Chadron State College
Chadron State College

CSC students meet the pros at virtual conference

Mar 1, 2021

CHADRON – Chadron State College students in the fields of art, communications, and marketing will have the opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals in advertising and media during a virtual Meet the Pros conference Monday and Tuesday

The annual event, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation Omaha, features speakers with experience in the advertising world, said CSC Art Professor Mary Donahue. Among the presenters are Cameron Day, who has worked with ad agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, and Mike Cessario, who worked on viral promotions for Netflix shows including House of Cards and Narcos, Donahue said.

Normally in Omaha, this year’s conference will take place virtually on Zoom, but will still be useful for students, said Dr. Shaunda French-Collins. She said it is valuable when professionals take the time to review students’ portfolios and resumes.

“The conference has been invaluable in showing students what the professional design, advertising and marketing world is like, how to prepare for it and what it expects of them,” said Donahue, who has taken students to the event since 2010. They hear directly from professionals, including their stories of being a student and starting out. They hear about what the current trends are in design, advertising, marketing and in the culture in general.”

Taking class time after the conference to review what students learned from their participation is an important part of the experience, the instructors said.

“We incorporate the advice and suggestions in preparing for the professional field and in improving their portfolios,” said Donahue.

And the conference is a learning experience for teachers as well, said French-Collins.

“It’s not unusual for me to lecture on something I learn (at the conference),” she said.

Ten or more CSC students are expected to participate in the conference this year. More information is available at

—George Ledbetter