Ivan A. Gomez (BOSS '15, St. Bonaventure '19), a senior strategic communication major from Bronx, New York, is one of 50 multicultural college seniors from across the nation chosen for inclusion in the prestigious AAF program’s Class of 2019.
“This really means a lot to me. To think that I could be one of the 50 most promising multicultural students in the whole nation is really impactful,” said Gomez. “It inspires me and motivates me to keep going on this journey I’ve been on. It hasn’t always been easy.”
Gomez’s parents immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Growing up in the city was “a little rough,” he said, and his dream of attending college would likely not have come true were it not for New York state’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education program, which provides access to higher education for students who are economically disadvantaged and academically underprepared. Gomez was awarded a HEOP scholarship to attend St. Bonaventure.
Arriving on campus as an undecided/business major, his interest in marketing and advertising led to his decision to major in strategic communication, a program aimed at preparing students for professions involving the creation and execution of integrated and complex communication plans. Gomez expects to earn his bachelor’s degree in strategic communication as well as a minor in marketing when he graduates in May.
A dean’s list student, Gomez has been active in a number of communications-related organizations and activities on campus. He serves as creative director for the campus chapter of AAF, leading a team of copywriters and art directors in a student-run ad agency. During his junior year, as a public relations and event specialist for the agency, he helped develop a marketing campaign for Ocean Spray that earned the SBU team third place in District 2 of AAF’s 2018 National Student Advertising Competition.
He served as a marketing consultant for Synapse Group, a student-run marketing communications consultancy team, and as a web development intern for the university’s Office of Events and Conferences. He also served as a peer leader and social media intern for the university’s HEOP office.
Additionally, Gomez is a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society, and of St. Bonaventure’s Latin American Student Organization. He also served as an on-air host for campus radio station WSBU, a broadcaster for SBU TV, a member of the Photography Club, and as a social media specialist for Department of Athletics’ Team Bonas student marketing group.
The AAF honor is a result of Gomez’s strong work ethic, and acknowledgement of his artistic and communication skills, said Mike Jones-Kelley, a lecturer in the Jandoli School, who sees a bright future for his student.
“Ivan combines several of the key ingredients to success in advertising,” said Jones-Kelley. “First, he’s talented. Second, he is hard-working and 100 percent reliable — he always delivers. Third, he’s just a heck of a nice guy.
“This honor is almost a guaranteed door to success. Ivan wants to work on the creative side, which is the hardest thing to get into in advertising, so it will be difficult for him to go directly from St. Bonaventure to a creative job, and he knows that. It’s possible, and God knows that if there is a way to jump the line, this is it.”
Gomez looks forward to attending the expo and awards program, and hopes it jump-starts his career. And why not dream big? After all, he said, “When I applied for this I never thought I’d be chosen as one of the most promising students in the whole nation. It’s really an honor, and shows me that I am capable, that there is a future for me in this business. My dream is to have a commercial with my credits in it or an ad for a major company, and this is going to put me on the right path.”
A version of this post appeared on the St. Bonaventure website: