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Ford Foundation Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention Alternate  07/09

The National Academy of Sciences
Recognition for Academic Excellence, Commitment to Diversity and Education

University of Illinois Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute Fellowship 07/09

Funding $3,000
Recognition for Academic Excellence, Commitment to Diversity and Education

McNair Scholars Graduate Fellowship, Funded two years-$15,000 06/09

Recognition for scholarship, diversity and leadership

Applause Magazine, Reach for the Stars Award Winner 02/07

Images of Excellence Corporation
Recognition for Academic Excellence, Corporate Achievement, Education, Advocacy, Public Service and Communication

American Advertising Federation Most Promising Minority Finalist 02/06

Listed in Advertising Age and USA Today
Recognition for Academic and Professional Excellence

Golden Key Scholar, Ohio University 06/06

Recognition for graduating in the top 15% of graduating class

Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Communication Student Spotlight 05/06

Featured on Ohio University’s School of Communication’s website. 

Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement

Arras Group Scholarship 03/06

Cleveland Advertising Association,
Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

American Advertising Federation Cleveland Scholarship 03/06

Cleveland Advertising Association, 
Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.


Deans List Scholarship 01/06

Ohio University,
Recognition for academic excellence.

Deans List Scholarship 04/06

Ohio University,
Recognition for academic excellence.

McNair Scholar 06/05

Recognition for academic Achievement, diversity and leadership
Paper: “The Evolution of Stereotypical Depictions of African Americans in Advertising”
(Advisor: Dr. Akil Houston)

Arras Group Scholarship 03/05

Cleveland Advertising Association,
Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

Thomas Brennen Memorial Scholarship 03/05

Cleveland Advertising Association,
Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

Deans List Scholarship 01/05

Ohio University,
Recognition for academic excellence

Deans List Scholarship 04/05

Ohio University,
Recognition for academic excellence

Deans List Scholarship 10/05

Ohio University,
Recognition for academic excellence

Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Recipient, Funded for two years 06/04

Recognition for academic excellence, diversity and leadership

Deans List Scholarship 10/04

Ohio University
Recognition for academic excellence.

Procter & Gamble Scholarship Recipient 06/03

Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

Procter & Gamble Scholarship Recipient 06/02

Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

Procter & Gamble Scholarship Recipient 06/01

Recognition for academic excellence and professional achievement.

Cannabis Contributor, Black Enterprise 2016 – PRESENT

Wrote articles focusing on diversity and inclusion issues in the cannabis industry.



Founder|Educational Programming - Minority Cannabis Industry Association/Minority Cannabis Business Association 2014

Served as the founding president, visionary and mission writer of the first non-profit dedicated exclusively to the interests of minorities in the cannabis industry. Served as an educational programming lead within the organization and directed educational programming to introduce market entrants to industry education.



Founder, VP of Programming and ComfyTree Enterprises 2014

Lead, programming, training, consulting and conferences on introductory and intermediate education in the cannabis industry. Responsible for all operational management of the enterprise, new business development, consumer relations, media relations, sales, and vendor relationships.



Founder, ComfyTree Consulting 2013

Lead training and consulting on introductory education on the cannabis industry.



TRIO McNair Mentor 2009

Provided support to McNair Scholars by offering scholarly advice, paper review, presentation review, and academic advancement tips. Attended conferences and provided guidance to underrepresented student groups.


University College Office of Retention (Student Affairs) 2008

Student Help Center, Ohio University


Supervisor: Dale Tampke

Hours: 20 hours per week, Graduate Assistantship


  • Specialized in working with International Students and Students of Color within the office of retentions.

  • Identified at-risk students and contacted them to offer support through barriers that cause students to drop out of school.

  • Academic Advising: helping students choose majors; offer resource presentations to students who are on academic probation

  • Offered special assistance to Athletes for clearinghouse regulations

  • Created programs to help under targeted at-risk groups (African Americans and Transfer Students)

  • Specialized counsel for Athletes with eligibility concerns requiring a sophisticated knowledge of NCAA Clearinghouse regulations and policies.

  • Successfully intervened on behalf of more than 20 students and played a role in their re-admittance or path correction.



University Athletic Academic Support–Tallahassee, Florida 2001 – 2003

Client: Florida State University Men’s Basketball


  • Created tutoring program for men’s basketball program to assist with eligibility concerns. The predominantly African American basketball team

  • saw increases in their GP A’s, self esteem and made o verall better lif e choices.

  • Leveraging Florida A& M University network, provided experts to help mentor on manhood and cultural awareness.


University of Illinois 2013 – PRESENT

Consumer Insights Instructor and Cultural Researcher


  • Specialized in cultural markets and educated students on underrepresented markets in effort to prevent stereotypical depictions in advertising campaigns.

  • Educated students on cultural awareness issues when constructing advertising campaigns.

  • Conducted primary research to develop consumer insights for local businesses.

  • Taught students research methodology such as focus groups, ethnography and netnography to enable them to make consumer-centric campaigns.

  • Taught students ecommerce strategy and how to effectively pitch advertising campaigns to clients

  • Taught about digital media entrepreneurship; utilizing cases such as Groupon, Living Social and Facebook as examples.


Life Coach 2009 – PRESENT

Breakthrough Academy (founder)


  • Provide one on one life coaching and counseling to underrepresented students experiencing various times of difficulty or desires in increasing

  • their effectiveness in life.

  • I provided workshops and programming on living an empowered life, effective study skills and time management.

  • Using my background in advertising we discussed how media representation of fulfillment success and pathways to self-actualization might

  • differ from strategic pathways.

  • Instead of taking those insights and using them for branding in advertising and ultimately attach them to products, I help steer people toward

  • what they actually want out of life—spiritual connection and a deeper understanding of themselves and others.


Procter & Gamble–Cincinnati, Ohio 2003

African American Multicultural Business Development (Marketing) Intern
Supervisor: Susan Mboya; Director of African American Marketing and direct report to Graciela Eleta; VP of Multicultural Marketing (Hispanic & African American)


  • Benchmarked leaders of multicultural marketing and suggested strategies to reach the African American consumer working with Burrell and

  • Carol H. Williams Advertising Agencies;

  • Monitored brand spending for African American marketing and coached on spending effectively;

  • Modified educational training program for brands and advertising agencies; Tracked research tests of African American marketing vehicles.

  • Suggested positive approaches for representing the African American consumer



Procter & Gamble–Caracas, Venezuela & Cincinnati, Ohio 2002

Global Diversity & Inclusion-Human Resources /Internal Marketing Intern
Supervisor: Denise Andrews


  • Assisted in the deployment of the Women Supporting Women & People Supporting People programs which were geared toward increasing diversity in upper management at Procter & Gamble in Caracas, Venezuela.

  • Promoted the programs benefits and sought funding support from within the company; Developed marketing/advertising packages for Parke

  • Media by researching ads, & ad competitors;

  • Developed a website working with a contractor by supplying content and design;

  • Contacted celebrities to determine charities to receive benefit from the program;

  • Extracted post-diversity program qualitative data from surveys to assist in the fine tuning of the program and measuring of effectiveness.


Media Literacy Instructor 2011

MS166: Media Literacy
University of Illinois


  • Facilitated a course teaching new media literacy skills necessary to be civically engaged in a highly mediated society and to teach new skills for a new high tech society.

  • Taught students learn about issues such as media representation, ownership, and ideological messaging.

  • Personally responsible for 38 students.



Media Culture and Society Teaching Assistant 2010

University of Illinois


  • Facilitated a discussion section as a Teaching assistant for the class geared toward educating students about critical issues in new media such as gender, race, class and access.

  • Graded papers, lectured, encouraged dialogue. Responsible for approximately 60 students.



Barefoot Advertising Agency (BBDO) –Cincinnati, Ohio 2007

Interactive Account Manager/Interactive Assistant Account Manager
Client: Procter & Gamble
Brands: Mr. Clean, Febreeze, Swiffer
Supervisor: Fran Dicari
Responsibilities: Managed client relationship and acted as the bridge between the marketing managers and the agency; Ensured team
cohesiveness and strategic projects; Monitored web traffic and effectiveness of online promotions; Offered website consultation to Marketing
managers; educated marketing managers on new avenues to reach consumers through new technology and interactive techniques; Focus group
research; Designed promotions for Home Made Simple online magazine; Offered consultation on multicultural consumer marketing techniques.


Arnold Worldwide–Boston, Massachusetts 2005

Account Management Intern/ American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP)
Client: McDonald’s; Arnold Worldwide
Responsibilities: Wrote four commercials for various McDonald’s products in the NE area to attract young professional African Americans while ensuring campaign was free of stereotypical approaches. Designed flyers for national and local McDonald’s; Won “Most Integrated Campaign” in intern competition to re-brand training division; Operated a meet and greet for Destiny’s Child during the Fulfilled & Lovin’ It Tour; Redesigned databases and templates for Arnold’s internal business to increase agency efficiency;


Procter & Gamble–Cincinnati, Ohio 2001

Family Care-Human Resources/Marketing Intern
Supervisor: Christie Warren
Responsibilities: Developed internet based restaurant guide used as a marketing tool for relocating employees; Enabled discounts for relocating employees by negotiating with restaurant owners.


University Athletic Marketing–Tallahassee, Florida 2001

Client: Florida A&M University/Florida State University
Responsibilities: Assisted in event creation, implementation, and promotion, created awareness and attitude surveys and solicited business sponsorships.


University Athletic Academic Support–Tallahassee, Florida 2001 – 2003

Client: Florida State University Men’s Basketball
Responsibilities Created tutoring program for men’s basketball program to assist with eligibility concerns. The predominantly African American basketball team saw increases in their GPA’s, self esteem and made overall better life choices. Leveraging Florida A& M University network, provided experts to help mentor on manhood and cultural awareness.




University of Illinois –Champaign IL 2013 – PRESENT

Thesis hours and consulting work
First scholar to access and conduct research on University of Illinois’ cannabis archives. Conducted consumer behavior, advertising and educational research at the intersection of cannabis, diversity, and business access and matriculation.

University Illinois–Champaign, IL 2014 – 2015

Thesis Hours /Consulting Work
Conducted Independent research for an energy drink company. Assisted with merchandising, packaging and branding decisions based on consumer observation. Conducted ethnographic in store observations, interviews and taste tests.

University Illinois–Champaign, IL 2013

Qualitative Research Methods
Instructor: Dr. Michelle Nelson
Researched ‘second screen’ media users through qualitative methods (netnography, interviews, media diaries) to determine how advertisers could best deal with the new multimedia environment and the competition for consumer attention. Based on consumer insight strategies of device connectivity, cookie technology to increase brand relevance, and brand identifying techniques for consumers wishing to purchase items from product placement strategies.

University of Illinois–Champaign, IL 2013

Qualitative Research Methods
Instructor: Dr. Michelle Nelson
Conducted market research for the medical cannabis industry to understand how cannabis fits into the lives of consumers, determine consumer segmentation, understand consumer preferences and understand cultural climate. Utilized ethnography, netnography, interviews and historical research approaches.

University of Illinois–Champaign, IL 2013

Marketing Research
Instructor: Jamie Noriega
Conducted Marketing Research for Whirlpool Corporation to identify why companies like LG and Samgung are capturing market share from them as the industry leader. Through survey techniques, interviews and netnography we gained consumer insight to help inform a strategy for the company to attract users who would be inclined to go with the competitor. Utilized Qualtrics and SPSS for Quantitative coding and Survey creation.

