37 BICsters. 34 Judges. Eight Breakout Sessions. One Powerhouse Portfolio Defense.

6/09/2020 Unknown 0 Comments

The BIC Class of 2020 wrapped up its Portfolio Thesis Defense on May 26th via a Zoom-style event that was uniquely challenging — yet highly rewarding. BIC’s largest class EVER defended digital portfolios in  Creative, Management/Planning, and Public Relations that demonstrated both mastery of discipline and interdisciplinary finesse. BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag praised the students for their ambitious presentations of product, process, professionalism, and personality -- with special kudos for being incredibly adaptive to the unexpected demands of a COVID-19 world.

Judged by powerhouse professionals who held students to high standards, this year’s portfolios showcased projects on behalf of CUNY Arts, Ally Bank, Il Makiage, Brooks Running Shoes, Vans, Diageo's Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirit, Heineken 0.0, Governors Island, 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.

In response to the pandemic, this year’s Portfolio Thesis Defense was held off-campus and online. Requiring a ton of complex logistics, the event started at 9:30AM by welcoming a “Zoomful” of 17 professionals ready to judge morning sessions in the PR, Management/Planning, and Creative tracks. Judges logged in from all over the globe: California, Canada, Wisconsin, and even Idaho. From there, the judges split off into four Breakout Rooms where BIC students entered one-by-one for their appointed 25-minute slot. Each session included 18 minutes of presentation and 7 minutes of judge’s questions, comments, and push back. The entire Portfolio Thesis Defense then repeated itself in the afternoon with 17 new judges and four more Breakout Rooms.

Congrats to the Class of 2020: All BICsters passed the Defense and celebrated their achievements at a virtual BIC graduation party on Friday, May 29th. Top scoring BICsters in each track were announced. Honors went to Vanessa Caro and John Holliday-Stewart who tied for top score in Public Relations,  Melissa Orr who received top score in Creative, and Raymond Sein who topped the Management/Planning track as well as scored the highest in the BIC Class of 2020.  Special thanks to all the BIC faculty and staff who helped support 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.  BIC Program Manager Marlene Leo provided logistic and emotional support for the event and throughout the year while BIC Design Specialist Mira Steinzer guided the Class of 2020 in the technical and design aspects of their portfolios from the moment they enter the program.

This year, BIC invited 37 communications professionals to judge in eight different sessions. A BIG BIC thanks to them all. You were tireless, considerate, and AWESOME:

Management/Planning:  Amber Chenevert, Strategy & Insights Director at VMLY&R; Meg Deedy, Senior Marketing & Creative Strategist at Accenture; Donna Dei-Baning, Associate Director of Insights at Carat; Carl Desir, Global Executive Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at R/GA; Amber Jackson, Brand Manager at Apple; Katie O’Neal, Head of Account Management at Digitas; Ellen Oppenheim, Founder Oppenheim Media Consulting; Will Parker, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Retail Data Trust; David Prince, Group Strategy Director at FCB; Rich Rapp, President/Founder of Altamira; Michelle Rowley, Group Planning Director at Deutsch; Liz Scordato, Director of Project Management at Strawberry Frog; Alexandra Suazo, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at American Girl; Jeff Thaler, Project Management at GroupM; Nicole Wasserman, Group Director at Digitas Health.

Public Relations: Aviva Ebstein Kroninger, former Chief Communications Officer at Y&R; Donna Renella, President of ABW Solutions; Jean Salvatore, President, JMS Consulting; John Totaro, President, Totaro Communications; Bjorn Trowery, Communications at Facebook; Dhvani Unadkat, Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at Hunter.

Creative: Gustavo Asman, Creative Director at Pyramid Communications; Gina Asara-Collura, Creative Director at FCB Health; Chris Brunt, Freelance Creative; Michael Clancy, Founder and CEO of Agency Wars; Castro Desroches, Senior AD at Translation; George Logothetis, former ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi; Michael Parrott, Freelance Creative; Marga Peces, Design Director at Priorities USA; Ken Sheldon, ACD at IBM; George Tannenbaum, former ECD at Ogilvy; Susan Young, ECD at BBDO;  Ricard Valero, ECD at TBWA\Chiat\DayNY.