Advertising professionals and area high schoolers meet at Radford through AdScape collaboration

John Carlin, keynote speaker for AdScape

More than 100 students high school students from the Roanoke and New River valleys visited Radford University Thursday, Oct. 29, for AdScape, a program that teaches them about the business of advertising.

In addition to meeting peers from other schools, the students participated in hands-on, interactive workshops on topics that covered social media, audio/video production, 3D animation, graphic design, public relations, digital communication and advertising management.

Students also had the chance to practice "soft skills" during a networking lunch, sponsored by the university's Office of the Provost, that brought students, faculty and working professionals together for an elevator pitch exercise led by Radford University communication students.

John Carlin, evening anchor for WSLS 10 in Roanoke, served as the keynote speaker for the lunch, where he discussed his station's response to the recent tragic shooting of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, employees for their main competitor, WDBJ7.

Carlin discussed the nature of competition in the media, but urged students to remember that one can still be compassionate in their work.

"It was a real privilege to be here with these young professionals," Carlin said of the day. "It was a pleasure to have lunch with them, to talk with them and hear what their hopes and dreams are."

Radford University graphic designer Nakia Shelton helps students with a design activity.

For many students, AdScape provided the first opportunity to meet with media and advertising professionals. Jamie Houck and Edana Colegrove, juniors at Cave Spring High School, enjoyed the raised expectations and fast-pace of the day.

"I learned a lot today about all the different elements that go into advertising. It's more than one thing and that's exciting," Houck said.

"And it was really great to have a chance to talk to all these professionals," Colgrove added. "They helped us see the opportunities we can take."

The university's School of Communication offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that focus on the study of advertising and public relations, as well as journalism, production technology and communication studies. Communication professionals and university faculty and staff volunteered their time to lead the sessions.

This marked the second year of the program, an initiative of the Roanoke Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), a professional organization devoted to the business of advertising. Professionals in the areas of graphic design, marketing, broadcast, photography, print, digital media and more, come together to represent a wide range of community businesses and organizations. AAF Roanoke was founded in 1958.

AdScape was organized by the chapter's Discover Advertising Protégés (DAP) group, which exposes minority students to advertising careers through job shadowing and special events.

The event was free to registered high school students because of support from Radford University's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the Office of the Provost, Mountain Valley Transportation, Duncan Automotive Network, Lawrence Transportation, Blue Eagle Credit Union and Cuz's Autobody Repair. Learn more at the Discover Advertising Protégés website.

Nov 3, 2015