Ohio University–Athens, Ohio 2009

Qualitative Research Independent Study
Advisors: Mia Consalvo
Topic: In-Game Advertising; Historical analysis of the relationship between the video game industry and the advertising industry. Covers debates
of effectiveness and appropriateness and who is the driving the relationship.

Ohio University–Athens, Ohio 2009

Research Assistant
Advisors: Dr. Karen Riggs
Topic: Groovin’: Baby Boomers, Identity, and Marketing: Through historical and metaphorical analysis, explored marketing techniques to African American Baby Boomers. Utilized Atlas-ti to assist with decoding of visual data. Constructed a cultural nostalgia of Black Baby Boomers. 
Examined how they are currently advertised to and suggested new and non- cliché cultural access points.

Ohio University–Athens, Ohio 2009
Teaching Assistant
Advisors: Eric Williams
Topic: Media and Creative Strategy. Taught students how to effectively communicate messages visually in media as well as decode visual messages created by media practitioners.

Ohio University–Athens, Ohio 2009

Qualitative Research Experience
Advisors: Mia Consalvo Topic: Racism and Videogames; Historical and textual analysis representation of race in videogames.

Tanzania Tourist Authority Advertising–Athens, Ohio 2009

Professor: Dr. Jane Sojka
Class: Consumer Behavior
Topic: Developed a Likert scale model to test the theory that they were utilizing imagery that is deemed stereotypical and negative in American culture as the highlights of their campaign. Particularly, Americans were unable to discriminate the use of animals in the ads as being contained in a zoo or on a safari and assumed animals roamed free everywhere. Additionally, Americans were unable to discriminate between Tanzania and the rest of Africa. This type of campaign could hurt more than help tourism.

Passing the Brown Paper Bag Test: Colorism in Ebony Magazine–Athens, Ohio 2009

Professor: Dr. Karen Sandell
Class: Women in Media
Topic: Content analysis; Examined a sample of ebony magazines for skin color of models. Using a brown paper bag, models were compared by skin color to see how many models would have passed under the social test that oppressed many African Americans. This test created somewhat of a caste system in the black community and the result still echoes with the types of products associated with light skin models vs. dark skin models. Studio lighting was found in some instances to make darker skinned models appear lighter. Also, rhetoric accompanying the ads showed a tension between Afrocentric Ideals and Eurocentric norms.

Reebok I Am What I Am–Athens, Ohio 2009

Professor: Dr. Karen Riggs
Class: Qualitative Research Methods
Topic: Textual analysis; Examined the Reebook “I Am What I Am” campaign for representation of African American men. Special attention was paid to 50 cent and other hip hop and athletes who were the African American heroes of the campaign. Themes of violence, lower class status and thug lifestyles are glamorized in the campaign for Black men as opposed to White and Asian counterparts who were portrayed in more socially desirable situations.

Ohio University–Athens, Ohio 2008

Qualitative Research Experience
Advisors: Dr. Hong Cheng
Topic: Global Blackness: Consuming the other; Historical and textual analysis of representations of ‘black’ populations around the globe.
Explored how blacks are often commodified in international advertisements and made into product metaphors based on their skin color.
Chocolate and licorice metaphors provide examples of symbolic cannibalism. Examined advertisements that were not deemed offensive in the country they were created in but were made a point of controversy in the global marketplace by way of access to technology and cultural exportation.

Green Consumer Behavior CFL Project–Athens, Ohio 2008

Professor: Dr. Jane Sojka
Class: Consumer Behavior
Topic: Observational research; observed consumers shop for light bulbs to gain an understanding on the most important aspects of the shopper’s experience. Data used to create a marketing campaign for sustainability.

