Three awarded advertising scholarships


Three Grambling State University students have won scholarships from the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston.

E’Vonne Gipson, Ninfa Saavedra and Tierra Smith  – all junior mass communication majors – were chosen from a pool of over 80 applicants. Only 20 students were selected to receive $2,000 scholarships, making it the second consecutive year for Gramblinites to be among the scholarship awardees.

“Grambling did really well again this year; the quality level of Grambling’s participation in the past three years has improved demonstrably,” said Rich Klein, chairman of the AEFH

The GSU student scholarship winners will be recognized during a special AEFH benefit luncheon with 17 other student scholarship winners, family members and professors on Friday at The Junior League of Houston.

The Houston foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores, juniors and seniors pursuing undergraduate or post graduate degrees in advertising, communications, interactive marketing, journalism, radio/TV, commercial art, public relations or related fields.

Edward Welch, the GSU mass communication department head, is happy that Grambling State is producing qualified students. “It validates that students can achieve things if they apply their skills,” said Welch. All three work with the Grambling State University Media Bureau.

Smith, 21, sports editor of The Gramblinite concentrating in sports journalism, found out about the scholarship opportunities from last year’s recipients, 2013 Grambling alumni Erina Love and Justin Madden. “When this scholarship came around again this semester, I was excited because I knew people who won it and I knew it was a strong possibility I could win, too,” said Smith. She is a recipient of the Gilbreath Communications Education Fund scholarship.  A native of Milwaukee, Smith moved to Houston with her family and attended Alief Hastings High School. “I am extremely thankful for the many doors moving to the city has opened for me,” she said.

Born and raised in the Houston area, Saavedra, 20, who works with campus radio station 91.5 KGRM, received the foundation’s KTRK Television Scholarship. “Winning this scholarship means a lot to me and my family; it has given me a lot of confidence in myself and skills,” said Saavedra, who is from Houston suburb Katy, Texas. As an alumna of Hightower High School in Missouri City, she is excited about the scholarship.

Gipson, 21, who has a public relations concentration and also majors in criminal justice, received the Houston Media Classic Education Scholarship. Born in Ruston but reared in Missouri City, Texas, Gipson participated in the Creative Writing Club at Elkins High School where she discovered she really enjoyed writing. “I would like to be an individual who is one day able to share the knowledge I’ve learned, and also be able to give back so that other hard working students are able to receive scholarship opportunities,” she said. 

Audrey Gilbreath, president and chief executive officer of Gilbreath Communications, sponsors the foundation’s Gilbreath Communications Education Fund scholarship. A 1979 Grambling State University alumna, she sees the need for more HBCU students to get help as they consider advertising and marketing careers. An Arizona native who has been a foundation member for 10 years, she said “it’s important in the communications field that we encourage our students to participate.”