LaWanda Nunley, a senior media studies major at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, was named to the American Advertising Federation’s annual list of Most Promising Minority Students. She is the only student selected from a university in Missouri and the third UMSL student in as many years to receive the distinction.

“I’m so honored to be receiving this award and excited to see what awaits me in New York,” Nunley said. “I feel like this opens up so many doors for me, and I appreciate (Kristy) Tucciarone (assistant teaching professor of media studies at UMSL) for helping me get to this point. Because she goes above and beyond for her students I became aware of this great opportunity, and she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”

Tucciarone said Nunley is deserving of the honor because she has an eye for creative detail.

“She understands the purpose of advertising and how to communicate with – not to – the target audience,” Tucciarone said. “She gets the purpose of branding and what a brand means to a consumer’s personality and lifestyle. Ms. Nunley will flourish in advertising because she loves the industry, stops at nothing short of giving 110 percent effort, and most importantly, she cares.”

Each year, the AAF selects 50 advertising, marketing, media and communications students from across the United States for its Most Promising Minority Students list. They are selected based on the following criteria: academic standing, demonstrated interest in the ad industry, leadership potential and character indicators such as community and organizational service. The students also must be seniors and of African, Asian, Latino, Native American or Pacific Islander descent.

The honorees are invited to attend network and interview sessions with top advertising agencies, media companies and advertisers Feb. 1-3 in New York City.

While there, Nunley will attend professional seminars hosted by prestigious companies such as Publicis Groupe, JCPenney and General Mills. She’ll also mingle with representatives from worldwide agencies.

Previous UMSL students to receive the Most Promising Minority Student honor went on to participate in prestigious internships in New York and St. Louis.

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz