THE NON-PROFIT CAPSTONE CAMPAIGN for The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

12/18/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

It's a hallmark of the BIC curriculum: tackling a communications challenge for a not-for-profit client. This fall, students hit the trifecta: a client of substance (The Colin Powell School here at City College), a mission of profound meaning (positioning the school as a place where human rights issues are central to its brand character), and TIMELINESS (leveraging its Spring symposium "Women and the Veil" which explores issues surrounding religious intolerance, women's rights, and immigration).

On December 17th, student teams lead by Professor Douglas Davis pitched the results: three 360-degree integrated marketing communications campaigns that built on existing brand equity and delivered compelling communications materials for a strategic rollout of events the school has planned throughout 2016.

Dr. Vincent Boudreau, Dean of the Colin Powell School, was invited to hear each pitch and judge campaign presentations: "Better Possible," "You're the Leader," and "Look Past the Noise." After evaluating all three campaigns, Dean Boudreau declared team Kaleidoscope's "Look Past the Noise" campaign the winner.

The following are sample comps from the December presentation.

Linda Kaplan Thaler gets GRITTY

11/17/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Illustrious CCNY alum, Chair of Publicis New York, and bestselling author Linda Kaplan Thaler returned to campus for an engaging Lunch w/Leaders chat in front of an SRO crowd of students, faculty, and members of the CCNY community. Recipient of City College degrees in both psychology and music, Linda was recently inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame and was named one of Ad Age’s  “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising.”  As a committed alumna of the college, Linda sits on the boards of both the Colin Powell School as well as the Master’s program in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC). She received the Townsend Harris Medal in 2005.

Ms. Kaplan Thaler’s topic, “Success is a Four Letter Word,” was based on her latest book, Grit to Great, which draws upon ground-breaking research as well as her own experiences. As a proud Bronx native and CCNY alum who now oversees a multi-billion dollar agency with over 800 employees, Linda's own story is an inspiration to us all.

BIC program director Nancy R. Tag led Linda through a curated list of student generated questions about her unconventional career path to the advertising industry and what lessons enabled her to eventually become the founder of her own agency, The Kaplan Thaler Group. The Q&A format resulted in a unique sharing of career anecdotes and life experiences which underscored the essence of GRIT -- both a motivating word and dynamic acronym for Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. Here are five of the most memorable GRIT-inspired takeaways.

HAVE GUTS: Don’t be scared!

BUILD RESILIENCE: Ask yourself, what can I do to improve myself today? What can I do better?

SHOW INITIATIVE: Add the phrases “yes, and...” and “yes, but…” to your on-the-job vocabulary, and eliminate “no.”

PRACTICE TENACITY: Always have a growth mindset. Be a plotter not a dreamer.

This Lunch w/Leaders event was co-sponsored by the Branding & Integrated Communications and Ad/PR programs of the Media & Communication Arts department as well as the CCNY AAF Club. Copies of Linda's new book Grit to Great were given away throughout the event. Afterwards, Linda signed copies of her book and chatted with students.

For inspiration, we HIGHLY recommend you read Grit to Great. You can start with an excerpt, here.

GREY hosts the future...

11/05/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

BIC's annual Mix+Mentor networking event was held on Thursday night, October 29th, at GREY Global Headquarters on 5th Avenue. A crowd of over 100 guests showed their commitment to the future by meeting and promising to mentor members of BIC's Class of 2017 featuring 30 hard-working grad students from across the globe, around the United States, and right here in New York City.

Industry professionals, consultants, and recruiters from agencies such as GREY, JWT, Ketchum, ARF, BBDO, 360i, MTV, BrainJuicer, Momentum, R/GA, Ogilvy, The ONE Club, Publicis, VML, Loyal Kaspar, TBWA, Kay & Black,  Rabin Martin, PRWeek, NBC Universal, Matter Unlimited, FCB, Coyne, AWNY, Gartner,  Weber Shandwick, and XL Alliance offered encouragement, exchanged business cards, and made a commitment to be a mentor. Special guests of the evening included members of BIC's Alumni Association from our first graduating class who honored their own mentors by bringing them along -- celebrating the power of mentorship.

BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag expressed gratitude to GREY for sponsoring this year's Mix+Mentor with a special thanks to catalyst Paulette Forte and organizer Sabrina Mercado of Grey as well as BIC Program Specialist Christina Castro and BIC Tech Specialist Mira Steinzor. Professor Tag welcomed the crowd by introducing BIC's latest incoming class, the third since the program's launch in 2013.

"By committing to the two-year master's degree program so they can think more deeply about the issues impacting media and communications today," Tag noted, "these students have already demonstrated a commitment to the industry -- and to everyone in the room who's dedicated to future." Past sponsors of the BIC Mix+Mentor have been Y&R, Ketchum, and McCann.

See more photos of the evening here.

Lynn Appelbaum is PRSA's Outstanding Educator of the Year

11/05/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

Congratulations to CCNY Professor Lynn Appelbaum who is the 2015-2016 recipient of the PRSA Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. This award honors Professor Appelbaum’s commitment to public relations education, the industry, her students, and diversity. Over the course of her illustrious 30-year career as a public relations practitioner and professor, she has built City College’s AD/PR undergraduate program into the prestigious program it is today. She is currently the Program Director as well as the Internship Director of the Media & Communication Arts Department at City College. In preparing her students to meet the needs of the industry and serving as a champion and advocate on the issue of Diversity and Inclusion, Lynn fosters the careers of countless students year after year. Her latest research on the lack of diversity in the PR industry demonstrates her willingness to hold the industry accountable for recruiting, promoting, and retaining a diverse PR industry workforce. Professor Appelbaum will receive the national award this weekend at the PRSA International Conference in Atlanta on November 9th. 

2015 PRSA Study Addresses Diversity in the Public Relations Professions

11/05/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

CCNY Ad/PR Professor Lynn Appelbaum has co-authored a report with Franklin Walton, PhD, titled, "An Examination of Factors Affecting the Success of Under-represented Groups in the Public Relations Profession," funded by the PRSA Foundation. According to the report, the industry needs to make a more “concerted effort in diversifying the demographics of PR professionals to reflect the profile of the nation.” The US Census Bureau projects that by 2020 36.5% of the US population will be comprised of Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Native Americans.

In a recent PRWeek article, Why retention is the roadblock to a more diverse PR industry, employers and employees hold differing opinions on the issue. Employers believe retaining multicultural employees is the answer.

Young Black and Hispanic PR practitioners who have graduated since 2008 were surveyed along with PR employers in the field from October 2014 to February 2015. According to the article, “Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) PR employers see their efforts to retain a diverse workforce as being successful….One-third of young professionals say the industry is not effectual at retaining a diverse workforce.”

“Other perceived biases noted in the study by young, multicultural PR pros include not feeling genuinely respected by colleagues (43%); believing they have to be more qualified than a Caucasian employee in the same situation (45%); and thinking multicultural practitioners are put on "a slow moving track" (44%).”

For more on this industry-wide conversation, read the PR Week article and Professor Appelbaum’s full report. Share your thoughts and join the conversation on Twitter via The Ad Club's #imPARTofDIVERSITY movement.

This November, BIC Board Speaks

11/01/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

BIC welcomes Advisory Board Members Linda Kaplan Thaler and Rob Norman to campus this November in two spotlight events.  On Thursday, November 12th, the multi-titled Linda Kaplan Thaler will be interviewed in the Lunch w/Leaders series sponsored by MCA's Ad/PR and BIC Programs along with the CCNY AAF Club.  Her topic, "Success is a Four Letter Word," is based on her latest book, Grit to Great, which draws upon ground breaking research as well as her own experiences as an Advertising Hall of Famer, Bestselling Author, Chair of Publicis New York, and CCNY Grad.

On Wednesday, November 18th, GroupM Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman will share his latest insights in his @BIC lecture "There's an App for That" in which he contemplates the end of fragmentation as he challenges familiar narratives that stifle creativity and discovery.

Come to campus and join the conversation. Contact us at for details and to RSVP.

BIC Alum at Inc. Women's Summit

11/01/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

On the first Thursday in October, BIC Alum Alex Suazo '15 joined some of the world's most influential entrepreneurs at the Inc. Women's Summit, where she connected with other business owners, heard inspirational stories, and learned valuable tactics. Even more important, she wrote up a summary. Check it out here.

Intense Digital Integration Intensive

11/01/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

For two weekends in October, BICsters took course knowledge to the next level in a one-credit Special Topic Intensive called Digital Integration taught by Will Parker, Associate Director of Analytics at Publicis. Touching upon all things digital, Will provided historical context, reviewing the traditional players and why data is the catalyst to the biggest shift the industry has seen in decades. He offered up a matrix for evaluating the shift and then moved swiftly -- and with great clarity -- through a number of topics, such as who's regulating the Internet, how Google ranks its listings, real time media bidding, etc. He also provided a number apps and sites where students can learn aspects of the Internet that are largely invisible to the average consumer. A favorite: the Norse Attack Map.  Students were given the option of getting certified in Google Analytics as part of their grade.

