Iona College Media & Strategic Communication Students Win National Advertising Award

Class wins “Best Bold Idea” award in American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition

Student Achievements, Iona Students Learn Outside The Lines

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.  — In a first for Iona College, students in the 2021 Media & Strategic Communication Department’s Advertising Campaigns class won the “Best Bold Idea” award in the prestigious American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. An exceptional representation of the College’s brand promise to “Learn Outside the Lines,” these Iona students gained invaluable experience beyond the classroom as they presented an innovative creative campaign for the dating app Tinder.

Consisting of eight Media & Strategic Communication majors concentrating in advertising and two marketing majors from the LaPenta School of Business, the Advertising Campaigns class battled in the especially competitive Northeast region, going head-to-head with a group of opponents that included much larger universities such as George Washington University, Pace University and St. John’s University.

“Matched against teams with considerably more student participants, Iona truly pulled off a ‘David vs. Goliath’ feat,” said Dr. Tony Kelso, chair of the Media & Strategic Communication Department. “Speaking on behalf of two great departments on campus, I extend a huge congratulations to this group of winning students for their winning accomplishment.”

Long-time advertising senior art director and adjunct instructor Marc Garbarini mentored the class. Garbarini also teaches at the New York branch of one of the most highly recognized advertising training schools in the country, the Miami Ad School.

Other Media & Strategic Communication adjunct faculty supported the effort as well, including seasoned senior integrated marketing account manager Sean Creighton and Facebook social media expert Bridget Bogee. Full-time faculty members Dr. Zeynep Altinay and Dr. Tony Kelso were also present to assist students as needed.

The student team was led by Media & Strategic Communication major Brianna Marchionda, who designed the presentation, as well as students Enjay Brown, Veronica Sowinski, Michaela Kayal and Mohamed Mushib, who pitched the campaign to the panel of judges comprised of prominent players from the advertising industry. Other student participants included Erica Diaz, Promise Jimenez, Natalie Kaizer, Moriah Raysor, Delano Townsend and Sebastian Vitolo.

“I am so proud of the tenacity and creativity demonstrated by our students,” said Dr. Kelso. “Not only did they overcome the challenges of working through the pandemic, but they went above and beyond to fulfill Iona’s longstanding legacy of excellence and innovation.”

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2021.” Iona University also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the University’s new campus in Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences offers a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care. On July 1, 2022, Iona officially changed its status from College to University, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.