TAI Graduate Student Lauren Lombardo Interning with Dallas Zoo

All students want to have a unique internship experience that they can brag about and proudly place on their resumes. An internship that sets you apart and is out of the ordinary. This semester, TAI graduate student Lauren Lombardo is doing just that while completing her Executive Internship at the Dallas Zoo.

Lombardo inside the Dallas Zoo.

Lombardo is working one of few indoor jobs at the zoo as the Communications and Marketing Intern. Her job responsibilities include writing editorial content, writing features for the blog, and participating in social media efforts.

“I’ve learned a lot about taking on different voices and writing for different audiences,” Lombardo said. “I create content for a variety of outlets at the Zoo, and each one needs to be tailored specifically for that outlet. I’ve also learned to be a better interviewer. A lot of the content I write is dependent on what I can get out of people, and my supervisors have shown me how to ask more robust questions in order to dig a little deeper.”

While this internship shares similar responsibilities to that of many other marketing internships, Lombardo’s position at the Dallas Zoo offers her unique experience working for a very different type of brand than typically taught in advertising courses.

“A typical day at the Zoo is probably a little different than most of other internships,” Lombardo said. “Usually, I come in to the administration office and check e-mail, respond to inquiries, and catch up with my supervisors as they’ll often assign me special projects to work on. I might write a blog post, which involves calling and interviewing a keeper or possibly going to an event. I usually try to draft an engaging social media post to go along with a blog. Every Zoo employee has a radio, so we’ll often receive radio calls about important events, like an elephant introduction, and head over to watch it during the workday. Other times, there might be a behind the scenes tour for interns that I’ll go to. I like to eat my lunch by the Sumatran Tigers or on Cat Green by the native Texas cats and walk around the Zoo. I usually finish up my day by working on the member newsletter, which means I have to contact the different Zoo departments to get the latest scoop on what they’re doing. Overall, a typical day is full of lots of writing and animals!”

Sumatran Tiger in the Dallas Zoo.

Lombardo’s love for animals and conservation has made her experiences at the Zoo incredibly special for her. Since she gets to spend a lot of time around the Zoo, she has seen several special events and exciting moments.

“My favorite moment from the internship has been attending the Zoo’s Cheetah Encounter,” Lombardo said. “As an intern, I was allowed to watch the Encounter from a VIP viewing area, so I was up close and personal for the whole experience. Winspear, the Zoo’s cheetah, took off running from one end of the exhibit to the other, and it was so amazing to see this athletic animal in action. I could even hear him purr at one point! Winspear also has a canine friend named Amani, who helps keep him calm [because] cheetahs are naturally nervous animals. The keepers took the time to talk with me about cheetah conservation and tell me more about the relationship between Winspear and Amani. Conservation is extremely important to me, especially when it comes to big cats (big cats are my favorite animals), so this was an extremely insightful and fun event. I often attend events like this and write blogs or social media posts about the experience.”

Lombardo got her undergraduate degrees in English and Geography from the University of Texas, and is now getting her Masters in Advertising from SMU. Her internship with Dallas Zoo provides her a perfect opportunity to combine her interests.

“The internship speaks to my two very specific areas of interest – writing and conservation,” Lombardo said. “My [undergraduate] Geography coursework specifically focused on sustainability. I never thought I would find an internship that incorporated these interests so well, but it’s made my time at the Zoo even more special and invaluable in terms of experience.”

In the future Lombardo hopes to work in the field of advertising and marketing as a professional copywriter.

“I would like to work for a either a non-profit or an agency that specializes in non-profit advertising and marketing,” Lombardo said. “My internship at the Zoo has provided me with direct experience in crafting copy for a non-profit and appealing to the members/donors that support the 501(c) community. I would also specifically like to work on campaigns that revolve around conservation and social responsibility, which is a major area of focus in the content I produce for the Zoo.”

TAI Professor Willie Baronet’s Documentary “Signs of Humanity” Showing in Two Film Festivals

Some of the many homeless signs collected by Professor Baronet
Some of the many homeless signs collected by Professor Baronet

TAI Creative Advertising Professor Willie Baronet has been purchasing and collecting homeless signs from people across the country since 1993. Over the last twenty-three years he has collected over 1,000 signs. For years, Professor Baronet has displayed these homeless signs in exhibits all across the country in his art project “WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.” This past April, his project was turned into a documentary following Professor Baronet’s 31-day cross-country trip buying homeless signs in 24 cities.

The documentary, “Signs of Humanity,” was released in April, and has since been accepted into several film festivals across the country, including the 2016 Dallas International Film Festival and the Chain Film Festival. The film will be playing at the UNAFF 2016 International Documentary Film Festival in San Francisco on Thursday, October 27, and the Unspoken Human Rights Film Festival in Utica, New York on Friday, October 28.

Professor Baronet interviewing for "Signs of Humanity"
One of the interviews from “Signs of Humanity”

Although Professor Baronet has been collecting signs for over twenty years, this was the first time he had done something so concentrated.

“[The documentary] was the first time I did such in depth interviews with folks on the street,” Professor Baronet said. “And the media attention from the trip helped to make it clear how many people struggle with what to do when they see someone with a sign, and often have mixed feelings about what to do. I began to realize this project helped some people voice those concerns and have conversations they might not otherwise have.”

“Signs of Humanity” has given Professor Baronet an amazing platform to voice the issue of homelessness and find a way to help. In making the film, Professor Baronet and the other filmmakers partnered with many organizations that help homeless people.

Help USA sponsored the exhibit in New York at the end of the documentary,” Professor Baronet said. “They also sponsored exhibits at both political conventions this summer in Cleveland and Philly. Maria Cuomo Cole, the chairman of Help USA, is also an activist and filmmaker and has been a big supporter of this project. The Bridge has also been a big supporter, and I also spoke at their annual fundraiser in 2015. They helped sponsor events around our premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival as well. I’ve also partnered with Stewpot and the Housing Crisis Center on projects in the past. All of these organizations are doing great work for the homeless.”

Although Professor Baronet didn’t document many of his early encounters purchasing homeless signs, he remembers quite a few people that have stuck out to him over the years.

Michael from Omaha and Professor Baronet taking a selfie
Michael from Omaha and Professor Baronet taking a selfie

“There was a woman who sold me a sign that her late husband had made,” Professor Baronet said. “There was a man in Austin who wanted to talk about art and his relationship with his father. Michael in Omaha was a veteran missing one leg, who I had a powerful connection to. Cheryl in Detroit is the only person so happy that I was buying her sign that she reached in the car and hugged my neck. Elli in Baltimore was only 17; she was Romanian and spoke five languages, so full of promise and doing what she could to take care of her family.”

One person in particular Professor Baronet has kept in contact with is a man named Eddie who he met in Philadelphia.

“Eddie had a sign that said ‘What if God occasionally visits Earth disguised as a homeless person panhandling to see how charitable we are. Completely hypothetical of course.’” Professor Baronet said. “Eddie and I have become friends, and I’ve reconnected with him twice in Philly. He is a former heroin addict, and now is working and sponsoring others in AA. He and I spoke together on a panel at the opening of a ‘WE ARE ALL HOMELESS’ exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania in September of 2016.”

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One of the women featured in “Signs of Humanity”

Over his years of collecting homeless signs, Professor Baronet has gained a new perspective on the meaning of “home.”

“I’ve gotten a deeper understanding about what ‘home’ means, to me and to others,” Professor Baronet said. “I’ve learned that we all share many of the pains and privileges of the human experience. Holding a sign on the street is simply asking for help, something I’ve had to do many times in the course of my life. And I’m lucky to have friends and family as a safety net when I need something.”

Professor Baronet hopes his documentary can take away some of the preconceived notions surrounding the homeless.

“It can be easy to put people in boxes based on judgments we may make,” Professor Baronet said. “Even waving and smiling and seeing the humanity in each other can change the dynamic between the housed and those on the streets.”

TAI & AAF Dallas Co-Host Breakfast Event with Government Affairs Speaker Clark Rector

Wednesday, September 21, Temerlin Advertising Institute, joined with AAF Dallas and 4A’s, hosted an event called “Broccoli for Breakfast.” The event offered breakfast to all attendees and a guest speaker Clark Rector, EVP Government Affairs for AAF, and his lecture “A Targeted Industry in an Unpredictable Political Environment.”

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Speaker Clark Rector at the podium.

As the EVP Government Affairs for AAF, Rector is in charge of the grassroots lobbying efforts of the AAF and its’ members. They have been successful in defeating ad tax proposals and other threats to the advertising industry in Congress.

Many industry professionals, including various TAI professors, made their way to the SMU campus to hear Rector speak about the effects of politics on the advertising industry and what the advertising community can do to get involved.

“I really enjoyed Clark’s speech about the role of advertising in our local and national economy,” TAI Professor Eunjin (Anna) Kim said. “As he said, people think [about] advertising negatively, such as advertising promotes materialism, ignores fundamental needs but creates unnecessary desires, and deceives consumers. It’s not easy for us to think about positive side of advertising, even for me. As an advertising faculty, I can say, ‘well advertising provides information, educates consumers, and even sometimes is entertaining.’ But that’s all that I can think of. I haven’t really thought about the economic role of advertising. It creates millions of jobs and boosts sales, representing 15% of the total economic output in the State. Advertising indeed pays a vital role in our society, just like the event name, ‘Broccoli for Breakfast’!”