The End of Competitive Advantage

10/12/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

This year's NYC Media Lab Summit, which took place at NYU on September 25, was an opportunity for media executive, technologists, and decision makers to explore interesting technologies and applications of the future. Dr. Rita Gunther McGrath of Columbia University Business School delivered an impactful keynote address on how leaders need to be driven by discovery -- a theme expressed by nearly all of the 12 faculty-led workshops. Her latest book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business includes advice on how to make innovation proficiency an institutional feature of your company -- as opposed to "innovation theater" where employees engage in innovation bootcamps and pep rallies.

CUNY has become increasingly active in NYC Media Lab activities. Students and faculty from City College, Guttman Community College, and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism showcased their project demos at last year's Annual Summit. Gistly, a project developed by City College PhD student Alex Vlachokostas, received the third place prize at the Summit. This year's summit was attended by BIC faculty Nancy Tag and Angela Chitkara as well as by Zahn Director Lindsay Siegel.

Read more about Professor McGrath here and about the NYC Media Lab here.

Silence is Not an Option

10/12/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

Wearing a Coca-Cola sweater and even Coke high heels, Wendy Clark, President of Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing for Coca-Cola North America, stated in her keynote address at 4A's recent Talent@2030 that  “If you will accept with me that everything has changed, what do we have to do? We have to change everything. You can’t operate in this very different world with very traditional capabilities. It’s not going to work.” As the world is slowly being replaced by digital natives, we need to appreciate that they have only two states: they're either connected or they're asleep. 

To a packed crowd of C-Suite professionals, Clark spoke with conviction on how brands need to be front and center of the public narrative.  “The first thing we’ve learned: In a socially networked world, silence is not an option. If you are silent, your truth will be filled in for you,” she said. To illustrate the point, she compared how long it took the company to respond to the outcry over new Coke back in 1985: 72 days. Today, she said the reaction would have to be closer to 72 minutes. As a result, Clark advised everyone to empower their teams to move in the moment. "Speed trumps perfection."

Read more about the first day of 4A's Talent@2030 Conference here.

George Lois Donates Archive to CCNY

10/12/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

It was a night of megawatt star power: over 150 fans and friends of George Lois arrived on campus to celebrate the publication of his latest book, Lois Logos -- The Creative Punch for of Big Idea Branding. Mingling in BIC space in the heart of Shepard Hall, other cultural icons (including Senator and former Knicks star Bill Bradley and legendary designer Bob Gill) as well as awestruck students in the BIC program genuflected to the master. Despite the fact that Lois' impact on advertising's Creative Revolution dates back to the 1960's, students were inspired by his commitment to creativity and the power of Big Idea thinking.

In his speech, Lois spoke about his fascination with logos as the most elemental form of communication. "A logo should contain an essential idea that communicates personality. It must have blood running through it...a quickly recognizable face." He added that the face's bone structure must consist of a solid marketing idea, and the "design must explain the idea." He challenged students in the room to dive deeply into their projects. "If you can't get meaning into everything you design, there is no meaning in your work...The mystical blending of copy, concept, and art, dramatized by a unique image in synergy with words that can communicate in a nanosecond always ignites an immediate intellectual and visceral human response."

George Lois has been on BIC's Board of Advisors since the program first launched in 2013, but a piece of his heart has been on the CCNY campus since he attended the High School of Music and Art back in the 40's. He noted this connection as he wrapped up his speech. Surrounded by his beautiful wife, Rosie, along with family, friends, and fans, and following a stirring presentation of his logos to the music of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," George announced that he was donating his advertising archive to City College. By bestowing this amazing and historic collection --coveted by institutions all over the globe -- to CCNY, George reaffirmed his commitment to diversity and those less privileged who are born with grit and the sheer determination to fight the good fight. "Our mission in life cannot be to sedate, but to awaken, disturb, communicate, and instigate and even provoke...Now more than ever, we must speak truth to power, whatever the cost."

Content Marketing is Coming of Age

9/27/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

Original. Coordinated. Interactive. Nine top MarTech Execs weighed in on the future of content marketing in a recent article by Contently. Chris Bolman, director of integrated marketing at Percolate, envisions that “we’re about to see quality content recognized for what it truly is: advertising creative that delivers value to its recipient, not just a forgettable impression. Marketers who get this are going to design their content to be interactive, mobile-first, and amplified by media dollars, and they’re going to create it within a system that enables continuous improvement, not just scattered executions.”

Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword states: "Creation wins. In the early days, some content marketers thought that curating content might be sufficient to engage their audiences. They hoped that curation might allow them to avoid the investment required to create original stories. In 18 months, it will become clear to the industry that marketers cannot differentiate brands in the minds of consumers, share thought leadership, or prove their brands to be innovators by sharing somebody else’s stuff."

