Twenty-five teams from around the country participated in the semester-long competition. The MSU Ad Team made it to the final round, along with The Citadel, Columbia University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Each team had to stay within a $2,000 budget for the venture, and had to create a project that addressed targeted violence or terrorism.
The top four teams presented their campaigns in the final round of competition in June 2021, hosted by The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University and EdVenture Partners. The client for the project was the Department of Homeland Security.
Honing in on extremism
The Ad Team’s campaign educated people about the risk of radicalization that leads to white supremacy extremism.
The team defined radicalization as, “the process by which individuals come to believe their engagement or facilitation of non-state violence to achieve social or political change is necessary and justified.”
This area of focus resulted in the creation of FUSE, an online platform aimed at preventing and protecting against radicalization to violence and white supremacy.
“All eight of us came up with some solid ideas on how to go about communicating and marketing this message,” said Ad Team President Jordan Galkowski.
The FUSE site contains a podcast, card game and toolkit to educate people on how to recognize and address radicalization to white supremacy.
“Radicalization is not a subject matter that many individuals have knowledge of,” said MSU Ad Team Instructor Samantha Francka. “Educating our campus community about radicalization to white supremacy was a challenge. I’m so proud the team members took this on.”
Ad Team members
- Natalie Calvert – Branson.
- Sydney Dungan – Fulton.
- Jordan Galkowski – St. Charles.
- Lauren Kerr – Wichita, Kansas.
- Chase Kilby – Kirkwood.
- Jared McBride – St. Louis.
- Sarah Scharpenburg – Omaha, Nebraska.
- Sarah Soderstrom – St. Charles.
About the Ad Team
The MSU Ad Team is a for-credit, experiential learning course designed to give students a real world, hands-on experience with an actual client.