Below features the bios and thoughts of the talented 2019 Student Advertising Summit (SAS) Committee. We’ve asked them a few questions about SAS, advertising, and given them the option to answer one unexpected question in the process… Learn more about this amazing team below!

Directors

Rachel Ball

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  • SAS Position: Co-Director
  • Education: Senior at the University of Minnesota
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day outside of SAS involves going to work, going to class, and going to the gym.
  • Why are you part of the Advertising community? I wanted to be a part of this industry because it provides endless opportunities to create amazing things. There’s no boredom and there’s constant innovation.
  • What fuels your creativity? My creativity is fueled by the satisfaction of making something. The process, the planning, and finally the final product of creating something or being a creative thinker is such a unique and special experience.
  • If you could be any animal in the world what would you be and why? If I could be any animal in the world it would be a squirrel. I think they are the neatest and cutest little creatures. Also, I would love to be able to just climb around on whatever I wanted.

Kathryn Chlystek

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  • SAS Position: Co-Director
  • Education: University of Minnesota, Graduated Spring 2018
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? Working at The Media Kitchen, reading novels, listening to new music and playing video games.
  • Why are you part of the Advertising community? There’s a strong advertising community in the Twin Cities, and a traditional business job wasn’t going to cut it.
  • What fuels your creativity? Trying new ways to approach work that ultimately leads to a better result like efficiency. Taking time to explore new ideas, read up on the latest media trends and listen to podcasts helps me fuel my creativity.
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? A rich blue with some green tones thrown in there. Seems like an equally relaxing and optimistic color.

Copywriting Team

Shun Matsuhashi

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  • SAS position: Lead Copywriter
  • Education: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I wake up, snooze my alarm every nine minutes for an hour, then get dressed. besides that, you’ll find me at Riley Hayes where I work as a copywriter. When I’m not in the cube, I enjoy cooking, taking photos and making music.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I wanted a job where I can use my creativity on a daily basis. As a copywriter, my job is all about bringing the best ideas to the table and crafting the perfect message. Even though a lot of my time is spent inside a tight box of brand guidelines, it forces me to push the boundaries of my creativity.
  • What fuels your creativity? I think of creativity as a synonym to originality, but with more depth. Creativity is about pure ideas, free from judgment and reasoning. Creativity is your brain making connections that catch your attention.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? Japanese snow monkey. During the winter they hang out in hot springs with their families. I couldn’t imagine anything better!

Ayanfe Adewoye

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  • SAS position: Copywriting intern
  • Education: I went to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day for me is a mixture of work, going to the gym, reading, and writing.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I’m fascinated by the agency lifestyle and the sheer amount of clients many work with. I love working with new people and learning new things, and both are core components of agency work.
  • What fuels your creativity? I’m a big fan of word association games. When I hear something I like to think of other words that are associated with it. Association is a big element of creativity as it helps you think of things out of the box. This helps especially when I have writer’s block or I’m in a creative rut.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? Paws down I would be a dog. Unlimited pets? Check. Free food? Check. Can poop wherever I want outside?  Livin’ the dream.

Sara Smokrovich

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  • SAS position: Copywriter Intern
  • Education: Current student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? Wake up. Do work. Go to bed.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I decided that I wanted to work in advertising when I was a junior in high school. I was taking courses in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and decided to participate in a competitive event called Graphic Design Promotion. I fell in love with the process of design and conceptual thinking, and the rest is history.
  • What fuels your creativity? My creativity is fueled by the people and things around me. When I’m creating, I pull from what others say or what I see. To me, creativity is taking what you already know and twisting it or making unexpected connections.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? If I were an animal I’d be a giraffe because they are long, tall, and gangly – like me.

 

Social Media/ Public Relations

Alicia Wolk

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  • SAS position: Social Media/PR Lead
  • Education: Graduate of University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I work as an Account Executive at Social Boom Digital Marketing Agency in Bloomington, MN. I try to get some type of workout in whether yoga off YouTube, a run outside, or a trip to the gym. I love to eat out and/or try new recipes to make at home. 
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I wanted to be part of the advertising community because when I joined the major in college I was amazed by the people I met, their goal-driven mentalities, and the work they created. I also have always loved looking at creative work whether a billboard (my favorite type of advertisement), super bowl commercials, and experiential campaigns.
  • What fuels your creativity? My creativity is fueled by wanting to be in a constant state of growth whether in work or personal life. I believe that change is a catalyst for something bigger than yourself (even in good or bad times).
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal in the world I think I’d be a werewolf. Werewolves get to have superhuman strength, speed, night vision, etc. all while being half human half animal. They also get to exist in a mythical, other-world with vampires and ghosts, which would be super cool to be a part of.