Read the whole article.

There's an App for That...

9/06/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

GroupM CDO Rob Norman believes that the next phase of message distribution represents fundamental change and a significant opportunity, or threat, to all advertisers. While the digital revolution and the mobile shift are well-trodden concepts, less well-trodden is the path of the app ecosystem which is becoming the dominant gateway to media consumption, commerce and the delivery of customer service. Even more broadly, apps act as the remote control of the digital home and the quantified self. 

Apps are everywhere: phones, tablets, smart TVs, automobiles, watches and even the desktop with the arrival of Windows 10. Apps are simple to use, optimized at the device level and bandwidth efficient. The App ecosystem and the presence of apps on limited screen real estate may be the battleground to dominate in the second half of this decade and beyond. Read more...

BICsters rising...

9/03/2015 Anonymous 0 Comments

Good news! Three BICsters from our inaugural class, Amber Jackson, Vera Golikova Keiter, and Cassondra Bazelow, have upgraded their profiles in the last few weeks.

GREY has promoted Amber Jackson (BIC '15) to Senior Account Executive. Starting as an AE not long after her first semester at BIC, Amber has risen quickly at GREY. Her technical knowledge of the digital and social space has been invaluable and a huge factor in the success of multiple projects, including the launch and management of When GREY upped the ante for Red Carpet in 2013, Amber's support was key to the program's success. Moving forward, Amber will be playing a critical role in bringing initiatives to market. "Gandolf" and Pantene Beautiful Lengths will soon be benefiting from her executional excellence.

Founded as a one-man, one-room retail shop in NYC's garment district, GREY now comprises more than 1,000 people between the New York City flagship and its 96-country network.

Vera Golikova Keiter (BIC '15) has just been hired as a Junior Copywriter in the Social Studio at BBDO New York. Coming off a highly successful internship at LoyalKaspar, Vera was networked to BBDO by BIC Professor Andy Tider. She then wowed BBDO Creatives with her quirky sensibility and versatility.

In a truly exciting turn of events, Vera will be partnered with Cassondra Bazelow (BIC '16). After parlaying a highly successful internship at Tribal DDB two summers ago into a full-time position, Cassondra was able to negotiate a Senior Art Director position at BBDO.

BBDO Worldwide is 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries, all focused on: The Work. The Work. The Work. Among its recognitions are: Most Effective Network in the World, Global Effie Effectiveness Index 2011, 2014, 2015,  Network of the Year, Cannes Festival, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011, and Global Network of the Year, Adweek Magazine, 2011, 2014.

CONGRATS to our amazing BICsters!!

BBH Account Planning Bootcamp picks Himani Gupta

8/12/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Once again, a BICster has been chosen for the selective Griffin Farley Search for Beautiful Minds program, BBH's intensive program for strategic planners. The bootcamp is in honor of Griffin Farley, a Strategy Director at BBH New York who dedicated much of his time to aspiring planners/ strategist hoping to break into the business. One part learning experience and one part networking event is a free crash course in planning from some of the top planners in the industry.

What do PR Recruiters REALLY want?

7/06/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

An early morning focus group of industry PR pros organized by BIC Board Member Donna Renella gathered on Thursday, June 25th, to discuss the most current and desirable recruitment profiles for in interns and full-time hires. This lively discussion was hosted by Danielle DeFabbio at DeVries Worldwide and included PR experts Maya Kalkay of Burson MarstellerSheridan Falco of Cohn WolfeKristen Pairano of Golin, Shazzia Khan of HavasElizabeth Adams of KetchumAllyns Melendez of QuinnKeri Watkins of Ruder FinnBryn Davis of Weber Shandwick as well as CCNY Professors Lynn AppelbaumAngela Chitkara, and Nancy Tag. There was great agreement that ideal candidates needed to have passion that was not just displayed during the interview, but in the work itself. Outstanding candidates also must have an ability to discuss industry trends and how they relate to specific agencies, positions, and tasks -- in other words, a clear ability to "connect the dots." Because BIC is a portfolio based curriculum, participants exchanged ideas for style and substance of student portfolios as ways for BICsters to distinguish themselves from other graduates receiving more a more traditional public relations education.

BIC Program Directors use Creativity to Advance the Goals of Medical Research

6/30/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

With funding by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant shared with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, BIC Creative Track Director Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Program Director Nancy R. Tag are developing a social media campaign to increase awareness and utilization of the HPV vaccine for children. 

