PR and Marketing program aimed at increasing diversity
Roosevelt University has named four students from its Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) program as Al Golin Fellows for the spring 2019 semester. The newly created fellowship honors the legacy of the late PR industry pioneer and 1950 Roosevelt University alumnus Al Golin, who founded the global PR agency Golin, headquartered in Chicago.
Fellows will have the opportunity to attend workshops and networking events; serve in PR and Marketing internships with Golin and sponsor companies like McDonald’s; and receive mentoring from senior PR executives, including Golin chairman Fred Cook, as well as with executives from McDonald’s and ConAgra.
Established with the goal of growing the future pipeline of diverse talent in public relations and marketing, the annual fellowship is an outgrowth of Al Golin’s legacy of inclusion, the Golin agency’s position as a PR leader with diversity and inclusion as a top priority, and Roosevelt’s historic tradition and commitment to social justice, diversity and inclusion.
The first-ever Roosevelt students named as fellows include: Abisola Ajaya of Evanston, a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications and international student from Lagos, Nigeria. She was the first intern in Illinois for Save the Children Action Network where she came to understand child education and health care needs of low-income communities. Ajaya aims as a Golin fellow to learn digital engagement and data analytics, as well as to learn from mentors in the field, which will help her create professional relationships as she pursues a meaningful career of change for the better of all.
Karina Herrera of Glen Ellyn is a first-generation, low-income Latina student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications. Herrera prides herself on a strong work ethic that already has led to her completing a number of internships. She believes the coming together of divergent minds and the exchange of diverse ideas are “crucial to enriching and innovating the field of communication,” and she welcomes inclusion, which is why she says she chose Roosevelt University, just as Al Golin once did.
Alondra Ibarra of Chicago’s Lakeview community is a past president of Roosevelt’s Student Government Association, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and Philosophy. An intern at Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has gained experience in digital marketing and design, and has leveraged her Latina heritage to build diverse markets and learn about differences. “I learned diversity did not just stem from my being Mexican-American and speaking Spanish, but also from my effort to research and understand other Latin cultures.”
Darryl Langston, Jr., of Chicago’s South Shore community is a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications student with experience as an intern in broadcast, marketing and customer relations. He takes inspiration from Al Golin’s commitment to inclusion and curiosity: “I am especially touched by his role in creation of the Ronald McDonald Houses,” Langston said of Golin. The houses are significant, as the fellow’s young- er cousin resided in one where he fought and lost a battle with heart failure. As an African-American male growing up on the city’s South Side, Langston acknowledges facing stereotypes, but believes, as a result, that he is more determined to succeed.
“Our first fellows have proven themselves to be best-in-class representatives of the next generation of progressive, ethical leaders aligned to Roosevelt’s social justice mission,” said Marian Azzaro, chair of Roosevelt’s Department of Communication and associate professor of IMC.
Pat Harris, chair of Roosevelt’s Board of Trustees and retired Global Chief Diversity Officer at McDonald’s Corporation, believes the project in honor of the late Golin is significant.
“Al served as my mentor and always treated everyone with respect, so it is befitting to carry on his inclusive spirit for future leaders,” she said. “We are proud to invest our resources toward improving the diversity among our industry’s talent,” added Margenett Moore-Roberts, Golin’s first chief inclusion and diversity officer. “We recognize diversity of perspective quite simply leads to sharper insights, which empowers braver creative work.”