TogetHER makes it to Zahn Semi-Finals

12/23/2016 Nancy 0 Comments


How do you motivate people to engage in a charitable cause in sustainable way? That's the question that Marika Bailey BIC '16 and Naushi Perera BIC '17 sought to answer when developing a campaign to tackle gender inequality. Their solution, the TogetHER app, earned them a semi-finalist spot for the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC  prize of the 2017 Zahn Innovation Center Competition. The app works with wearable devices that keep track of your daily steps, allowing you to team up with a sponsor to create your own personal "walkathon" on behalf of the women in this world who toil at tasks that are barriers to advancement. This transforms charitable giving into a daily habit that is more sustainable. Their team includes other BIC students (Melissa Julien and Nikki Lebenson Angulo), BIC faculty (Nancy Tag and Gerardo Blumenkrantz) as well as professional mentors (Bethany Andres-Beck and Nick Coronges).

Each year, up to six start-ups are chosen to compete for the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Seed Prize as part of the Zahn Innovation Center's Venture Competitions. Semi-finalists gain access to the Zahn incubator and mentorships. By nature, the chosen start-ups have a social impact mission at their core. Winners will be announced after final presentations in the Spring 2017 semester.


Rob Norman previews the near future: CES 2017

12/20/2016 Nancy 0 Comments

As we'd expect, GroupM CDO Rob Norman puts the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in perspective...before it even occurs! In his latest "Big Idea" post, Rob previews the upcoming global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow and poses this question: "How can we build, maintain, and make discoverable a data story around brands, with and without screens, to ensure their prominence and survival in an age of machine mediated relevance?"

Read our favorite influencer's latest musings here. Thanks, Rob, for your insights!

BIC Tackles Teen Anxiety on Behalf of the UJA-Federation

12/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments


It was a challenging goal: to reduce isolation for the Jewish teen community when it comes to issues of mental health. But by joining forces with the UJA-Federation of New York as well as the Jewish Board and 70 Faces Media, BICsters in the Fall 2016 non-profit capstone rose to the challenge.

On Thursday, December 15th, three teams presented strategically driven campaigns that leveraged traditional, online, social, mobile, and other digital communications vehicles to meet the target audience where they live. Each campaign sought to create a movement in which teens could become active participants, content creators, and advocates. Anchored in a "big idea," teams demonstrated how their campaigns would roll out with a timeline of tactical elements for a yearlong plan. Professor Douglas Davis oversaw their efforts.


Throughout the semester, BICsters were aided in this task by members of the Jewish community, BIC faculty as well as BIC alums. Our main client contact, Pam Schuller, Program Coordinator of Teen and Mental Health Initiative, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, provided guidance all semester long. She was joined by Jonathan Katz, Elise Slobodin, and Linda Gross for the December 15th client pitch. All four judged the pitches to determine which campaign best met their needs.

Each team developed distinctive approaches, from managing the mental stress that's hiding in plain sight ("The Invisible Truth") to resisting the false narratives of social media ("There's More"). The winning team, Mosaic, uncovered research indicating that teens were more likely to express their hidden feelings when engaged in artistic activity. Their #DareTo Express campaign gave teens, parents and the Jewish community at large a platform to disarm and unlock teen emotions through creativity.
Members of the winning team Mosaic
Special thanks to Mirm Kriegel, Executive Director, Brand Strategy at the UJA-Federation of New York for connecting with BIC Professor and Y&R EVP Belle Frank last spring to make this project a reality. Past non-profit capstone clients have been Columbia Children's Health and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

BICsters Make Waves for Circle Line

12/16/2016 Unknown 0 Comments


All semester long, BICsters in the Idea Development course led by Professors Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Nancy Tag learned how to create brand narratives and multi-media stories by developing impactful campaigns for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. Since 1945, the Circle Line has hosted over 60 million passengers; it's the only cruise company in New York Harbor exclusively dedicated to sightseeing. While doing research, first year BIC students got to explore the city by taking actual tours. In another dose of reality, BICsters were then treated to client feedback when the Circle Line marketing team of Laura Stancarone, Michael Mattera, and BIC alum Alex Suazo showed up on December 7th, the last day of class.


As final presentations in a foundation course, these were the first of many that BICsters will be making in front of actual clients. After viewing nine campaigns, the Circle Line team came away with a number of implementable ideas and gave highest praise to a campaign created by Kacy CharlesJason Tai, and Sean Feol-Baugh.

Professor Angela Chitkara named a CUNY Mellon Faculty Fellow

12/03/2016 Nancy 0 Comments

As part of the CUNY Mellon Faculty Diversity Career Enhancement Initiative (CMFDCEI) and with support from the Mellon Foundation, BIC Professor Angela Chitkara has just been named a Faculty Fellow for 2016-2017. The initiative is tied to University-wide efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion as outlined in the Diversity Action Plan and in accordance with the mission of the University. The aim of the initiative is to develop sustained mentorship via research/writing seminars on CUNY campuses and a series of professionalization workshops to increase the success and professional satisfaction of our diverse professoriate.

By creating the intellectual spaces to further advance scholarship and creativity, the initiative seeks to enhance prospects for tenure and promotion and improve upon the overall University climate. Its objective is to anchor and support a tenure-track faculty as they build an intellectual community, work toward peer-reviewed publications, and attend professionalization workshops.

Congratulations, Angela!