent journalism graduate Irum Ibrahim has always had a passion for storytelling. She began her college career studying business at Oakland University, but she soon switched to Michigan State to pursue journalism.

"I always knew I loved it, so I was fighting against myself," she said.

As a student, Ibrahim worked at The State News and The Red Cedar Log. During the summer of 2015, she also worked as an editorial intern for Hour Media's DBusiness Magazine. She wrote and edited stories that were published online as well as in the daily newsletter.

Ibrahim's most memorable day on the job was the day HGTV's "Rehab Addict" star Nicole Curtis visited Detroit to give a tour of a mansion she was remodeling.

"It was hands-on type of work. I was able to ask questions alongside the Detroit News and Free Press and Channel 4," she said.

She first heard of the opportunity with DBusiness through an email sent by journalism professor LA Dickerson.

"I had just finished the State News and a documentary, so this was the next thing," Ibrahim said. "I wanted to dabble with all sorts of journalism. I had done print and video and this would be magazine."

Ibrahim received the Susan B. Goldman Journalism Internship Award in connection with her time at DBusiness.

"I don't know how hard it would have been without that because my internship was unpaid and because I was taking classes, I didn't have any other income," she said. "It was really helpful to have that scholarship."

Now working full time, Ibrahim offered some advice for ComArtSci students: build as many connections as possible.

"Talk to your professors every opportunity you get. Go to office hours whenever you have a relevant question," she said. "Make sure you know what you want so you can have a narrow vision when you're looking for career opportunities. It will be easier to find something you appreciate and enjoy that will help you in the future with your career goals."

For Ibrahim, those goals include traveling and writing about human rights. She currently works as a communications and outreach coordinator for Muslim Family Services in Detroit and as a blogger for The Huffington Post.

"What I'm doing right now is helping me get where I ultimately want to be, which is working in the human rights area of journalism," she said.

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Journalism Alumnus Reflects on Journalism Program and College Experience

Posted on: April 5, 2016

landeskogReporter for ESPN and journalism alum Craig Custance has been in sports reporting for over 10 years. “I have no idea what I’d be doing otherwise,” he said.

Custance said that studying journalism at Michigan State at the time was outstanding; “the best part for me, was being able to learn from a staff that had real world experience and was able to share it in a very relatable way.” He said he was very inspired by the faculty, “the wide range of influences was invaluable to me as I began to shape my career.”

“One of the advantages Michigan State has is a prominent athletic department so I was able to learn sports journalism on a fairly big stage,” said Custance, “you’re covering Big Ten athletics and there are news outlets looking for help doing all aspects of it.”

His first paid job as a journalism student came from ESPN. Custance said that he just had to hold the camera cords on the sideline of a football game, but “was able to make contacts I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.” Covering all the different sports at Michigan State across all media platforms was invaluable preparation.

“The Michigan State family is a tight one and I don’t go a week without running into another MSU grad,” said Custance, “there’s a natural inclination among Spartans to want to try and help one another succeed that I’m not sure exist at other colleges.”

Even one of his first job offers (from USA Today), came because of a Michigan State connection. “The friendships I made while at Michigan State are still people in the industry I remain in contact with,” he said.

His circle of friends while attending Michigan State includes professionals in Fox Sports, the Free Press, and even Yahoo! “It was a great group,” Custance said, “half of them lived on the same floor with me as a sophomore, I’m proud of their success.”

Custance has helped students as an alumnus in different ways. He was one of the panelists who spoke to students in Detroit last fall and was also at the annual Spartan Sports Journalism Classic. “Inevitably, I end up enjoying the process as much as the students. The Classic is an incredible networking event where I still learn new things about the business from other MSU grads,” he said, “there’s value in attending, not just for students, but those of us in the business.”

He noted that the landscape for journalism students now is vastly different from the one he studied in. “There’s a platform now for anybody to gain viewership if they’re talented and motivated,” he said, “for me to get something I wrote read by the public, it had to be printed in a magazine or newspaper.”

Now students can create something, promote it on social; media without any connection to a media company. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” Custance said.

By Rachel Tang, Public Relations Account Executive & Journalism Senior

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Alumni Exhibit Work at ArtPrize

Posted on: September 30, 2014

McRay002-wpSix College of Communication Arts and Sciences alumni have pieces exhibited at this year's ArtPrize. The entries range from a variety of mediums, and showcase both talent and innovation.

ArtPrize is an annual art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., that pulls in talent from all over the world. This year's event, which started Sept. 24 and runs through Oct. 12, includes 1,537 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states.

Great Felt Lakes

Nancy McRay, a 1997 Advertising graduate, used industrial felt to cut out the outline of the Great Lakes and dyed the edges blue for her entry, "Great Felt Lakes." The goal of the piece is to make people think about their connection to Michigan and the Great Lakes and to bring back memories of their past.

