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AAF seeksto boost number of students involved

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Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 8:16 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

As higher education grows and diversifies in Central Texas, a new feature it may develop is a strong student affiliation with the American Advertising Federation to help grow a more sophisticated class of advertising and marketing professionals.

That's the hope of AAF-Central Texas president-elect Randy McCauley and other leaders of the group. They invited AAF 10th District second lieutenant governor Blake Goldston of Amarillo to describe the district's educational programs at a luncheon meeting last week.

Goldston is president of Money Mailer of Amarillo. The 10th District consists of 29 local groups in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma; many of them sponsor student affiliates in a program that began in the 1970s.

McCauley is also the recently-named marketing director of Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

Goldston said that a student program here would be joining a winning team.

"If the teams of any of our schools were in any other district, any one of them would be in the top two or three," he said.

Top winners in National Student Advertising Competitions have included San Antonio College, the University of Houston and Texas Tech University. Teams from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University at San Marcos and Southern Methodist University each have won twice. He said Texas Christian University teams have won the school lasting national recognition.

"Any professional in the field should see student competitions when they get a chance," he said. "Often, they're as good as any professional project."

He described a project for Century Council, a nonprofit distillers' organization, to target binge drinking on college campuses. The Century Council was sponsoring a nationwide competition to develop ways to combat underage drinking and drunk driving.

"The students found that red cups were a trigger for binge drinking," Goldston said. "And it's remarkable how the students will all find marketing errors made by the same companies.

"Literally, we've seen careers made at a young age through involvement with our programs."

Teams are usually formed with faculty sponsors, and McCauley invited A&M-Central Texas admission specialist and mobile admission coordinator Regina Waddle and assistant director of enrollment services Rocky Rubalcava to listen to Goldston and start conversations about AAF on campus.

He also invited Ted Barnes, dean of the college of visual and performing arts. Barnes had a prior commitment on the day of the luncheon but expressed great interest.

"The AAF has the annual ADDY awards, and students can enter competition at a discount," he said. "UMHB has a graphic design program that requires an internship, and students have to find their own places. An affiliation with AAF would make that easier."

Aside from competitive teams, AAF-CT has always welcomed students in all the professional disciplines they encompass, including production, sales or purchase of advertising, marketing or public relations. The club recruits members from Temple to Copperas Cove and the surrounding areas and is inviting involvement from every post-secondary school in the area. Waco has its own chapter and is already involved with Baylor students.

"This kind of work would enhance any advertising or marketing degree. It highlights new talent and helps students start networking for jobs in their fields. It shows them what else there is to learn in the 'real world' and how to apply their skills in practice. Also, in competition, it will help them to compare features of this market with metropolitan areas," McCauley said.

The AAF 10th District has a Foundation for Advertising Education that supports faculty, student and institutional initiatives in research, professional development and other programs. In regional competition, the district has hosted as many as 18 teams annually leading to the national competition.

Contact Don Bolding at dbolding@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7557.

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