CCNY Welcomes BIC Class of 2021

Another year, another BIC class ready to smash silos, create interdisciplinary magic, and re-invent the communications industry. The BIC Class of 2021 arrived on campus August 22nd for a day of orientation, advising, and tips on networking — as well as celebratory drinks with the Class of 2020.

This year, BIC welcomed 35 students from all across the globe, including Guyana, Mexico, Norway, China, India, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Turkey, and Korea as well as faraway places such as Brooklyn and Hamilton Heights.

BICsters from the Class of 2021 have received degrees from a wide range of illustrious universities from City College to Baruch and John Jay, from Boston University to Wesleyan, from SUNY Binghamton to UCal/Irvine, from Bahcesehir University to Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

In addition to its rich ethnic diversity, this year’s class also has a great gender balance and range of ages – from the early 20s to the mid 40s. Since integration is the future, this year's BICsters are a curious and collaborative bunch. While some enter the program with undergrad degrees in advertising, visual communication design, marketing and communications, most have studied farther afield with degrees in law, psychology, theater, computer information systems, fashion, sociology, English, journalism, entrepreneurship, French, and political science.

The day’s agenda included a design thinking exercise as well as a lecture on networking from the multi-talented Jen Nash, a Creative Director, senior strategist for Fortune 100 companies, real estate maven,  and CEO of a crypto currency company.

New BICsters also had a chance to pick the brains of BIC Alumni Ambassadors Javier Garcia ’15, Andy Kwan, ’16, Dhvani Unadkat ’17, and Natalie Alcide ’19 who fielded questions about BICster life, study, and balance.

The day wrapped up, as usual, with a welcome back mixer at Hogshead Tavern. 

Roxie Rules at Griffin Farley Beautiful Minds

This year, BICsters Roxie Xie '20 and Melissa Julien '18 not only scored coveted slots in the highly competitive Griffin Farley Beautiful Minds Program, but Roxie's team won the pitch.

Created by BBH to honor Strategic Planner Griffin Farley, The Beautiful Minds program (GFBM) is a hybrid planning bootcamp and networking event. Participants in this highly selective program get a free crash course in planning from some of the top planners in the industry. Thirteen teams were selected to participate in this year to crack the brief over the weekend. Participants were tasked with a brief to raise awareness of breast self-examination for early breast cancer diagnosis and to reach 500k downloads of a breast self-examination tool app, "The Daisy Wheel." Only four teams made the finals for the 48-hour Bootcamp and then got to pitch their strategy to the client, the founder of The Get In Touch Foundation who made The Daisy Wheel app. The pitch took place at Facebook here In New York on Tuesday night, July 23rd.

The idea behind Roxie's winning team was #PutHerFirst which aims to get tech-savvy millennial kids to rally their moms to put their breast health first by downloading the Daisy Wheel app. According to Roxie, "This strategy will break the barrier of the awkward breast health conversation to bring kids regardless of gender into the conversation to help the ones who're truly on high-risk--women over the age of 45, to take care of their breast health." Her team consisted of an account planner from BBH, an account intern from BBH, an account planner from Anomaly, a media planner from Horizon Media and Roxie. In addition to winning the GFBM pitch, her team also won the Facebook Impact Award.

At the end of the pitch, mentees were then "auctioned off" at a celebration at Facebook where Roxie was selected by a senior strategist mentor from mcgarrybowen. According to Roxie: "It's been one of a kind experience. BBH was amazing, and the mentor they paired us with was amazing, the mentor action in the mentor thing was amazing too!"

You can see the showcase night here where it was Livestreamed on Facebook.

Roxie and Melissa follow a tradition of BICsters who participate every summer in this competitive program. The first year, Maxime Menant won for Most Culturally Relevant Strategy in 2014.

CMYK Top New Creatives Spring 2019 Spotlights Six BICsters

The CMYK Top New Creatives Showcase 59 has been officially published, featuring four Merit winning campaigns from BIC!

 This season's 130-piece collection of art direction, copywriting, design, illustration, and photography encompasses more than 70 artists from 30 different design programs across the globe.


AD Jose Fresan '20 and CW Melissa Orr '20 were awarded Merits for two campaigns ("Knowledge for the People," Part One and Part Two) on behalf of The New York Public Library, done in Cassondra Bazelow '16 and Caroline Monday's Concept Class.