Ciara Metzger

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  • SAS position: Social Media & PR Intern 
  • Education: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I live the rambunctious life of a Digital Marketing Coordinator at IN Food Marketing & Design. In my free time, I enjoy eating, traveling & finding dogs to hang out with.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? It’s the perfect blend of creativity & business.
  • What fuels your creativity? I would say that people fuel my creativity. Simply having a conversation can inspire something awesome.
  • A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? He says something in German and is here to confuse you.

 

Account Management Team

Austin Selness

Austin Sellness

  • SAS position: Account Management Team Lead
  • EducationUniversity of Minnesota: Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? Going to class, constantly laughing out loud at my incessant inner monologue, scribbling things into notebooks, seeing live music whenever I can, driving too fast.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I LOVE storytelling! But even more than storytelling, I love helping others find their unique voices so they have the power to tell their own story in their own voice.
  • What fuels your creativity? Lots of pacing and outdoor walks while I try to make sense of all the different thoughts and ideas swirling around my brain. I think creativity is essentially taking a chance on doing something differently. Even if it means failure. Better to have tried and failed than never tried at all… I think Shakespeare said that…
  • Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses and why? I would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses. I’m assuming that winning this fight means that the horses will have been tamed, leaving me with the exciting business opportunity of breeding and selling poultry-sized ponies to the rich and famous.

Maegan Green

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  • SAS position: Account Management Intern
  • Education: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I start my morning with a run or going to yoga, then I go to classes and eat a yummy lunch.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I love watching brands grow and thrive, and I’ve found to love the personalities and diversity within the advertising community 🙂
  • What fuels your creativity/what does creativity mean to you? Being in the outdoors and traveling fuels my creativity.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? Definitely a chinchilla. They clean themselves by rolling in the dirt. That’s rad.

Kelli Marcin

Kelli

  • SAS Position: Account Management Intern
  • Education: I currently attend the University of Minnesota. I am studying Strategic Communications and Leadership and am scheduled to graduate this May.
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? Outside of SAS, I spend most of my time going to classes. Outside of class, I am currently the Vice President of the Figure Skating Club at the University of Minnesota, a teaching assistant within the Leadership Minor program, and a figure skating coach at the Minnehaha Skating School. In my free time, I currently like to binge The Good Place on Netflix, scroll through my dog flooded Instagram feed and explore areas of the Twin Cities I have never experienced.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I was first drawn to the advertising industry after taking the introductory course to my current major at the University of Minnesota. I have always been interested in human behavior and really enjoy the way advertising examines this in a creative way. I have never felt as engaged and as excited by my courses as I do in my advertising courses, so I know that my passion is in the right place.
  • What fuels your creativity/what does creativity mean to you? I think my creativity is fueled by collaborative environments. I love trying to think of innovative ideas or create solutions to adaptive problems in a group setting. I feel very energized by bouncing ideas around with other intelligent, creative people.
  • Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Why? I would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses because I think it would be more dramatic and I would really like to see what a duck-sized horse would look like. Maybe I would be able to convince them to make me their leader and start my own duck-sized horse army.

Madeline Stenson

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  • SAS position: Account Management Intern
  • Education: University of Minnesota- HSJMC
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day consists of working and going to class. Most days I try new recipes or go to new restaurants with friends because I am definitely a foodie.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising/marketing/communications industry? I have always enjoyed watching advertisements. I like how the advertising and communications industry is a lot more complex than meets the eye. It is interesting to me to find out the insights behind the consumers and translating it into a communications strategy.
  • What fuels your creativity? Creativity is going outside and around the box. It means that you are always thinking ahead and using everything around you to make something new.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal in the world I would be a Golden Retriever. I think Golden Retrievers live a happy life. Golden Retrievers are always so friendly and I have never seen a mean/ sad Golden Retriever before.