Read the full story plus an interview in the CCNY feature article, Creativity and Research in Progress: Spotlight on the Humanities and Arts.

Stephanie Cruz joins ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2015

6/23/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Stephanie G. Cruz has been selected to be in ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2015! Stephanie (BIC class of 2016) is an Assistant Account Executive at BBDO. 

A graduate of CCNY's Ad/PR Program, Stephanie is joined this year by another CCNY/MCA alum, Jerry Louis, who was recently a junior copywriter at Y&R and is now an IPG fellow. Stephanie is our second BICster to win this honor. Amber Lynn Jackson was a member of ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2014.

The 9th Annual ADCOLOR Industry Conference and Awards will take place in New York City for the first time this year at Pier Sixty (61 Chelsea Piers) from September 16-19, 2015.

ADCOLOR is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and champion diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries. Its aim is to help individuals and organizations RISE UP, letting their accomplishments and ideas shine, then teach these new leaders and would-be-mentors how to REACH BACK and find others who deserve to be noticed and promoted. The goal of ADCOLOR is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and celebrate one another. Learn more at

Donna Dei-Baning (BIC '16) Receives LAGRANT Scholarship & Attends 3-Day Festivities in Chicago

6/18/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

The LAGRANT Foundation’s (TLF) 2015 scholarship recipients Donna Dei-Baning (BIC Class of 2016) and fellow CCNY student Kai Simmonds were recognized during the 17th Anniversary Scholarship and Donor Recognition Reception in Chicago on June 8th. In addition to receiving the scholarships, TLF provided Donna, Kai, and fellow winners with airfare to Chicago and lodging to attend career-building events with top communications professionals and networking opportunities over the course of three days. Now back in NYC after the whirlwind event, Donna wrote in to share pictures and tell us all about it! Here's what she had to say.

I'm back from Chicago!

I had an amazing time with the other LAGRANT Scholars. We started with a welcome dinner on Sunday evening hosted by Pam Edstrom of Waggener Edstrom Communications. Her transparency on issues such as diversity in the workplace and gender bias was a breath of fresh air. 

We spent all day at Golin on Monday where we heard an amazing (And I mean amazing) talk from the CEO, Fred Cook. We also had an opportunity to work on a project for one of their clients. Golin ended the day with a panel on diversity with a few of their employees. From Golin, we then headed over to Googe for the main event-- our scholarship ceremony. I was surprised by the number of industry-leading executives who were in the room for us that night. I was able to talk to Pat Ford, Burson-Marsteller's Worldwide Vice Chair, Chief Client Officer and Regional Chairman of Asia-Pacific (Say that 3x fast). He was so interested in learning more about my interests and career aspirations. The amount of support we have as LAGRANT Scholars is really uncanny! 

Tuesday was Y&R Chicago/Wunderman day. We learned about the company, their workflow, had sessions on creative ideation and consumer context planning, took a look at case studies, and worked on projects for a few of their clients. I was also able to get connected to Adrian Fogel who is the Planning Director there (And was also excited to hear that I had Belle Frank as my Research Professor). I'm excited to pick her brain about account planning. Our jam-packed schedule didn't leave much room to explore Chicago, but I had a wonderful time and came back to NYC feeling inspired. Kai Simmonds and I represented CCNY well. 

Donna Dei-Baning M.P.S. Branding + Communications City College of New York, 2016 Linkedin

Gustavo Stecher joins BIC Board

6/08/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Gustavo Stecher is a graphic designer who currently manages consultancy and strategy fields for corporative clients and institutions in Buenos Aires, Miami and New York. The studio he founded in 1996, Menos es mas, was responsible for designing the national exhibition at the Venice Biennale, London and Tokyo, the identity and wayfinding of the Justice Center in Santiago, the Science and Technology Museum and the Jewish Museum in Buenos Aires. Towards the end of 2009, Gustavo won the national contest for the Argentine Bicentennial brand icon that transcended the festivities for Argentina's 200 years to become a patriotic symbol. In 2010 he created the first official coin ever designed by a branding studio in Argentina's history: the current 2 pesos coin. They also developed the TEDx Río de la Plata image and the InnovatiBA event (singularity university) and the Latin American Entrepreneur Icon, presented at WeXchange.

Having received awards in various design contests, his work has been published in major specialized media in the country and the world. With two of his own books published, the last one, IDARG, selected in 2008 by the Association of Graphic Artist, AIGA, to be exposed in the USA during the months of June and July. This project is a particular vision of the Argentine identity expressed through iconography.