"Our objective was to get New York City residents who live in an expensive city to join the New York Public Library by showing how it is one of the only free institutions available to them. We borrowed the aesthetic and language of well-known socio-cultural movements in order to emphasize the concept that free knowledge is a symbol of our democracy."


"Following our 'Knowledge for the People' concept, we created four print ads and five extensions to showcase the power of expanding this campaign."

Another Merit winning campaign done on behalf of NYPL called "NYPL Doesn't Cost a Thing" was created by AD Carmela Vecchione '20 and CW Carlos Matias -- also done in Cassondra Bazelow '16 and Caroline Monday's Concept Class.

"Children have playgrounds and adults have Starbucks, but where can Gen Z go when they want to escape? The library is the only place where they can be themselves—they’re not being watched over, told what to do or getting kicked out because they didn’t order anything.

Our print campaign positions the NYPL as an escapist environment where Gen Z can be themselves while getting away from their daily struggles and financial responsibilities. The campaign consists of two print executions and a partnership with the MTA where we created NYPL-branded MetroCards."


The fourth Merit winner -- also done in Cassondra Bazelow '16 and Caroline Monday's Concept Class -- was by AD Diana Arutyunyan '20 and CW William Howard '20. This campaign called "Unwrap Your Inner Child" was on behalf of Hershey's Chocolate.

"Hershey's Chocolate bar has been found to elicit nostalgia associated with childhood. With this campaign, we wanted to show that this association is so influential that it might have a direct impact on your adulthood."

Congrats, BICsters, for being recognized in CMYK New Top Creatives Showcase 59!! Bravo!!!

BICsters Pitch. Diageo Picks. Everyone's a winner. But the prize goes to...

Natalie Ahhhhhlcide is BIC's Fresh Grad for AIGA's 9th Annual NYC Event

Tonight, BIC was proudly represented by Natalie Alcide at AIGA’s 9th Annual Fresh Grad event. She presented her BIC team’s Bailey Ahhhhhhhlmande campaign at The New School on Thursday, June 6th, along with a select company of recently graduated peers from other illustrious local and regional graduate design-oriented programs, including Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, NYU Tisch, SVA’s MPS in Branding, Pratt Institute, and SCAD.

Natalie presented her project as an integrated campaign that inserts the splendor of sacred downtime into the hectic daily life of the urban millennial. She was poised. Professional. Compelling. And funny. One member of the audience, BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag, proclaimed it the best presentation of the evening.

What is Fresh Grad?
 It's a yearly event held by the American Institute of Graphic Arts
(AIGA) that offers graduate design students a chance to present their thesis and represent their school in a public forum to an enthusiastic and supportive audience.

Each graduate has 5 minutes (exactly) to present. This requires students to create tightly edited, timed keynote presentations and lots of practice, practice, practice (no sweat for Natalie)! After the presentations, all graduates take the stage for a moderated Q&A. A light reception was held afterwards.

Congrahhhhhts, Natalie. You rocked it. A real “cherry on top” of a month of amazing accomplishments — including getting your MPS in BIC!!

TLF Celebrates Honorees in Cinci

We're Number 5 -- A Big BIC Bravo to the Class of 2019

This Spring, BIC graduated its 5th cohort, the Class of 2019. Thirty-three students. One singularly sensational class. From India to Georgia. From Brooklyn to the Bronx. Each with a signature giggle, grimace, or grin.  With college degrees as varied as electrical engineering, law, theater, comparative literature, interior design, and African-American studies, they’ve parleyed their BIC expertise into professional positions at places like Google, Catch, Grey, Weber Shandwick, Essence, Universal McCann, and Canvas Blue.

In the past 24 months, their multi-cultural and cross-disciplinary talents have yielded One Show Merits and Client Pitches, five The LAGRANT Foundation scholarships, two Marcus Graham Project fellowships, Grad Symposium First Place Prizes, CMYK Top 100 Creatives honors, a DezMax scholarship, and a Re:Frame fellowship. We celebrated the Class of 2019 not just as graduates of the BIC program, but as visionaries who will lead us into the future with integrity, nimble minds, grit, lots of heart, and good humor.

In the past two years that started at Orientation on August 22, 2017, BIC's 5th cohort learned how to code in a day, make a social impact for Harlem Grown, and helped Sandy Hook Promise engage high schoolers in order to reduce gun violence. This Spring, they created a sweet spot for Bailey’s Almande by living in the NOW and making it by me. They presented like pros at the Diageo Client Pitch -- strategically, persuasively, theatrically. And then when it was over, we all said: Ahhhhhhhhh!

