Monthly Archives: February 2024

Effie Collegiate US Launches 2024 Spring Semester Brand Challenge

The leading digital financial services company is inviting marketing students across the United States to create an effective integrated brand campaign

Effie United States (part of Effie Worldwide), a nonprofit that champions marketing effectiveness, announced that its 2024 Effie Collegiate program will be in collaboration with Ally. Modeled after the Effie Awards, the Effie Collegiate program engages marketing students to research, ideate, and develop comprehensive marketing plans to address real world business challenges.

For the Spring 2024 semester, college students across the country will be challenged by Ally and Effie to build Ally brand awareness, consumer advocacy, and consideration through a disruptive, integrated marketing campaign. Participating student teams will be briefed with a target audience, budget, and marketing challenge and have through April 3, 2024 to submit their projects.

All entries will be reviewed by a jury of marketers from across the Effie network, representing agencies, brands and media. The final teams will be invited to pitch their ideas to Ally’s Marketing team in late Spring 2024.

Ally is continuing its relationship with the Effies, following a successful Collegiate competition last year.  The Spring 2023 Brand Challenge winner was from Loyola Marymount University.

“The ideas presented by last year’s Effie Collegiate participants were innovative and truly brought to life the idea that we are all better off with an ally,” said Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer at Ally. “We look forward to seeing more work that elevates our approach of challenging the status quo in financial marketing while engaging consumers where they are on their financial journeys.”

“I am so pleased to be kicking off another Collegiate Brand Challenge with our friends at Ally,” said Traci Alford, Global CEO, Effie Worldwide. “The Effie Collegiate competition offers students an unmatched opportunity to solve a real business challenge. Ally’s brief helps take the marketing theories learned at university and put them into practice. All underpinned by Effie’s framework for effectiveness. As always, I wish all students the best of success in this year’s program and look forward to seeing the results.”

Call for Entries for the Effie Collegiate US x Ally Brand Challenge is open now. The Challenge is open to students enrolled in full/part-time graduate, undergraduate and portfolio programs at accredited educational institutions.

For more information about the Effie Collegiate US competition, click here:

About Effie Worldwide

Effie is a global 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to lead and evolve the forum for marketing effectiveness. Effie leads, inspires and champions the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness through education, awards, ever-evolving initiatives and first-class insights into marketing strategies that produce results. The organization recognizes the most effective brands, marketers and agencies, globally, regionally and locally through its 50+ award programs across the world and through its coveted effectiveness rankings, the Effie Index. Since 1968, Effie is known as a global symbol of achievement, while serving as a resource to steer the future of marketing success. For more details, visit

About Ally Financial

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a financial services company with the nation’s largest all-digital bank and an industry-leading auto financing business, driven by a mission to “Do It Right” and be a relentless ally for customers and communities. The company serves more than 11 million customers through a full range of online banking services (including deposits, mortgage, point-of-sale personal lending, and credit card products) and securities brokerage and investment advisory services. The company also includes a robust corporate finance business that offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies, as well as auto financing and insurance offerings. For more information, please visit and follow @allyfinancial.

For more information and disclosures about Ally, visit

For further images and news on Ally, please visit

State Department Announces 2023-2024 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions

February 13, 2024

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce 170 higher education institutions in 37 states and the District of Columbia have received the designation of Fulbright Top Producing Institution for having the highest number of candidates selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Programs.

Fulbright Top Producing Institutions are grouped by Carnegie Classification, and represent the range of institutions engaging with the Fulbright Program and ensuring its broad impact on American communities across the country.

Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, commended the honorees: “Fulbright’s 2023-24 Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators, faculty, and advisors support students and scholars to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges through the Fulbright Program. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making a positive impact across the world.”

The institutions with the highest number of U.S. Scholars within their classification were California State Polytechnic University, Kirkwood Community College (Iowa), Middlebury College (Vermont), the Pennsylvania State University, Salem State University (Massachusetts), and Western Washington University. Oregon Health & Science University, and Chief Dull Knife College (Montana) were also recognized as top producers among special focus institutions and tribal colleges, respectively. Fulbright U.S. Scholars are faculty, researchers, administrators, and established professionals who teach or conduct research in affiliation with institutes abroad.

The institutions with the highest number of U.S. Students within their classification were Bowdoin College (Maine), Georgetown University (District of Columbia), the University of North Georgia, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois).  Fulbright U.S. Students are recent college graduates, graduate students, and early career professionals who participate in study/research exchanges or serve as English teaching assistants in local schools abroad.

Twelve institutions had the distinction of being a top producer of both Fulbright U.S. Students and U.S. Scholars: Arizona State University, Bowdoin College (Maine), the George Washington University (District of Columbia), Middlebury College (Vermont), North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Reed College (Oregon), Rollins College (Florida), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois), the University of Alabama, University of Maryland – College Park, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and University of Southern California.