Media Team

Johnathan Schuster

Johnny

  • SAS Position: Media Team Lead
  • Education: University of Minnesota
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? Media Analyst at Martin Williams
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? Advertising is fun. That’s all there is to it.
  • What fuels your creativity?  My creativity is sponsored by Sprite (TM) a refreshing lemon-lime beverage
  • Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Why? If you think you can fight a horse sized duck, you’re lying to yourself.

 

Strategy Team

Santana Baker

Santana

  • SAS Position: Strategy Lead
  • Education: Graduate of University of Minnesota TC
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you?  I currently work as a media intern at Haberman in downtown Minneapolis. Every day I am to work by 8:30. Once I am there, the things I do range from making art out of cereal for a photoshoot to analyzing data and making media buys. After work, I like to cook, bake, and listen to the latest hot rap/hip-hop songs.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry?  I first found out about the advertising industry when I watched Mad Men. While everyone on the show is constantly smoking and drinking cocktails at the office, I saw how they were able to enliven brands and how much power they had over the media. I wanted to be a part of something like that — to be a part of a place where I could do business in a creative way and affect society’s point of view (for good, obviously).
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? If I was a crayon in a box, my color would be a shimmering, satin black. It is classic, luxurious, and a touch edgy.

 

Design Team

Meghan McDilda

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  • SAS Position: Design Lead
  • Education: UMN – Twin Cities College of Design
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? On an average day, I typically wake up a little too late and head to my job at JOYCE. At noon I swing. After work, I usually grab a coffee and head home to play with my rabbit, Connie, and watch whatever show I’m currently interested in. This month it’s “Maniac”
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I was always interested in art ever since I was a kid. I didn’t want to be a full-time artist and I loved incorporating type with the imagery I was creating so I decided to give design a go and it stuck! Being a designer gives me the freedom to be creative and involves a lot of problem-solving that keeps me interested.
  • What fuels your creativity? My biggest source of inspiration is my surroundings – I often find myself looking around me for new illustration ideas, color palettes, and concepts. Living in Minneapolis there’s always something inspiring to see.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal I’d probably want to be a lemur: they get to live in beautiful habitats and climbing through the trees sounds so fun!

Gwen Riemenschneider

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  • SAS Position: Graphic Design Intern
  • Education: Graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day is looking for a full-time position in my field and working on passion projects
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? Advertising is always changing and moving which has always interested me.
  • What fuels your creativity? The next big project or next big idea fuels my creativity, along with nature. Creativity means letting go and creating new ideas.
  • If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? I would want to be an owl because they can fly and see at night. I feel like living in the dark would give me a new perspective and get to see things that people rarely see.

Ben Egelston

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  • SAS position: Graphic Design Intern
  • Education: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day looks fairly normal. As a part-time student, I only have class twice a week. On the days I have class, I wake up around 10am and prepare for the day. I take some extra time to clear my mind and think about the things I want to focus on for that day. I will usually work on things for my class beforehand or on other projects that I’ve been slowly pulling together. At 2:10pm I head out for my class with about a 30-35-minute commute time, arriving at my 3:00pm class just on time. My class consists of me working on ideas for my senior exhibition show taking place in December at Rapson Hall. After my class, I will sometimes catch up with friends on campus to grab dinner, or alternatively go rock climbing at vertical endeavors. I then travel back to Chanhassen where I currently live with my parents and where I’ve lived my whole life. I spend my evenings relaxing by either watching cooking YouTube videos, specifically Bon Appétit, sketching random ideas on paper, or playing some sort of video game online with friends.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? As a graphic designer, there are so many paths to travel down regarding work. I enjoy advertising because of the creative and interesting aspects that the field usually follows. There are many memorable and funny advertisements/commercials that I can relate to that make the field that much more enticing to be a part of.  
  • What fuels your creativity? I’ve found that creativity or inspiration for creativity can be found almost anywhere you look. I’ve found myself looking at clouds and being really inspired to create something based on clouds and their form. To me, creativity is the exciting part of life and every project. It’s the “spicy” ingredient that can make a project “taste” better, but it’s up to the designer to gauge an audience to see how much they should add before they elicit an unintended response.
  • Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Why? I would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses. Why? Because I would then corral them into a corner and capture them. I would then tame them with the hopes of opening the world’s first Mini-Mini-Horse™ sized petting zoo. Then I could learn to breed and sell them to Russian oligarchs and their spoiled daughters for a crazy amount of money.