At the graduation celebration on Wednesday, May 29th, the following students were acknowledged for receiving the highest track scores at Tuesday's Portfolio Defense:

Emily Herrera in the Creative Track, with a 7.62 out of 9
Nai Chen Liu in the Management/Planning Track, with an 8.00 out of 9
Matt Hamilton in the Public Relations Track, with an 8.875 out of 9

The following students received certificates for the highest GPAs:

Katie Kistner O’Neal had a 3.85 out of 4.00
Clarissa Moses had a 3.87 out of 4.00
Matt Hamilton had the highest GPA of 3.975 out of 4.00

At our graduation celebration, BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag acknowledged the Class of 2019's tenacity, deep conviction, bravery, and good-heartedness by reading  from Kent Keith’s The Paradoxial Commandments.

"People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you may get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway."

Onward, BIC Class of 2019.

For more photos, please go to our gallery here >>

BICsters Defend 33 Portfolios to 25 Pros

With eleven students defending in each track (Creative, Management/Planning, and Public Relations), BICsters presented digital portfolios that demonstrated both mastery of discipline and interdisciplinary finesse. BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag challenged this year's Class of 2019 to be ambitious in concept and execution. Afterwords, she commented that this year's portfolios were not just spectacular professional presentations of product, process, and personality, but yielded new theories of best practices in the communications industry.

Judged by powerhouse professionals who held students to high standards, this year’s portfolios showcased projects on behalf of Sandy Hook Promise, the United Nations, Diageo's Baileys Almande, the Grove School of Engineering, and the Citibike, among others. The most powerful aspects of the BIC portfolio are not just the amazing real-life projects BICsters work on or the clients that they interact with; it's that students are required to repackage and elevate course material through their own professional lens in ways that spotlight personal strengths and talent. This gives each BICster a truly unique portfolio -- distinct from their classmates as well as within the industry.

Starting at 8:30AM on Tuesday, May 28th, students presented in 25 minute sessions that included 18 minutes of presentation and 7 minutes of judge’s questions, comments, and push back. The judges praised not only the depth of expertise exhibited in the portfolios, but also the students’ passion and professionalism.

Congrats to the Class of 2019: All BICsters passed the Defense and celebrated the following day by marching in the divisional graduation ceremony. Top scoring BICsters in each track were recognized at the BIC Grad party later that day. Honors went to Emily Herrera (Creative), Nai Chen Liu (Management/Planning) and Matt Hamilton (Public Relations). Special thanks to all the BIC faculty who helped support the BICsters throughout their time in the program -- especially the faculty who taught the Portfolio Thesis Electives this year: Katina Scott, Gerardo Blumenkrantz, and Nancy R. Tag.

This year, BIC invited 25 communications professionals to judge in six different sessions. A BIG BIC thanks to them all. You were tireless, considerate, and AWESOME:

Management/Planning:  Singleton Beato, Global Chief of Diversity & Engagement, McCann Worldgroup, Michael Doody, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, The _____ Project, Rolando Leal (BIC '16), Account Supervisor, Ogilvy, John Noe, Founder and CEO, ROKKAN, Stinson Parks, Global Head of Social Media, American Express, Michelle Rowley, Group Planning Director, Deutsch, Liz Scordato, Director of Project Management, Strawberry Frog, Chip Walker, Head of Strategy, Strawberry Frog, Nicole Wasserman, Head of Client Services, PureRED

Public Relations: Abisola Adekoya, CSR Strategist, Salterbaxter, Amber Micala Arnold, Account Director, MWWPR, Diana Friedman (BIC '17), Director of External Affairs, Research to Prevent Blindness, Michael Marinello, former SVP Strategic Comms, Turner, Mitch Markson, Creator, Markson IdeaCraft, Kate McShane, Principal, KLM Communications, Donna Renella, President, ABW Solutions, Bjorn Trowery, Director of Communications & Brand Public Relations, Heineken.

Creative: John Colquhoun, Art Director, Meghan Dailey, ACD, Burns Group, Whitley Edwards, ACD Burns Group, Jake Kahana, Cofounder, Caveday, Michael Parrott, Group Creative Director, mcgarrybowen, Ken Sheldon (BIC '16), Senior Art Director, Weber Shandwick, Ricard Valero, Creative Director, Ogilvy and Mather, Susan Young, Executive Creative Director, BBDO.