Four West Virginia University Reed College of Media online graduate students have been awarded scholarships from the College’s General IMC/DMC Scholarship Fund.
The competitive scholarship was established in 2017 by College of Media alumni and employees Catherine and Chad Mezera . It is awarded to students enrolled in the College’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) or Data Marketing Communications (DMC) graduate programs each fall and is the first and only scholarship dedicated to online graduate students in the College of Media.
Saresa Bass of Edmond, Oklahoma, Kaitlyn Lopez of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Jesse Yang of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, are the recipients of the IMC scholarship and Peyton Neely of Raleigh, North Carolina, received the DMC scholarship.
Bass, who is enrolled in the IMC Public Relations Leadership area of emphasis, is a marketing assistant for CEC Corporation, a privately held, multidivisional engineering firm. In this role, she specializes in branding, public relations and crisis communications. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2008 from the University of Central Oklahoma and has more than ten years of experience in marketing communications. She volunteers regularly with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the City Rescue Mission and the Oklahoma Christian Service Center. She also fosters dogs through the Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
Lopez graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from WVU in 2018 and is a graduate assistant in the College of Media where she assists with recruiting activities, social media strategy, event planning and the student ambassador team. As an undergraduate, she interned with the WVU Athletic Department where she interviewed players and coaches for game day programs and the WVU Sports website, and with the University Relations social media team, managing the University’s official Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat accounts.
“The IMC program allows me to connect with students and professors from across the country. I have interacted with classmates from Florida to professors in Wisconsin,” Lopez said. “The mixture of ages and experiences gives me a wide variety of knowledge that I may not receive in another program.”
Yang is a first-generation college student whose parents emigrated from Laos to escape the Secret War. She is a marketing specialist for the Integrated Marketing and Communications Department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has worked in the video and broadcast industry for six years. She does a multitude of promotional videos for student recruitment and marketing purposes for UW.
“My parents’ perseverance and determination to provide my family a better life in America encouraged me to want a better future for myself by pursuing post-secondary education, and now my master’s degree,” Yang said. “As a Hmong woman working in what is traditionally regarded as a male dominated career, I’ve grown to embrace the little representation of Hmong females in the video and filmmaking industry. I would love to earn my master’s degree and teach a course on using video to market a brand or message. I want to be a part of teaching the next generation of visual storytellers.”
Neely, the recipient of the DMC scholarship, earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from WVU in 2018. She is a West Virginia native who moved to Raleigh for an internship with Intrepid Marketing Group where she worked with local radio stations and television networks to promote clients including major schools and professional sports leagues in the area. She recently took a job as a sports and entertainment marketing specialist for IBM. She is also a member of the Raleigh Jaycees, an organization focused on giving back to their community.
Alumni and friends can make donations to the IMC/DMC Scholarship Fund or the WVU Reed College of Media at mediacollege.wvu.edu/give.