Watching You, Watching TV–Athens, Ohio 2008

Professor: Dr. Roger Cooper
Class: Audience Research
Topic: This uses and gratification observational research project involved watching a household watch television during prime time to learn how they choose program types and how do they use multiple forms media  imultaneously. The participant kept a diary and was interviewed at the end of the study to supplement the observation. As congruence theory supports, the participant watched mainly shows that agreed with his 
interests and turned to other shows to argue with the television or avoided them all together. It also revealed that he gravitates towards mediums where he can control content referencing a lack of Multicultural or politically relevant mainstream media.

McNair Scholar

Ohio University
Advisors: Dr. Akil Houston; Dr. Raymie McKerrow
Topic: McNair Scholar: “The Evolution of Stereotypical Depictions of African Americans in Advertising.” Historical analysis of stereotypical images and marginalization of African Americans in Advertising bridging social criticism and business practice; recommendations made to Advertisers on how to more effectively reach the target market and the consequences of not doing so.

Global Leadership Center Participant–Chiang Mai, Thailand 2006

Ohio University
Advisors: Greg Emery
Topic: Destination Spa Marketing Consultation; Created marketing plan for Paradise Spa and recommended new target markets while working with Thai and Russian teammates in a program affiliated with Harvard University. Provided a competitive analysis to Paradise spa of their major competitors and offered ways to overcome challenges.

Global Leadership Center Participant–Athens, Ohio 2006

Ohio University
Advisors: Greg Emery
Topic: Thai Tourism Authority Marketing Project; Recommended Gay and Lesbians and middle class Americans as new target markets for tourism.
Offered strategies to attract the market.

Global Leadership Center Participant—Athens, Ohio 2006

Ohio University
Advisors: Greg Emery
Topic: Nurani Dunia Foundation NGO Fundraising and Mission Project; Researched major challenges to progress in the area and strategized options for relief for Tsunami victims. Raised money for the foundation by selling handmade cards made by Indonesian women. Helped bridge religious conflict by collaborating with Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and organizing a letter writing campaign; Collected school supply donations.


Minority Cannabis Business Association 2016 – PRESENT

Taught traditional business topics relevant to the emerging cannabis industry and specific to minorities in the industry.

ComfyTree Enterprises 2013 – 2017

Taught traditional business topics relevant to the emerging cannabis industry.
Description: Taught students about utilizing research, especially qualitative research.

Advertising Management and Planning (ADV491) 2013 – PRESENT

University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
Description: Taught students about utilizing research, especially qualitative research methods, to develop consumer insights and a
consumer-centered strategy.

Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative Instructor 2007 – 2008

Ohio University
Class: CLWR222: Religion, Gender and Sexuality
Supervisor: Dr. Elizabeth Collins & Dr. Patricia Stokes
Description: Facilitated dialogues around topics academic pluralism and topics of controversy including: racism, sexism, homosexuality, abortion as they relate to religion. Examined the history of our most deeply rooted religious beliefs about gender and sexuality. Some of the guiding questions of the course were: How is religious experience gendered? What do scriptures in different traditions say about women? How have religious traditions changed in the way women and their roles in society are viewed? Why are celibacy and virginity considered to be sacred?
Why are divorce, contraception, abortion, and homosexuality so hotly contested in religious traditions?

African American Studies Teaching Assistant 2007 – 2009

Ohio University
Class: AAS150: Black Media
Supervisor: Dr. Akil Houston
Description: Facilitated lectures on critical issues as they relate to underrepresented groups. Historical analysis of images of blacks in cinema, radio, and television programming; origin and development of stereotypes; relationship of these images to societal developments; examination of alternatives.
Funding: 15-20 Hourly Appointment

University College Instructor 2007 – 2009

Ohio University
Class: UC115: The University Experience
Supervisor: Dale Tampke
Description: Designed to help ease the transition to the academic environment. Provides an overview of the skills and strategies that improve one's chances to be successful in college, including writing, motivation, and time management. Offers an introduction to the resources at Ohio University, including the University library and Career Services. Touches on finding a major and developing academic goals.
Funding: Full Tuition Waiver and Stipend

College of Communications Teaching Assistant 2008 – 2009

Ohio University
Class: MDIA203: Creative Strategy

Supervisor: Eric Williams
Description: Introduced the process of creating media products. Examined how different media industries approach the creative process, how media artists find creative inspiration, and how to locate and utilize a variety of resources to express a creative vision for media audiences/buyers. 