Announcing the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA)

6/04/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

In true go-getter fashion, the inaugural class of BIC has officially announced the establishment of the the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA). BICAA Executive Board President, Amber Lynn Jackson, shared the news during the BIC Graduation + Recruitment Party held on May 27th. "Our goal is to share ideas and work together to strengthen the BIC program. It's our way to support current students in the program. It's a way to stay in touch with alumni as they graduate." The 2015/2016 BICAA Executive Board has already chosen its members.

President - Amber Lynn Jackson 
Vice President - André Ory
Treasurer - Christopher Villanueva
Secretary - Kiera Walker
Media and Design Chairs - Vera Golikova and Debra Jones
Membership Chair - Ruth Ogbeab
Mentorship Chair - Javier O. Garcia
Recruitment Chair - Maxime Menant

We'll share more news and developments as the BICAA plans future programming.

First Class. First Graduation. First EVER.

6/01/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

In Fall of 2013, BIC's very first class of students took a leap of faith and joined our newly launched graduate program. Together, these intrepid, risk-taking, innovative students not only helped shape our program, but redefined themselves. In the past two years, many presented at industry conferences, earned prestigious fellowships and scholarships, and won competitive contests. They learned from the pros. Pitched work to powerhouse companies. And taught us all a thing or two. 

And now...The City College of New York's Branding + Integrated Communications Master's Degree Program presents its first graduates: the incomparable BIC CLASS OF 2015!

Following BIC's Graduation + Recruitment Party on May 27th, "BICsters" embarked on careers that will transform the communications industry, already securing positions at some of the world's most coveted companies, such as GREY, SS+K, DDB, Rabin Martin, Circle Line, and TBWA. There's so much more in store for this multilingual, multicultural, and multi-talented group of students, all poised to influence the evolving global perspective in media and communications arts.  

BIC salutes the Class of 2015: Noha Ahmed Fouad, Batikan Aslan, Edmund Graham Balogun, Carol Burns, Luz Corona, Yanin De Jesus, Jacques Epangue, Frederick Garcia, Javier Garcia, Vera Golikova, Raj Gomes, Fang Guo, Amber Jackson, Jaruwijit Jaruthiphayakhantha, Debra Jones, Nehal Mahmoud, Maxime Menant, Ruth Ogbeab, André Ory, Alexandra Suazo, Chris Villanueva, Kiera Walker, Anthony Washington. 

View pictures from Graduation 2015 in our gallery.

The BIC Portfolio Defense

5/29/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

After the BIC graduation party, and just before commencement, the BIC Class of 2015 had to meet one last criteria before receiving the MPS degree: the Final Portfolio Defense. Each student presented a body of work exemplifying their two year study at BIC. These timed presentations were held on May 28th before panels of industry judges who based their scores on three criteria: content, storytelling, and showcase. Our March Portfolio Bootcamp as well as yearlong portfolio checks, tweaks, and presentation practice all paid off -- every single student passed! 

Many thanks to industry colleagues who served as Portfolio Defense Judges and mentors: John ColquhounMichael DoodyJake KahanaChad OliverDavid OlsenWill ParkerBrian PlumbRichard RappDonna RenellaMichelle RowleyMonique TapieLuba Tolkachyov, and Yury Vargas. Their invaluable feedback and constructive criticism will surely enhance each student's portfolio as they develop them over the course of their careers. 

Announcing The Desmond Maxwell "Cause + Charisma" Scholarship

5/28/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

A few weeks into the 2015 Spring semester, BIC received the devastating news that beloved BICster, Desmond Maxwell, had passed away. As part of the inaugural BIC class, Desmond was a caring friend and mentor to classmates, faculty, and BIC administrators. His dynamic personality, good nature, and commitment to good causes was admired and appreciated by all. 

In his personal life, Desmond was a proud Harlemite and father. He was a graduate of City College who became a media and marketing professional after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was extremely enthusiastic about receiving his Master's and being a member of BIC's inaugural class. 

Shortly after the news of his passing, BIC Program Director Nancy Tag and the Class of 2015 embarked on a fund raising campaign to establish a scholarship in Desmond's honor. The Desmond Maxwell Cause + Charisma Scholarship was officially unveiled on May 27th during the BIC Graduation + Recruitment Party, with a fund raising achievement in excess of $50,000. This scholarship in honor of Dez will ensure that future BIC students will be able to benefit from the college that he so loved. 

A web page is under development where our AMAZING list of donors will be acknowledged and where contributions can be accepted.  

Spring 2015 Capstone Client: Univision

5/25/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

On May 21st in Shepard Hall, BIC Class of 2015 pitched their 360-degree integrated marketing communications campaigns to its for-profit capstone client, Univision Communication Inc. (UCI), the largest Spanish speaking network in the world. Students were divided into three competing teams to build on existing brand equity and develop compelling communications materials to attract first time advertisers to UCI. 