Attendees in the Martha Mack Proctor Ballroom at SMU.
Attendees in the Martha Mack Proctor Ballroom at SMU.

TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting guest speakers periodically throughout the year.

TAI Professor Willie Baronet to Showcase “We Are All Homeless” and Serve as Panelist for University of Pennsylvania Seminar Series

Over the past twenty years, Willie Baronet, TAI’s Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising, has been traveling across the country buying and collecting signs from homeless people. To date, Professor Baronet has collected or purchased over 1,000 signs. He uses these signs in art installations and exhibits all over the United States in a project called “We Are All Homeless.”

Willie Homeless Signs
Professor Baronet with some of the homeless signs he’s collected and purchased.

On Tuesday, September 13, Professor Baronet will have an exhibit at Harnwell College House at the University of Pennsylvania. The exhibit is part of a greater event called the CPHI (Center for Public Health Initiatives) Seminar Series Kickoff: We Are All Homeless. As part of the event, Professor Baronet will participate in a panel along with Dr. Rosie Frasso from CPHI and several individuals who will share their experience about being homeless.

Dr. Frasso reached out to Professor Baronet in 2015 after hearing about his project on NPR. Together with several of her CPHI colleagues, Dr. Frasso and Professor Baronet “conducted a qualitative analysis of the messages on almost 300 signs,” looking at how the messages vary by city. The research will be published in the American Journal of Public Health this fall.

“This is the first time anyone has done a research project based on these signs,” Professor Baronet said. “We were humbled and honored to work with Rosemary and Allison at U. Penn to bring this to fruition, and we’re all excited that it’s being published in the American Journal of Public Health.”

The CPHI panel will also feature Eddie Dunn, whom Professor Baronet purchased a sign from in Philadelphia last summer. Mr. Dunn reached out to Professor Baronet a few months ago, stating he’d “turned his life around and is now sober and sponsoring people in AA.” He will be sharing his experience of homelessness on the panel at the event.

Willie Baronet’s “We Are All Homeless” project includes a documentary called “Signs of Humanity,” which explores the themes of home, homelessness, compassion and humanity. “Signs of Humanity,” which was filmed during a coast-to-coast road trip in 2015, has been an official selection in four major film festivals and was just selected to screen at a fifth this fall.

TAI First-Year MA in Advertising Students Present Campaign Proposals to REACH

MiNK Group
MiNK Group

As a final project for the Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship (ADV 6372) class, two teams of Temerlin Advertising Institute graduate students—KCB Group and MiNK, under the supervision of Assistant Professor Sidharth Muralidharan—created advertising campaign proposals for the non-profit organization, REACH, whose sole mission is to “provide services for people with disabilities so that they are able to lead self-directed lives and to educate the general public about disability-related topics in order to promote a barrier free community.” By targeting a primarily young demographic in the DFW metroplex, the major emphasis of the campaign was to create awareness of the various services offered by REACH.

KCB Group
KCB Group

On behalf of the client, the presentations were graced by several distinguished TAI faculty and staff, namely, Peter Noble, Anna Kim, John Hall, Alan Lidji, Amy Dahmann, and Cheryl Mendenhall. They provided invaluable advice to the students, ranging from presentation style to strategic ideas. Dr. Sid commented on the presentations, noting, “I am really proud of both teams as this was a challenging task considering the limited resources and budget, however, the students worked hard on the research and were able to extract some great ideas from the findings. I have no doubt that they can be implemented by REACH in the future.”

Social responsibility is a cornerstone of the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s Masters in Advertising program. ADV 6372: Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship is just one of several courses with a focus on social responsibility that students in the Institute’s MA in Advertising program are able to take. These courses, and the experiences gained through working with real clients, equip graduates to become leaders in the advertising industry by helping them recognize their responsibility to their brands, their consumers, their industry and their society.

MA in Advertising Class of 2016 at Graduation

CONGRATULATIONS INSTITUTE GRADUATE STUDENTS!!

We want to wish success to our graduating students as the class of 2016 move forward into their professional careers. Each one has grown and excelled over the past two years in the program.

2016 MA Graduation Photo
From left: Preston Barrett, Erica Chiarello, Colleen O’Brien, Yiyang April Yu, Diana Herrera, Jingxue Snow Wang, and Jing Jin. Marin Berardi (not pictured). Faculty: Steven Edwards, Sid Muralidharan, Cheryl Mendenhall, Amy Dahmann, Carrie La Ferle, Anna Kim, and Hye Jin Yoon.

