Chaminade nominates two students for Most Promising Minority Student Program


Kanoe Perreira (left) and Fuatino Solaita interview about the Most Promising Minortiy Student Program.

Chaminade University was one of only 12 universities nationwide to have more than one representative selected for the 2014 American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Minority Student Program. Two Chaminade University seniors, Kanoe Perreira and Fuatino Solaita, are traveling to New York City to represent Hawaii this month.

The AAF hosts the annual event to give students an opportunity to learn about careers in advertising, marketing, media or communications. The MPMS will be featured in major publications as well as meet with professionals from top advertiser companies and media agencies. The program is hosting 50 students from across the country. The event will be held from Feb. 11-14 at the Roosevelt Hotel in mid-town Manhattan.

“The program is basically a seminar for advertising and marketing students, so I guess a lot of businesses want a diverse employee workforce,” Solaita said. “So they’re reaching out to all these minorities to get their input about what they think marketing is and what are their views on advertising to broaden their workforce.”

Perreira and Solaita began preparation for the AAF program last October. Cliff Bieberly, head of the Chaminade Communication Department, nominated the two students based on their grades and involvement in school activities. He has been a part of the American Advertising Federation since 1996, which gives him a first-hand idea of what the agencies are looking for. The students were required to send in a résumé, a professional picture and a personal statement addressing why diversity is important in advertising. Perreira and Solaita are the seventh and eighth students to have been nominated from Chaminade to attend the AAF’s Most Promising Minority Student Program.

The MPMS will consist of conferences, luncheons and student interviews. This year the AAF will introduce the Most Promising University. The session will include decision making, how to navigate office politics, conflict resolution and negotiation, among other activities to prepare students for success.

“They’re good benefits for students, so that’s why I do it,” Bieberly said.

Perreira is a Broadcasting Communication Major, which is interesting because the event specializes in the marketing aspect of communications. She anticipates networking with top advertising agencies, and plans to bring her resume with her to answer any questions they may have.

“Just to meet with them gives us opportunities and encourages us to do more,” Perreira said. “They’re trying to encourage people from minorities to get out and try new opportunities.”

Solatia is a Business Administration Major with a minor in Communication. Interested in marketing and Public Relations, she hopes to expand her resume, and learn about what these agencies have to offer her.

Bieberly will be accompanying the two seniors to New York, along with attending the luncheon where the awards will be presented. In the down time, Bieberly offered to take the students around the city to do activities that they may be reluctant to do alone, like ride the subway.

The AAF, located in Washington, D.C., is a federal association that coordinates educational activities to improve the profession. The AAF also lobbies Congress for better ideas that will help the advertising industry, according to Bieberly.

On Jan. 29, the AAF Hawaii Chapter, known as ad2 hosted a dinner for the Hawaii attendees at V Lounge. ad2 is a group of younger professionals who are part of the AAF. The dinner was to recognize Perreira and Solaita going to New York.  While attending the dinner, Perreira met Alysha Komenaka, an officer of the organization. Komenaka, a mentor to Perreira, advised her what to expect, what to have prepared and information from previous attendees.

“To know that two little girls from Hawaii were selected,” Solaita said. “(50) kids nation wide get to go, it’s such a blessing actually.”