After months of intense research, strategic mapping, and campaign development, representatives fromUCI were invited to hear each pitch and judge campaign presentations. Among those in attendance were Diana Terry Rojas, VP, Brand Development and Corporate Marketing, and five UCI colleagues across marketing, brand development, and communications. The UCI representatives were invited to evaluate all three campaigns and after a long deliberation declared team Roundtable's "Imagine a World" campaign the winner. 

View more photos from the 2015 Capstone Presentations in our Gallery.

Big BIC Welcome to Professor Angela Chitkara

5/08/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

BIC is excited to announce the appointment of Angela Chitkara as MCA Assistant Professor and BIC Public Relations Track Director. With graduate degrees from City University in London and Columbia University where she received a Master of International Affairs, her background as a journalist and public relations practitioner makes her perfectly poised to lead BIC students into the future of cross-disciplinary and global communications. She has been able to align her broad skills and expertise to guide her transition into the robust and relevant world of Public Relations on a local, national, and global level.  

Her work has taken Angela to the far corners of the world and back. It brought her to her ancestral land, India, to work as a journalist with CNBC.  It then brought her back to the USA where she became an entrepreneur, starting her own PR firm, which included non-profit work in the village where Angela's maternal grandfather started a grammar school after the partition between India and Pakistan. As she states it: "This is globalization."

BIC Advisory Board Members Win Big at the 2015SABRE Awards

5/06/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

 Last night, Finn Partners was awarded the title of "Best Mid-sized PR Firm, 2015" at the Sabre PR Awards Ceremony.
Congrats to Individual Achievement recipient @flahertyrob#sabreawards

Barri Rafferty

Rob Flaherty
CEO and a Senior Partner of Ketchum. Explorer.

BICsters Win Honorable Mention in CCNY Human Rights Competition

5/05/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

BICsters Andy Kwan, Himani Gupta, Naushika Perera with
BIC Professor + Creative Track Advisor Gerardo Blumenkrantz.
Last night, three BIC students were awarded Honorable Mention during the 2nd Annual Human Rights Poster Contest ceremony organized by the CCNY Human Rights Forum. 

Andy KwanHimani Gupta, and Naushika Perera were each honored with certificates during the awards ceremony held at CCNY’s Center for Worker Education. Their human rights themed posters will become part of the permanent gallery at the center.

For the past two years, CUNY has sponsored the Human Rights Poster Contest to highlight the inherent value of each person based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. The competition calls for poster submissions from across the entire CUNY university system that address the general topic of human rights or any one of the 30 articles comprising the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Vince Boudreau, Dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership
presents certificates of honorable mention.

BIC students Andy Kwan and Himani Gupta (BIC 2016) joined the #whyistayed #whyileft conversation by focusing their poster on domestic violence.  

Naushika Perera (BIC 2017) invoked the right to clean water and sanitation with her powerful image of a child.

You can view past submissions and winning posters created by CUNY students in support of human rights issues on the CCNY Human Rights Forum website.

BICsters submit to D&AD

4/25/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

D&AD is a global non-profit organization that fosters a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising all over the world. Its New Blood Award  aims to inspire the next generation of creative talent and stimulate the creative industry to work towards a fairer more sustainable future. And that's exactly what happened. BICsters Andy Kwan, Naushi Perera, and Marika Bailey responded to its Airbnb brief and created a campaign to increase travelers sense of belonging through truly authentic experiences by defining a whole new class of vacationers called "The Embedded Traveler." Judging is currently ongoing. Winners will be announced in May. Here's a look at part of their presentation. 

Clean Sweep for BICsters at CCNY Grad Symposium

4/24/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

On April 23rd in CCNY's Great Hall, BIC students placed first, second and third at the CCNY 8th Annual Graduate Research Symposium. Nehal Mahmoud was awarded first place prize for her presentation on the importance of internal communications to activate employees as brand ambassadors for CVS Health. Andy Kwan and Himani Gupta placed second for their multi-media campaign for New York Water Taxi ("Not the Only Ride You Wish Was Longer"). Megan Fullagar received the third place award for her examination of Chipotle's mission-based approach to advertising, leveraging social media and gamification. 

The CCNY Graduate Student Symposium is a platform for graduate students to gain recognition for their work by faculty, students and potential employers. It raises awareness about the wide gamut of programs housed at CCNY and helps distinguish the college as one of the premier higher learning institutions in the CUNY system.