New knowledge has been acquired from persuasion theories and research to strategic brand management and ROI metrics. Portfolios have been developed and perfected as well as understanding the importance of responsibility in advertising and the positive impact this can have on a brand’s bottom line.

Cultural sensitives and personal growth have been gained during a month of learning in Hong Kong. Students visited several advertising agencies and cultural sites enriching their understanding of international advertising and particularly that occurring in the Asian region.

As these exceptional graduating MA in Advertising students head out from their semester long Executive Internships, many are continuing to work for the same companies from The Richards Group and TM Advertising to Mary Kay, Commerce House to Swimming Duck.

We are super proud of all of you and are excited to see you continue to excel as you enter into the next chapter of your story.

While you move on from the campus and the TAI physical location, you are always a part of the TAI family and we know you will go out and make us all proud.

Best wishes and congratulations to all!

The Temerlin Advertising Institute!
Better Advertising. Better World.

Interested in graduate classes? Check out our new 1 year program and part-time certificate program.

TAI Faculty Named Judge for Ethics Awards Program

Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Professor of Advertising for the Temerlin Advertising Institute, has been selected as a judge for the upcoming Greater Dallas Business Ethics Awards Program 2016. The selection of judges is based on demonstration and commitment to ethical practices, and include accomplished professionals representing the business, academic, public service, and consulting communities. Read her thoughts on being selected as a judge below:

CarrieLaFerle

“I am honored to participate as a judge in the Greater Dallas Business Ethics Awards. It is very rewarding to see businesses wanting to be more and do more for their employees, business associates, customers and the community at large. The companies that compete for this award are working to put integrity in business first, treating people as having value and not as a means to an end while also growing their businesses through trust and long term relationships. It is exciting to be a member of a city where ethics and integrity are on the hearts and minds of many of the businesses working to shape our economy and our communities.”

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The Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award was founded in 2000 and honors Dallas-based companies that demonstrate a measurable commitment to ethical business practices in everyday operations, management philosophies and responses to crises or challenges.   The purpose of the GDBEA is to hold those businesses up as examples and provide guidance and support to companies that wish to improve their ability to operate ethically and ensure ethics are an integral part of their culture.

Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna Presents “Is this safe to eat? Food Safety after Fukushima”

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Photo Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, presented his work “Is this safe to eat? Food safety and risk after Fukushima” on Friday at the TAI Research Brown Bag. The participants were taken through the tragedy that struck Japan after a devastating earthquake, nuclear explosion and tsunami put people, food, soil and water at risk of radiation. Professor Sternsdorff-Cisterna discussed  consumers’ reactions to food purchases and eating habits along with government messaging working to alleviate consumer and citizen concerns.

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Bags of Soil / Photo Credit: Toru Hanai/Reuters

The intent of the brown bag luncheon is to bring together faculty members to present work they are doing in an effort to engage collaboration as well as offer ideas in moving the research area forward.

japan_earthquake_map_Sendai_Fukushima_nuclear_power_plantAttendees included Visiting Professor Yuting Li, Head of the Advertising Department, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, China as well as colleagues from across campus. Often the work is related to research, but can also involved creative works and industry endeavors.  Our next brown bag will be in December. Keep your eye out for highlights from December’s presenter!

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Design from the Heart 

MendenhallCherylBy Cheryl Mendenhall, Senior Lecturer

Here at the Temerlin Advertising Institute we stress the importance of responsibility in advertising, whether that is professional responsibility, social responsibility, or the everyday choices we make in our field. My focus is in graphic design, and I wanted to share with you some of the many ways design can be used for the greater good. It can be small things like using recycled paper or soy ink in a project or something big like designing a way for people to communicate in health care situations where there may be a language barrier.

Many non-profits struggle to get their message heard; we as designers can help develop strategies and create materials to accomplish their unique goals.

HRMYou may know immediately what cause speaks to you, but if not, there are many resources available to help you find a connection. American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has a program called Design for Good described as “a movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change.” On their website they showcase inspiring projects and provide a wide variety of resources including ways for connecting designers and non-profits, groups that provide learning opportunities, and sources for funding and support grants for your self-initiated projects.

Or how about this? What do you get when you combine creatives, non-profits and a super quick deadline? A fantastic idea for helping out non-profits – a 24-hour createathon. Now that’s a GOOD reason to pull an all-nighter.

Here are some projects I find interesting:KZoo

I began working with non-profits early in my career as a way to give back when I didn’t have the money to donate. I continue to do it now because it brings me joy.

How we use our skills is up to us. I encourage you to find something that speaks to your heart and share your skills.