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Comm Studies Students Pitch Campaigns in Abu Dhabi

Students from the Emerson College Communication Studies Department collaborated with fellow students from around the world to come up with a campaign to save marine mammals during the Global Communications Project in the United Arab Emirates last weekend.

Nupur Amin ’19 was the first college freshman in the 14-year history of GlobCom to present in the final round of the international symposium, which was held May 21–24 at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.

“She was speaking to professors from 15 different universities, the U.S. ambassador [to the UAE], advertising and PR firms from that area,” said Greg Payne, chair of the Communication Studies Department, who led the Emerson contingent to the Arabian Peninsula. “She didn’t blink and was right there from the beginning.”

This year’s client was the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project, an international organization that works in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to protect dugongs—manatee-like marine mammals—and their habitat.

Earlier in the year, participants were put onto teams with other students from universities in 13 countries on 5 continents. The students interviewed the client; then, using social media and Skype, worked with their teammates to craft a global communication campaign based on the client’s needs, Payne said.

In Abu Dhabi, the teams competed with their pitches. Emerson had students on all three of the finalist teams, Payne said.

The Emerson group also visited Dubai and met with U.S. Ambassador Barbara Leaf, as well as alumni who are living and working in the UAE.

“It’s interesting that in a country where sometimes women’s rights are not always celebrated, we had strong women change agents in the region,” Payne said.

Students met with Ada Renedo, MA ’11, who is working in communications for Jumeirah Hotels; Mariana Velasco, MA ’07, who is working in public relations in the region; and Raghba Jebril, MA ’07, who is in corporate communications with Etihad Airways. They also met with Yasmine Asem, who also studied communications at Emerson. 

Last year, GlobCom was held in Borneo, Payne said. The year before that, Emerson hosted it

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