National organization recognizes WMU advertising and promotion students

Contact: Alyssa Benson
WMU students Abrahan Garcia and Alex Gutierrez-Spencer standing outside of WMU's Schneider Hall, home to the business college.

Garcia, left, and Gutierrez-Spencer, right

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two Western Michigan University advertising and promotion students were selected by the American Advertising Federation to participate in the organization's Most Promising Multicultural Students Program for 2018. This is the third consecutive year that WMU students have been chosen to participate in the prestigious program.

Abrahan Garcia, of Holland, and Alex Gutierrez-Spencer, of Monroe, are two of only 50 recipients of the annual award for the nation's top multicultural college seniors with exceptional academic and professional achievements. The students will be honored at a ceremony during the program Monday through Thursday, Feb. 12-15, in New York City, and will have the chance to learn more about the advertising industry through networking, interviewing and industry immersion opportunities.

Garcia and Gutierrez-Spencer were both nominated for the program by Dr. Karen Lancendorfer, associate professor of marketing and director of the WMU advertising and promotion program.

"I am so proud that Alex and Abrahan received national recognition this year," says Lancendorfer. "What has allowed them to achieve success is their ability to understand multiple viewpoints and find innovative solutions and the best outcomes for any project."

Both students credit their business professors and the Haworth College of Business for preparing them for the program and future professional endeavors.

"WMU prepared me for this type of program through its helpful resources, such as the Zhang Career Center. These resources do an exceptional job at preparing students for the professional world," says Garcia. "The Most Promising Multicultural Students Program is designed to strengthen diversity and inclusion in advertising by connecting industry with the nation's top multicultural students and I know I’m prepared to stand out among my peers."

Gutierrez-Spencer agrees that the college has prepared him well to represent WMU at the program. "I am very grateful and excited to represent WMU as an American Advertising Federation Most Promising Multicultural Student," he says. "WMU has provided me with countless opportunities to improve my professionalism as well as my personal skills. Representing WMU is something I will do not only as a part of this program, but also for the rest of my life."

American Advertising Federation

The American Advertising Federation, the nation's oldest national advertising trade association and the only association representing all facets of the advertising industry, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The AAF's membership is comprised of nearly 100 blue-chip corporate members consisting of the nation's leading advertisers, advertising agencies and media companies; a national network of nearly 200 local federations, representing 40,000 advertising professionals, located in ad communities across the country; and more than 200 AAF college chapters, with more than 6,500 student members. The AAF operates a host of programs and initiatives including the Advertising Hall of Fame, the American Advertising Awards, the National Student Advertising Competition, the Mosaic Center on Multiculturalism and summer advertising camps for high school students in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.

About WMU advertising and promotion program

The advertising and promotion major at WMU attracts creative, strategically minded students and provides them with an interactive education that ensures they will have the skills and knowledge necessary for success. Advertising and promotion faculty bring years of practical experience to the classroom and maintain close ties with industry through applied research and consulting. WMU students excel in national student advertising competitions, including the American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition and EdVenture Partners National Case Study Competition where students regularly take top-10 national honors.

For more information about the program, visit or contact Dr. Karen Lancendorfer at (269) 387-5996 or

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