Funding: Full Tuition Waiver and Stipend

College of Communications Teaching Assistant 2008 – 2009

Ohio University
Class: TCOM105: Media and the Creative Process
Supervisor: Dr. Roger Cooper
Description: Examined various forms of mass communication including newspapers, magazines, radio-television, book publishing, public relations, advertising, and photojournalism; Began with analysis of communication process and ended with education about media career opportunities; Introduced students to the fundamentals of the media industry as future professionals.
Funding: Full Tuition Waiver and Stipend

Co-Instructor 2005

Ohio University
Class: UC115: The University Experience.
Supervisor: Kathy Murphy
Description: Taught class of 25 transfer students about university adjustment.


Volunteer 2006 – PRESENT

Volunteer, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center—Cincinnati, Ohio

Volunteer 2011

Volunteer, Motherlands Culture Club. Offered Cultural Enrichment crafts and activities to youth k-12 to engage them with global cultures.

Volunteer 2010

Volunteer, It Starts at Home Youth Program. Facilitator of culturally enriching and empowering art activities. Tutor in math and Spanish.

Coach 2009 – 2010

Coach, Champaign County Park District Mystics 3rd and 4th Grade Girls Community Basketball Team, Champaign, IL.

Volunteer 2009

Volunteer, Champaign County Operation Snowball. Operation snowball is an organization dedicated to assisting at risk youth.

Staff Poet 2007 – 2009

Staff Poet, the Interactivist magazine. The interactivist is a progressive magazine at Ohio University published by students in order to address pressing issues in the community, the nation and the world.

Creator 2009

Creator, Sister Circle Mentoring. Mentored 10 undergraduate African American young ladies and helped them through their academic, financial and social challenges.

Founder/President 02/08

Founder/President- Women in Entrepreneurship Student Organization
Adviser: Susanne Dietzel
Purpose: To introduce female students to leadership opportunities and the basics of starting their own businesses. Program initiated to alleviate the poverty of female graduate students as a collaborative effort.

Head Coach 06/07

Head Coach of 6th grade Summer League basketball team.

Assistant Coach 01/07

Assistant Coach of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy 6TH Grade Girls Basketball Team
-Runner Up in League Championship.

Participant 2007

Participant, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Freedom Project. The program strives to create sustainable, diverse relationships among young professionals while giving back to the region. The goal is to cultivate new relationships that encourage the community to live and interact more frequently with people of different cultures and experiences.

Creator 2005

Creator, of a UC115: The University Experience learning community designed to address the needs of transfer students.


Creator, tutoring program to assist Florida A&M University Basketball Players.


Minority Cannabis Business Association 2014 – PRESENT

National Communication Association 2009 – PRESENT



Reviewer, National Communication Association’s 95th Annual Convention: Discourses of Stability and Change held November 12-15, 2009 in
Chicago, Illinois. Reviewed Convention submissions.
Languages: Spanish (Intermediate), Thai (Basic/Business)
International Travel: Thailand, Venezuela, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Ghana, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas


Attendee | Marketing to Gays and Lesbians 06/02

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio

Received opportunity to learn about current research in marketing strategies to reach gay and lesbian populations. Attended workshops addressing: polysemy and dual function ads (ads that can be read as heterosexual or homosexual); consumer attitudes and preferences; dangers of stereotyping. 

Attendee | Diversity Training 06/98

Popes and Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio

Workshop addressed prejudices and biases as well as institutional racism; Strategies in navigating racially insensitive environments; Effective conflict resolution.


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