Four Roosevelt Students Receive Prestigious Inaugural Golin Fellowship

Scholarship Spotlight

by GRACE HEIMERL

A 1950 graduate of Roosevelt University, the late Al Golin strongly believed in inclusivity and diversity. He notably established the internationally acclaimed public relations firm Golin and brought his relevant expertise and influence back to Roosevelt by serving on the Board of Trustees for 16 years.

Golin and his wife, June, also established the Al Golin Scholarship in Communications, which continues to financially benefit dozens of students from underrepresented backgrounds.

To honor Al’s legacy and memory, Golin partnered with Roosevelt University to establish the inaugural Al Golin Fellowship in the spring 2019 semester. The fellowship creates opportunities for students with diverse talents and backgrounds to pursue a career in the public relations industry. Fellows attend workshops and networking events; participate in paid public relations and marketing internships with Golin and other sponsor companies; and receive mentoring from senior Golin executives, including Golin chairman Fred Cook.

After a competitive application process, four Roosevelt students were selected to participate:

Golin Fellows Karina Herrera, Alondra Ibarra, Abisola Ajayi and Darryl Langston Jr.

(from left) Karina Herrera, Alondra Ibarra, Abisola Ajayi and Darryl Langston Jr.

Karina Herrera of Glen Ellyn (BA Integrated Marketing Communications, ’19) is a first-generation Latina graduate from a low-income background who prides herself on a strong work ethic. Her drive and passion have already led to her completing several internships. She believes that discourse between divergent minds and the exchange of diverse ideas are “crucial to enriching and innovating the field of communications.” Herrera said she chose Roosevelt based on its principles of inclusion, like Golin himself. She is an intern with McDonald’s Corporation.

Alondra Ibarra of Chicago (BA Integrated Marketing Communications and Philosophy, ’19) is a former president of Roosevelt’s Student Government Association. As an intern at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she gained experience in digital marketing and design, and has leveraged her Latina heritage to build diverse markets and learn about differences. “I learned diversity did not just stem from me being Mexican American and speaking Spanish, but also from my effort to research and understand other Latin cultures,” said Ibarra, who is interning with IPG agency Current.

Abisola Ajayi of Evanston (MS Integrated Marketing Communications, ’19) is an international student from Lagos, Nigeria. She was the first intern in Illinois for Save the Children Action Network, where she came to understand the specific needs for child education and health care in low-income communities. During her time as a Golin Fellow, Ajayi aimed to learn digital engagement and data analytics, as well as from mentors in the field, which will help her create professional relationships as she pursues a meaningful career of change. She hopes her career will ultimately promote the betterment of all. She received an internship at Weber Shandwick.

Darryl Langston Jr. of Chicago’s South Shore (MS Integrated Marketing Communications, ’19) has experience as an intern in broadcast, marketing and customer relations. He takes inspiration from Golin’s commitment to inclusion and curiosity. “I am especially touched by his role in creating the Ronald McDonald Houses,” he said of Golin. The Ronald McDonald House Charities are significant to Langston because his cousin used their resources when he fought against heart complications. As an African American male growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Langston acknowledges the challenge of facing stereotypes, but believes, as a result, that he is more determined to succeed. He has been chosen as an intern for Golin.

“Our first fellows have proven themselves to be best-in-class representatives of the next generation of progressive, ethical leaders aligned to Roosevelt’s social justice mission,” said Marian Azzaro, chair of Roosevelt’s Department of Communication and associate professor of integrated marketing communications.

These talented alumni are a powerful representation of the impact the Roosevelt community can make on both the public relations industry and the greater world.

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