McRay is inviting the public to write notes of memories of times spent in Michigan and with the Great Lakes and attach the notes with push pins to the hand-cut felt.

"The first time I tried to show the lakes to a group of people, I noticed they were so busy pointing to the places they remember as special - cottages, first dates, camping trips, etc., that I couldn't get their attention," McRay said. "Realizing that this is exactly my goal, I gave them all pieces of paper, and requested they write down their memory and pin it to the spot."

"Great Felt Lakes" can be seen at Grapids, 1170 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, Mich.


Photographer Christina Harrison, a 2012 Advertising graduate, is showcasing her work at ArtPrize for the first time with three black-and-white framed photographs of horses, titled "Sense." The photos were taken at the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center.

"That place is a treasure I'm so glad I discovered in my years as an undergrad," Harrison said about the Horse Teaching and Research Center. "I visited quite often, camera in hand, for the change of pace I felt in connecting with the horses."

Harrison's entry can be found at the Boardwalk GR Condominiums, 940 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich.

"It feels a little surreal to see my photographs hung around so much great artwork and to be a part of something so big," Harrison said.


Michael Carlson, a 1982 Advertising alumnus, has a black-and-white photograph, titled "Chicago," that is printed on metal.

The photo, taken in 2010, looks across Lake Michigan through the mist at the Chicago skyline. It includes a tall ship, which harkens back to a time when there were 50 residents living beside the Chicago River on Lake Michigan. The scene invites the viewer to consider the growth of the city.

Carlson's entry can be seen at the Women's City Club, 254 East Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, Mich.

2014 Grand Island Ice Caves

Photographer Todd Reed, a 1971 Journalism alumnus, traveled to Grand Island in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in March 2014 with his son and fellow photographer Brad Reed to photograph the ice caves that had formed there. Their 2014 ArtPrize entry includes three photographs from this expedition.

Each of the three photographs show a different perspective of being inside the Grand Island ice caves with the sun shining through and reflecting off the mineral rich ice curtains that formed from the rocky cliffs above.

The photographs can be seen at the First (Park) Congregational Church, 10 E. Park Place NE, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Meaning of Home

Matthew Muscat, a 2011 graduate with a master's degree in Communication, worked alongside his colleagues at Tredstone Funding to create "The Meaning of Home" for this year's ArtPrize.

Tredstone Funding is a mortgage company that used 500 photographs of clients, family members and friends to create the piece.

"We wanted it to be interactive and to convey a sense of community," Muscat said. "We had this idea last year, but it was too late to start creating it. We are very proud to have it in this year's competition."

"The Meaning of Home" is located outside the Tredstone Funding building, 25 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids, Mich.

[TRUE] Journalism: Windows to Michigan

Cory Morse, a 2000 Journalism alumnus and current staff photographer for MLive and The Grand Rapids Press, worked with his colleagues to create "[TRUE] Journalism: Windows to Michigan."

The photo collage, which covers the windows of the MLive Media Group building, stresses the importance of truth in journalism and showcases images symbolizing the connection to the community, from patriotic images, to community and culture, to ArtPrize imagery.

The MLive Media Group building is located at 169 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich.

More ArtPrize Information

The public is encouraged to view and vote on the art by using mobile devices or the web. Last year, ArtPrize attracted 400,000 visitors and 446,850 votes were cast.

To vote, you must sign up for an account. Once you are signed up, you need to visit ArtPrize during the event and register to vote in person. You can do this by registering at the ArtPrize HUB, any exhibition center or any voting site, or you may use the ArtPrize mobile app.

For more information, see the ArtPrize website.

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Grandparents University Registration Begins Dec. 17

Posted on: December 10, 2013

Grandparents-UniversityMSU's Grandparents University is a program for grandparents and grandchildren (ages 8-12) to come together for a three-day educational experience along the banks of the Red Cedar.

Participants enjoy the college experience by spending the night in residence halls, attending classes across campus and sampling the many highlights of MSU. Grandparents University gives alumni a chance to relive their college days while exploring campus and creating lifelong memories with their grandchildren.

The 2014 Grandparents University takes place June 24-26.

Online registration opens to the public starting Tuesday, Dec. 17. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited based on classroom capacity and equipment availability. This program sells out every year, so be sure to register early. The promise of the Grandparents University experience makes a great gift for the holidays!

For more details, please visit the Grandparents University website. Questions? Please contact CAS Alumni Relations Coordinator Rachael Zylstra at or call 517-432-7207.

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Vote for 2012 Grad: Top 10 Finalist for Beverage Design

Posted on: October 21, 2013

Megan-Barry-2A CAS alumna's package design for Space Saver juices, teas and lemonades has been nominated for Beverage Industry magazine's Top Beverage Package of 2013.

