welcome to the university of southern mississippis department of marketing and public relations

Released March 12, 2003

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - For Matt Pennington, it's heady stuff for a young man from Saint David, Maine, to get an opportunity to chase his career dreams in New York City.

Pennington recently earned a spot in the prestigious Vance Stickell Memorial Student Internship Program, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, and is one of nine students selected from across the country for the program. The program has secured him an internship this summer at Bozell in New York City, one of the world's largest advertising agencies.

"I'm so excited by this opportunity," said Pennington, who serves as president of the Southern Miss chapter of the AAF. "I'm just from a little town in northern Maine, and now I'm going to New York City."

Pennington will participate in a variety of activities related to the agency's client services. He believes the experience will be invaluable after he graduates.

"I'm really interested in the aspect of working with the client and building relationships," he said.

The internship was established in 1989 in honor of the late Vance L. Stickell, former executive vice president of marketing for the Los Angeles Times. During his 39-year career in advertising, Stickell established himself nationally as an advertising practitioner. The internship program commemorates his contributions to the industry, and is intended to raise the awareness and understanding of advertising processes and business ethics among future advertising professionals.

Pennington's adviser – Dr. Johan Yssel, a Southern Miss associate professor of mass communication and journalism – said the internship is a great honor for Pennington and the school.

"This is big," Yssel said. "It's a reflection on Matt, our program, the school and the state.

It's a great honor and he's very deserving."

Yssel said Bozell is the sixth-largest advertising agency in the world.

In addition to his work as president of the AAF chapter on campus, Pennington also is a member of Order of Omega, Southern Style and Campus Crusade for Christ. He has a 3.95 grade-point average.

"In addition to being a prominent scholar, Matt's also one of our top campus leaders," said Dr. Joe Paul, vice president for student affairs at Southern Miss. "He's distinguished himself and the university, and this honor is a credit to Matt and his faculty."

Pennington is quick to deflect any praise on himself, choosing to focus on the attention the award brings to Southern Miss.

"I think it really puts us on the map," he said. "It helps us get some national recognition. Just that in itself is worth the honor."



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July 16, 2003 9:20 AM