For more information and stories about the Fulbright Top Producing Institutions, and to view the full list of institutions, visit the Fulbright Top Producing Institutions website.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections, and work to address complex global challenges.

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support.

Interested media should contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at


The nonprofit will distribute over half a million dollars in scholarships, tuition waivers, and grants—funding the education of future restaurant industry leaders

NEW YORK – The James Beard Foundation® (JBF) announced today that applications for its 2024 Scholarship Program are now open. The Scholarship Program—an annual initiative aimed at supporting aspiring culinary students, future restaurateurs, beverage professionals, and more—will offer more than $500,000 to recipients this year.

With the independent restaurant industry at its most stable since before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a renewed interest and excitement in the culinary arts among young professionals, resulting in nearly a 10% increase in enrollment in 2-year culinary programs between 2022 and 2023. The JBF Scholarship Program supports the life cycle of a culinary career, providing financial assistance to both emerging and established culinary talent looking to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university. As of 2024, JBF will have awarded nearly $10 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients, thanks in part to a new offering from HexClad and existing partnerships.

“The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate and support the people behind America’s food culture, while creating a future where all have the opportunity to thrive,” said Dr. Anne E. McBride, Vice President of Programs, James Beard Foundation. “As the country’s leading culinary nonprofit supporting independent restaurants, we are proud that our Scholarship Program offers this foundational support for aspiring culinary professionals at the very start of their careers.”

Scholarship award amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000, and eligibility requirements vary by opportunity. Applicants, generally, must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a program at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university in Fall 2024. International students may also qualify for many of the scholarships and are encouraged to apply. Previous recipients are also eligible to apply again, and interested applicants are eligible to apply for more than one scholarship. There is no application fee required.

This year, JBF will offer three basic types of scholarship awards in the categories of Culinary and Pastry Arts, Wine Studies, and Food Systems. The types of awards are:

• Scholarships: Cash grants applied to tuition and, on a case-by-case basis, other school-related expenses
• Tuition Waivers: Tuition waivers granted by educational institutions, which are renewable in some cases
• Work Study Grants: Grants for working culinary professionals that cover expenses from programs offering experiential learning at farms, fisheries, wineries, and other venues of food production, under the auspices of the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant

Below is a selection of the scholarships JBF will be offering for the 2024 year:

• The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine Scholarship: The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine Scholarship honors the life of vintner Debbie Lewis. Debbie had a lifelong passion for mastering the business of wine and set an inspiring example of dedication and hard work to all those around her. Students who are women over the age of 21 who reside in the U.S. and are planning to enroll or are currently enrolled in a beverage, wine studies, hospitality management, master sommelier, or culinary program at an accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university will qualify. Up to one [1] scholarship of $5,000 will be granted.
• HexClad Culinary Scholarship: The HexClad Culinary Scholarship is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the United States and are accepted into or enrolled in an accredited Culinary program. Up to 2 scholarship(s) of $12,500 each will be granted. Please note that there are promotional opportunities associated with this scholarship.
• The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund: The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund, funded by the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival, is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the state of Texas and are pursuing a degree at an accredited institution in culinary, pastry, restaurant management, or wine studies. Up to six [6] scholarships of $10,000 will be granted.
• The JBF National Scholars Scholarship: The JBF National Scholars Program, which launched in 2016, provides ten [10] high-impact scholarships of $20,000 each to food-focused candidates of exceptional talent. Candidates for the 10 National Scholarships are selected according to academic merit, personal and professional recommendations, and demonstration of the potential for leadership roles in culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields. To ensure regional diversity of this national program, one [1] awardee will be selected from each of the 10 geographic regions defined by the JBF Awards.

The Scholarship Program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent company that specializes in managing sponsored educational assistance programs. ISTS hosts the online application process, vets the initial candidates for eligibility, and disburses awards to recipients on the Foundation’s behalf. The JBF Scholarship Selection Committee reviews the semifinalists and approximately 40 recipients are selected. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2024.

For more information about the program and to apply, visit

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused programs, advocacy, partnerships, and events across the country. Coming soon, for the first time in the Foundation’s history, exceptional culinary talent, industry leaders, and visitors from NYC and beyond can experience unforgettable dining and educational programming at Pier 57—inspiring food and beverage devotees for decades to come. Learn more at, sign up for our newsletter, and follow @beardfoundation on social media.

About James Beard Foundation Programs

The James Beard Foundation’s Programs help the independent restaurant industry reach new standards around equity, sustainability, and workplace practices to ensure that all involved in its supply chain can thrive. We look to turn independent restaurant jobs into long and healthy independent restaurant careers; to expand who has access to leadership, visibility, financial stability, and capital; and to use the power of chefs for climate change mitigation and other issues that touch our food system. Our mission comes to life through training programs, policy advocacy, and harnessing the agency of chefs for change.