 

Project Management Team

Bryce Thompson

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  • SAS Position: Project Management Lead
  • Education: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities School of Journalism Alumni
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? The average day outside of SAS for me contains exercising, reviewing calendars and schedules throughout the day, coordinating meetings and flights, and hanging out with my girlfriend.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I crave to be a part of the advertising/marketing/communications industry because I believe it has a unique balance with the use of creativity and mathematics. There’s not any one day where you’re just entirely utilizing creativity or math. It’s always both and this combination is what ignited my passion for advertising and related fields.
  • What fuels your creativity? Supportive environments really fuel my creativity-sharing bad ideas that get ridiculed will seldom allow an individual to feel comfortable to come up with great ones.
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Flamboyant Crescent Everblue because it’s the color that connects day to night and night to day

Carlie Sullivan

Carlie

  • SAS Position: Project Management Intern
  • Education: University of Minnesota
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I wake up at the last possible minute before class then rush to class every day. After class, I either do my homework, hang out with friends, or go to work at night.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I want to be apart of the advertising/marketing/communications industry because I want to be in a field where I can be creative and work with people. I don’t want a job that’s boring and the ad/marketing/communications industry is the complete opposite of that.
  • What fuels your creativity? Creativity means being able to express myself in every way possible.
  • Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Why? I would want 100 duck-sized horses because they have the same benefits of a horse. They can also fly which would mean I wouldn’t have to drive places. I would keep them all on a farm.

Brand Ambassador Team

Genevieve Locke

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  • SAS Position: Brand Ambassador Lead 
  • Education: Senior at the University of Minnesota
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? I divide my time between classes (I’m studying strategic communication) and the Minnesota Daily. I am the Business Operations Officer at the Daily, and I spend about three times as much time in the office than I do in class. I absolutely love it. I also enjoy running, crocheting, and reading.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? I have always been interested in why people think and behave the way that they do. For me, that this the most interesting part of advertising. I find it fascinating to uncover insights about consumers and use that to create effective campaigns.
  • What fuels your creativity? I often get inspired by stories that I hear. I really like to ask people about themselves and hear their stories, because that fuels my creativity. I find that my best ideas often come from interesting stories that I’ve heard.
  • A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero, and he says “where’s the fiesta?” His friend, the polar bear, invited him to taco night, but he showed up to the wrong house. It was a very disappointing day for the penguin.

Claire Van Buren

Clair

  • SAS Position: Brand Ambassador
  • Education: University of St. Thomas
  • What does an average day outside of SAS look like for you? An average day outside of SAS looks like prepping all my meals on Sunday nights, changing clothes so fast I put my Nike’s on the wrong feet, and headphones in – I am always sprinting from one activity to the next while listening to Arizona or Chelsea Cutler of course! Whether it be one of my 3 jobs, events for the club I’m VP of, a work out at CorePower Yoga, or classes, my planner has at least 3 obligations scheduled every day! I also love to spend time fishing or hunting with my Dad and brother, going down Summit Ave with my mom, and exploring local breweries with friends.
  • Why did you want to be part of the advertising industry? My first interest being in the advertising/marketing/communications industry sparked when I was 15 years old, I wanted to be just like Mom. My mom was a marketing director for many years and hearing how diverse and unpredictable her work day was intrigued me. I loved that she got to dabble in analytics, project management, creative promotion, and even copywriting here-and-there. Further, my friends would describe me as enthusiastic, fast-paced, and daring. As I have visited agencies and networked throughout them, I’ve come to know the vibe of advertising is very similar, energetic, bold, and a bit chaotic!
  • What fuels your creativity? To me, creativity means fast typing and lots of ‘backspacing’ – I am most creative when I just go. Throughout my internships, I’ve attempted to approach tasks by first researching the fundamentals that task and also by looking at how other people have succeeded in that task. This might work for some, but I’ve learned that I do my best work when I start blind and let my mind run. I think creativity is accomplished when people design content from the heart, while being their authentic selves.
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I would be the silver-sparkly crayon. I remember coloring a picture of the Rainbow Fish when I was about 6. The Rainbow Fish is a story about a little fish who has special scales, the ones I colored in with the silver-sparkly crayon, and all his friends are jealous. Throughout the book he realizes that being prideful about his scales hurts his friendships, so he shares his special scales with all his friends until he has just 1 left for himself. This is very much the kind of person I am. I love to give and help friends and family!
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