Big Win for Ad/PR Alumnus

Story by Tommiea Jackson, Nicholson News


Steven Torres and his childhood friend Olga Monika Kweyete teamed up to win a national media planning competition in June. They were happy with the award and the $5,000 scholarship, but meeting award-winning journalist Bob Schieffer made them even happier.

Washington, D.C. is more than 850 miles away, but it isn’t too far for a Knight to travel to make his or her presence known. Steven Torres, ’16, a 2016 College of Sciences advertising-public relations graduate, traveled to the nation’s capital in June and brought home the top prize.

Torres and his teammate, Olga M. Trejos Kweyete of the University of Florida, made up one of six teams from across the country that advanced past multiple rounds of intense competition where they had to put their best research and communication skills to use. Torres and Kweyete, who are childhood friends, each took home $5,000 in scholarships.

“I am proud to report that my team won first place and was presented with the National Excellence in Media Award by award-winning journalist Bob Schieffer in a room of more than 500 political advertising professionals,” said Torres. “It was awesome! He gave us all signed copies of his book. We got to chat with him for a little while. The entire event was kind of unreal! Once we found out we’d won. We had so many business cards and people offering us jobs.”

While in D.C., Torres met with and toured a number of companies including iHeart Media, Google, Washington Post, POLITICO and many others. This jam-packed week of networking and learning culminated on June 9, with the Media Plan Case final round presentations and the Awards Ceremony held at the Newseum.

The Washington Media Scholars Foundation, a nonpartisan organization run by National Media, one of the leading political, public affairs and issue campaign media planning firms, hosts the competition every year.

Though he got several job offers to return to the Washington, Torres was happy to return to his job as the deputy press secretary for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Tallahassee – a job he’d had for one week before the competition.

“I want to get more experience and live in Florida a little while longer,” he said. ” There are plenty of opportunities in the state capital.”

Although he feels blessed with his current position, Torres said he hopes to use his political science minor one day. He has politics on his mind.

“My dream is to be press secretary for a while or a public information officer for a large federal government agency like the FBI,” he said.

Nicholson faculty members have come to admire Torres and his drive. Joan McCain, NSC advertising-public relations area coordinator, counts his success a great success for the school as well.

“Steven really took the initiative on this opportunity, and worked very hard every step of the way,” said McCain. “His accomplishment brings added recognition for the Nicholson School and the Ad-PR major on a national level.”

View original story, here.


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