The Obama Foundation Opens Applications for the 2024-2026 Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service

The scholarship supports students interested in pursuing public service careers with an academic scholarship, travel-based learning, and connections to a network of leaders

CHICAGO – Today, the Obama Foundation opened applications for the 2024-2026 Voyager Scholarship, The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service. Funded by a $100 million personal contribution from Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky to the Obama Foundation, the Voyager Scholarship provides college students with last-dollar financial aid to help alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their connections to new communities, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them throughout their careers.

As the Voyager Scholarship enters its third year, the Obama Foundation and Chesky remain committed to supporting young leaders who can bridge divides and help solve our biggest challenges together. The Voyager scholarship supports students as they refine their values-based leadership approach, gain access to new experiences that broaden their horizons, and nurture their sense of curiosity as they deepen their commitment to pursuing public service careers. As part of the program, Voyager Scholarship recipients receive a $10,000 stipend and free housing through Airbnb to pursue a summer work-travel experience, or “Summer Voyage,” between their junior and senior years of college. Students design their own Summer Voyage to gain exposure to new communities and experience in a chosen field. Last summer, the inaugural cohort of Voyager Scholarship recipients collectively traveled to 23 U.S. states and territories and 63 countries around the world in 2023. Students engaged in internships, volunteer experiences, and research opportunities to deepen their understanding of the issues they are most passionate about. Here are some inspiring stories from our soon-to-be graduating, inaugural cohort of Voyager Scholarship recipients:

• Gretchen North (2022-2024 Voyager) – Supporting Education in Kenya and Panama: Gretchen North, a Conservation Biology and Environmental Education student at the University of Minnesota, used her Summer Voyage to lead an environmental education workshop series in Kenya and Panama, covering topics such as rainforest conservation, grassland ecology, and permaculture. As part of the experience, Gretchen partnered with 2018-2019 Obama Scholar Juan Carlos Monterrey Gómez, the Executive Director of Panama’s Geoversity. The hands-on experiences during her months abroad have profoundly influenced her journey as a young public service leader, providing insights that will shape her future career decisions and foster a deep sense of love and community that she intends to carry throughout her life.
• Kennedi Roberts (2022-2024 Voyager) Implementing Programming to Support Youth Mental Health: Kennedi Roberts, a student at Howard University majoring in Psychology, had a transformative Summer Voyage working with an organization in Los Angeles, California, that supports youth who have had encounters with the criminal justice system. There, she supported summer programming and helped facilitate a wilderness expedition that provided adventure therapy for young people in Boulder, Utah. This experience has fueled Kennedi’s desire to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after graduation this May.
• Yasmin Nayrouz (2022-2024 Voyager) – Leveraging Communications for Change in Italy, the United Kingdom, Washington, DC: Yasmin Nayrouz, a Syracuse University student majoring in English and Public Relations, traveled across Italy, the United Kingdom, and Washington, D.C. for her Summer Voyage. In Italy, she interned with an immigration law firm, learning about the rights of refugees and how the E.U. has been responding to high levels of migration. In London, she worked to empower immigrants through cooking classes, and participating in U.K. government events on migration. And in Washington, D.C., Yasmin honed her communications skills to support migrant communities. This experience solidified her commitment to combating xenophobia and promoting inclusivity in her future public service career.

To learn more about the previous recipients of the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service and to see highlights from the program, visit The application deadline for the Voyager Scholarship for Public Service is Thursday, March 27, 2024, at 11:59 PM United States Central Time (UTC-6). The Obama Foundation will award the scholarship to 100 students from colleges and universities across the United States and its territories. Voyager Scholarship for Public Service recipients receive:

• Up to $50,000 in financial aid: Students will receive up to $25,000 per year in “last dollar” financial aid for their junior and senior years of college. This financial aid should help alleviate the burden of college debt so that students can afford to pursue a career in public service.
• Summer Voyage: Students will receive a $10,000 stipend and free housing through Airbnb to pursue a summer work-travel experience between their junior and senior year of college. The students will design their own Summer Voyage to gain exposure to new communities and experience in a chosen field.
• 10-year travel stipend: After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 Airbnb travel credit every year for 10 years, totaling $20,000. This will allow students to continue to broaden their horizons and forge new connections throughout their public service careers.
• Monthly Virtual Sessions: Students must participate in monthly virtual programming sessions, including speaker series and mentorship roundtables, Summer Voyage design workshops, and Summer Voyage coaching sessions, to ensure they have the most meaningful experience possible.
• Fall Summit: During their Junior Year, Voyagers may have the option to attend an in-person convening where they will engage in community building activities with fellow Voyagers, build their leadership skills, and learn from experienced leaders in public service.
• Network of leaders: Throughout the program, students will be invited to an ongoing speaker series, giving them access to a network of leaders. This network of leaders will expose them to new areas of service and innovations happening in their fields. After graduation, they will join the Obama Foundation’s global community, providing them with Foundation resources and programming.

For more information about the Voyager Scholarship, including the application process and answers to frequently asked questions, visit For more updates from the Obama Foundation, follow us on Facebook, Threads, and Instagram.


Gloria Nlewedim