March 1, 2005
By Fia Curley
The Cleveland Advertising Association (CAA) has awarded senior visual communication student Ming Tsang a $4,000 scholarship as well as a nomination by CAA Executive Director Richard Squire as one the most promising minority students in advertising by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
"I was thrilled," Tsang says. "The advertising industry is in need of diversity."
As one of the 40 winners selected from more than 200 entries, Tsang was flown to New York City, where he attended seminars, toured agencies and networked with professionals. Since Tsang plans to move to New York after graduation, he says the trip helped him prepare for work in advertising agencies such as Young & Rubicam, Ogilvy and Mather and Leo Burnett.
Tsang has worked for Watermark associate Designers and Consultants Ltd., Get Smart Communications in Hong Kong and Marcus Thomas LLC in Cleveland. He was a finalist in the 2004 AAF Vance L. Stickell Memorial Scholarship program and has received the 5th District AAF Scholarship. In 2003, he was recognized in the Society for News Design magazine for his work, according to Terence Oliver, visual communication professor.
Oliver says he was not surprised about the award, describing Tsang as passionate, talented and diligent. "Ming is self-motivated and consistently demonstrates a high level of social and personal maturity," Oliver says. "When it comes to visual challenges, Ming gravitates to a process that includes critical thinking and high execution. He truly works at nurturing his ideas to convey visual messages with both high impact and content that connect with an audience."
While working on advertising projects, Tsang says he likes to get out and listen to what people are saying about pop culture. In one instance, Tsang says he used onions as his inspiration for a project with Crest White Strips to convey Crest's message.
"Advertising is, basically, you have to come up with a concept that is thoughtful and grabs your attention right away," he says. "You have to get out of your comfort zone and think of crazy things."
Tsang serves as the vice president of Ohio University Advertising Association, strengthening his advertising experience through annual projects, trips and speakers the group participates in.
"In advertising, you have to have a passion for what you do and with that passion, you can achieve anything," Tsang says.
"Ming has natural talent, a unique eye for visual execution, is very teachable and works hard to nurture his own abilities," Oliver says. "In the classroom he has demonstrated his high work ethic by not only pushing to meet all of his deadlines, but also to come up with visually striking and creative projects."
"I feel that he is a uniquely gifted person who consistently strives to go above and beyond the scope of his class projects and challenges set before him," Oliver says.
Tsang attributes much of his success to the OUAA, which he has been a member of since his freshman year. "I think that's what I'm going to miss the most, the OUAA," Tsang says.
"Without OUAA and without the students and faculty involved, I wouldn't have gotten this award," Tsang says. "They make advertising more exciting. This award is for them."
Fia Curley is a student writer with the College of Communication