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Advertising team again among top five in national contest

May 9, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A team of Western Michigan University marketing students placed in the top five in a recent national competition.

The team of five students, all of them majors in the WMU Advertising and Promotion Program, competed in the EdVenture Partners Department of Defense National Case Study Competition against 25 teams from universities across the nation. WMU has participated in EdVenture competitions for the past four years, placing in the top 10, nationally, each year.

The WMU contingent was composed of recent WMU graduates Kathleen Brinnehl of Benton Harbor, Mich., Amy Cathcart of Troy, Mich., Bridget Jancarz of Vicksburg, Mich., Kathryn Rzpecki of Northville, Mich. and Danielle Thayer of Battle Creek, Mich.

In an EdVenture Partners National Case Study, small teams of students within a class are challenged to consider and answer a number of analytical questions regarding a client's brand positioning, a communication strategy or any other current strategic situation as identified by the sponsoring client. The WMU team, "Halyn Group," developed an integrated campaign for the Department of Defense. The goal was to recruit college-aged men and woman who speak a foreign language fluently and have specific skill sets, such as engineering, medicine or math/science, for more than 700 civilian roles within the agency. They used a variety of consumer touch points and carried the tagline "The Difference of Distinction."

Dr. JoAnn Atkin, WMU assistant professor of marketing and the team's advisor, uses the competition as the capstone project for advertising and promotion majors in the class Marketing 4810: Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns. The students won the "right" to represent WMU in the competition by beating out three other student teams also taking the class.

"The competition this year was much more challenging than in previous years," says Atkin, "but, the process of developing a campaign from start to finish hasn't changed. I'm very proud of what the students accomplished this year. The team's hard work was rewarded with another WMU top-five placement."

Established in the mid-1960s, WMU's Advertising and Promotion Program is part of the Haworth College of Business' Department of Marketing. Roughly 300 students major in the area.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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