Twitter's Global Head of Marketing Comes to Campus

4/24/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

What does Twitter's Global Head of Business Marketing do when she's in New York City for a conference? She stops off to speak to BIC students, of course! Thanks to an invitation from BIC Professor Madonna Deverson, Head of Intelligence at Ogilvy & Mather, Daina Middleton gave an inspiring guest lecture in last Monday's Brand Experience class. Afterwards, she autographed copies of her book Marketing in the Participation Age.

Prior to her position at Twitter, Daina was CEO of Performics, the performance marketing division of Publicis Groupe. A pioneer in the digital marketing space, Daina is known for creating a new “participant marketing” lexicon. Prior to joining Performics, she served for as SVP of the Sunao division at Moxie Interactive. Daina spent 16 years working at Hewlett-Packard in key marketing communications positions across the company’s $28 billion global Imaging and Printing Group. Daina serves on a number of industry boards and is a regular industry speaker at events including ad:tech, BlogHer, Conversational Marketing Summit, VideoNuze, and WOMMA.

Fall Admissions Deadline EXTENDED to May 5th

4/24/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

Haven't hit that SUBMIT button yet? Top reasons why INNOVATORS choose BIC: 
  •    BIC is located in the media and communications capital of the world. There is no parallel to studying at the nexus of your discipline.
  •    BIC faculty include active industry pros, such as the Head of Intelligence from Ogilvy, EVP of Research from Y&R, and Managing Principal at SS+K.
  •    BIC students get opportunities to work with creative professionals throughout the city -- such as TBWA, Y&R, DDB, FCB, Grey, McCann Erickson. Not to mention our own stellar award winning faculty -- all currently active in the field.
  •    Our Mix+Mentor parties -- one each fall -- have been held at the corporate headquarter of Y&R, Ketchum, and McCann Worldwide. Students get the chance to mingle with industry pros the first semester they enroll. Last Fall, BIC Board Member George Lois stopped by to chat with students.
  •    Our weekly Guest Lectures make it seem as though you're experiencing a semester-long TED Talk. Just this past Monday, Daina Middleton, Head of Global Marketing for Twitter, gave an amazing lecture on Marketing in the Participation Age (also the title of her best-selling book).
  •    BICsters are the BESTCheck them out. They're winners, too. Our BIC students have won scholarships, internships, industry competitions, invitations to conferences and panels, and many have secured impressive jobs at media companies across the city. Just last night, BICsters placed FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD at the CCNY Graduate Symposium. A BIC clean sweep!!
  •    Our BIC students and faculty make awesome things happen on a daily basis. Browse through the BIC Blog for a sampling of visiting lecturers, real-world clients, award-winning student presentations, and an inside look at the BIC program space located in one of NYC's most prestigious landmarks, Shepard Hall of The City College of New York.

If you've already started your application, NOW's the time to press SUBMIT. If you have yet to start the application process, go the CCNY Admissions site to plug into the process TODAY. If you have questions, email us at

CCNY Great Grad: Amber Lynn Jackson, BIC 2015

4/21/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

We are proud to announce that Amber Lynn Jacksonhas been named a 2015 CCNY Great Grad!

Amber Lynn Jackson
BIC Class of 2015
2015 CCNY Great Grad
Amber embodies all that is amazing about City College. Originally from Kansas, Amber chose CCNY based on a recommendation from a close friend who attended MCA's undergraduate program. She comes from the heartland, but applied to City College not just because of its academic offerings, but because New York City is the land of achievement. Amber is a striver and calculated risk taker. She’s also a builder, choosing to be a part of the inaugural class of BIC.  

By the end of her first semester at BIC, Amber secured a management position at Grey, a major global advertising agency. Despite the extreme demands of this job, she has maintained a 3.5 GPA and chose to be the project leader of BIC’s two capstone projects, creating multi-media branding and communications campaigns for Columbia Children’s Hospital and Univision. 

In addition, Amber has been active in diversity initiatives in the communications industry, both as a recipient (she earned a highly competitive LAGRANT Scholarship as well as a coveted spot in ADCOLOR Futures) and as a mentor who seeks to give back. She sits on the diversity council at her company. 

As a working professional and student, Amber wanted to use her degree to not only impact the communications industry but also the CCNY community. That is why she, with the support of her peers, started the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA). The goal of this organization is to support the students, future communications professionals, and staff of BIC as well as continue the fellowship and professional development of the program's alumni. To this end, Amber defines the ideal BIC student.

Few grads embody all that City College stands for as completely as Amber Lynn Jackson. Please join us in congratulating her for both her achievements and the role model she has become.

Read the full feature article on CCNY's Great Grads of 2015.