Megan Barry, a 2012 Advertising grad who works as a graphic designer for Trungale, Egan & Associates (TE+A) in Chicago, helped design the Space Saver packaging, which was selected as a top 10 finalist in the Beverage Industry competition.

The editors of Beverage Industry selected the 10 finalists after examining dozens of innovative beverage packages launched this year. Now, the magazine is asking the public for help in choosing the top beverage package of 2013 by going to the Beverage Industry website and voting for the top package.

Each person is allowed only one vote. Voting ends Tuesday, Oct. 29, and the winners will be announced in Beverage Industry's December 2013 issue.

"My creative director and I designed the (Space Saver) side panel, which I used to develop the rest of the design. I then took that look and feel to the collateral pieces - Point of Sales, Pocket Folders, 3D Renders,'s ecommerce site, social media headers, etc.," Barry said. "Being named among the top 10 finalists for Best Package of 2013 is amazing. Seeing Space Saver up there with brands like Budweiser and Pepsi is surreal. It's a great feeling to know that everyone's hard work is being noticed."

Barry began working for TE+A with a three-month internship that turned into a full-time position. She has been working full time with the company as a graphic designer for one year.

Space-Saver_Peach-Tea_inbodySpace Saver, a product of consumer beverage manufacturer Leahy-IFP, worked with TE+A to launch its new fridge-pack beverage line. From brand creation and packaging design of the 5-liter bag-in-box container to product video, ecommerce site and support collateral, TE+A created a fully integrated product launch for this direct to consumer campaign.

Barry currently is working on logo concepts for a new food and beverage distribution company as well as creating assets for a trade show and finishing up a website.

"My time at Michigan State, especially in CAS, has helped so much with my career. I use skills that I learned in every class, every day. I actually wish I would have kept a lot of my books from those classes because I am always trying to refer back to them," Barry said. "Thanks to CAS, I can design, edit, do (basic) coding and make kick-ass presentations."

Check out Barry's work and her competition here. Yes, Spartans Will.


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2013 MSU Grand Awards Honor Two CAS Alumni

Posted on: October 15, 2013

2013-Grand-AwardsWhen the CAS Alumni Board convened for its fall meeting last Friday, Dean Pamela Whitten initiated a big round of applause for our own Roger Tremblay. Tremblay earned both bachelor's ('70) and master's ('71) degrees in Advertising and serves on the CAS Alumni Board.

The night before, Tremblay received the MSU Alumni Association's Alumni Service Award, along with fellow CAS alumnae Lauren Aitch, a 2010 Advertising and Design graduate who received a Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

The honors were part of the 2013 MSUAA Grand Awards. These awards are presented to alumni "who have demonstrated continuing outstanding volunteer service to MSU and/or meritorious public service on a local, state, national or international level. Candidates must possess the highest standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of MSU."

Alumni Roger TremblayTremblay, who grew up in the Detroit area, spent more than 35 years in the media industry working in sales management and general management for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Texas Monthly, Chicago Magazine and the Media Networks division of Time, Inc. He later partnered to form Kelly/Tremblay & Company, which became the largest single-office independent representative firm in the United States. He joined Allen Austin Global Executive Search in May 2008, establishing a successful practice in marketing communications, advertising and media. In 2013, he formed PointClear Search with partner David Dietze, formerly of Google and AOL

Tremblay has served on the executive board of directors of the Texas Travel Industry Association, the board of the Dallas chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the board of the Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter of the MSU Alumni Association and is the past president of the Dream Fund, a southwest-based charity that serves the advertising and media communities. He is also a tireless mentor of CAS students, working closely with our CAS Career Services team to ensure our students are well positioned to succeed upon graduation.

Lauren AitchWhile at MSU, Lauren Aitch followed in her father's footsteps by playing basketball from 2005 until 2010 when she graduated with her bachelor's degree. Upon receiving her master's degree in Public Relations, she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark to continue playing basketball as a professional. That's also where she began designing her first line of clothing, Lady Aitch Copenhagen. Her clothing line made its runway debut at the first annual Aitch Foundation Hidden Key Fashion Show held at Spartan Stadium.

The Aitch Foundation generates funding for research into early detection devices for all forms of cancer. Most recently, The Aitch Foundation partnered with MSU to begin a $15,000 match program for creation of a $30,000 grant to fund an Aitch Fellow at MSU. The fellowship will be awarded to graduate students whose work will expand hidden cancer detection research, or research in a related field. Today, Aitch runs The Aitch Foundation, as well as Lady Aitch Designs and Our Own Products, both Lansing-based businesses.

Congratulations to both Roger Tremblay and Lauren Aitch for exemplifying Spartans Will!

Listen to alumni award winners here, including Tremblay and Aitch.

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