adwordscertificationStudents from James Madison University’s MKTG 477 course (Internet Marketing Practicum)  passed the required exams and demonstrated proficiency in necessary subject areas critical to gaining competence in Google AdWords.  By passing the certification exams in this globally recognized program, individuals are qualified to effectively manage Google AdWords campaigns using the latest tools and best practice techniques.

Congratulations is extended to:

Learn more about AdWords Certifications.



Silverback Strategies donated four prizes as awards for the top performing students on my MKTG 477 AdWords Exam.  The prizes created a lot of excitement and clearly served as a good motivator for my students to study over the holiday break.  Thank you to Silverback Strategies!

The top scores for the GOMC Class of 2015 at JMU are:

1.  Morgan Moore
2.  Ashley Musumeci
3.  Jordan Blair and Patrick Cusumano (tie for third)

Class of 2015 AdWords Test Winners

Patrick Cusumano, Morgan Moore, Ashley Musumeci, and Jordan Blair




The JMU College of Businesses is pleased to welcome Exie Huntington, a Google University Programs Specialist, who will be presenting “Career and Internship Opportunities in the Business Side of Google.” This special presentation will cover topics such as:

  • The history, culture, and business of Google.
  • An introduction to Google’s non-technical and business focused careers.
  • Internship and undergraduate educational programming opportunities at Google based on class year:
  • What does Google look for when hiring?
  • How does Google hire?
  • Learn helpful resume tips/tricks, how to frame your experiences, and how to stand out on paper.
  • Learn Google’s interviewing format and the necessary adjustments to make for phone or Hangout interviews.

We encourage all students students in the College of Business to attend.

Mark your calendars now for #GoogleAtJMU on Thursday, January 22 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm in Showker Hall, Room 105.


National Film Competition Through Project Yellow Light

On January 9, 2015, in Marketing Students, by Theresa B. Clarke

Project Yellow Light, Hunter Garner Scholarship, is a national film competition where students create a 25 or 55 second video warning their peers of the dangers of distracted driving.  There are two levels to the contest – college and high school – each receiving cash prizes of $5000 (1st), $2000 (2nd ) and $1000 (3rd).  Additionally, the first place winner for each level has their video turned into a professional PSA by the Ad Council and it is then distributed to over 1,600 TV stations throughout the country for a year run. Videos are due April 1, 2015.

Project Yellow Light’s partners include the Ad Council, NHTSA, Mazda Motorsports.  Thye have great judges who will review the films – including Kweku Mandela (filmmaker including work on his famous grandfather, Nelson), Wendy Clark (global marketing exec for Coca-Cola), Jeff Goodby (co-founder Goodby Silverstein + Partners), Rick Boyko (retired global creative director, Ogilvy) and Aloe Blacc (recording artist).

It’s an opportunity for students to make a little money and hone their skills.  It’s an opportunity to have their film on TV.  It’s an opportunity to have their work reviewed by advertising, marketing and entertainment personalities.

Visit to learn more.


Fall 2014 Best IMC Plan Awards

On December 13, 2014, in James Madison Marketing Students, MKTG 384, by Theresa B. Clarke

Smokin' AcesAs is customary in my Integrated Marketing Communications class (MKTG 384), students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations in their section.

One team deserves special recognition for smokin’ (or perhaps I should say acing!) their presentation so I am awarding one “Best in Course Award” this semester.

Congratulations to SMOKIN’ ACES for earning the top award!

Based on the student votes, our fall 2014 winners are:

11:00 section:

Best in Section Award:  Epic Effect (45%  of their section’s vote)
Alexa Balsome, Corinne Cardinal, Carolyn Rezny, and Nick Spinner

Honorable Mention:  A-Team (30% of their section’s vote)
Emma Barlow, Emma Delmontagne, Andrew Hippe, and Julia Uglietta

12:30 section:

Best in Section Award:  Marxman Marketers (33% of their section’s vote)
John Bassford, Alex Dixon, Kevin Harmon, and Kelsey Hinkle

Honorable Mention:  Hoku Consulting (25% of their section’s vote)
Samantha Carr, Nicole Ferraro, Erica Moore, and Lynn Radocha

Honorable Mention:  In Sync (25% of their section’s vote)
Mary Bruton, John Mueller, and Michael Parzych

2:00 section:

Best in Section Award and Best in Course Award:  Smokin’ Aces (80% of their section’s vote and the most votes overall across the three sections)
Alicia Hahn, Ruby Katz, Casey Lynch, and Michael O’Day

Honorable Mention:  Official Business (15% of their section’s vote)
Will Dunkenburger, Matt Krobath, Alyson Phillips, and Catherine Schindler

I had a wonderful group of students in IMC during the fall 2014 semester and I congratulate them on completing a very challenging course project.  I wish them all the very best as they complete their marketing education and move into the practitioner world.


Finding Customers Through Search Engine Marketing

On December 12, 2014, in Marketing, Theresa Clarke, by Theresa B. Clarke

sv-sbdc-logo Thank you to Joyce Krech for inviting me as a presenter in the  Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC) monthly speaker series.

Listed below are some of the resources included in my December 12, 2014 presentation to the SV SBDC about “Finding Customers Through Search Engine Marketing“.

There are several outstanding agencies located close to the Shenandoah Valley that provide services in SEO, Paid Search, and other digital marketing areas.

If you are looking for something on a smaller scale, I can connect you with some of my JMU students to help you get started in AdWords.


As I craft this blog post, I can’t help but think of my colleagues and friends on the west coast who are bracing for Pineapple Express.  I pray that everyone remains safe and unharmed from this powerful storm.

On a more positive note, thank you to all who were involved in the JMU visit to the San Francisco Bay area last month. The four JMU students from a 2014 AdWords Business Global Winning Team had a very memorable experience and I am grateful to all who had a role in taking care of my students.  On behalf of Ashleigh Rojanavongse, Rachel Lam, Kaci Lassiter, and Lauren Hale, we wish to thank the Googlers and JMU Alums for arranging such an amazing trip.  Special thanks to Cynthia Davies Cline (JMU Alum) and Dr. Mary Gowan (JMU College of Business Dean) for their support as well.

Ashleigh Rojanavongse, Rachel Lam, Kaci Lassiter, and Lauren Hale visiting Google Headquarters as part of their prize package for being named an AdWords Business Global Winner of the 2014 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Ashleigh Rojanavongse, Rachel Lam, Kaci Lassiter, and Lauren Hale visiting Google Headquarters as part of their prize package for being named an AdWords Business Global Winner of the 2014 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

As part of the global winning prize package, I accompanied my students for an entire day at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.  Ciara O’Donnell  handled all of the logistical arrangements while Piotr Heilig, Lindsay Keller (JMU Alum), and McKelle Holyoak were gracious hosts for our visit to the Googleplex.

We enjoyed a variety of informative presentations from Joe DeMike, James Snow (JMU Alum), Jen Reed (JMU alum), Kim Rafeedie, and Ryan Martin.  The students presented their AdWords, Social Impact, and Google+ Social Media Marketing campaigns  to the Google Online Marketing Challenge team.

Thank you to all of the Googlers who helped make our visit so fun, informative, and memorable.  We savored every minute of the experience!

Paul Holland (JMU '82), General Partner, Foundation Capita

Paul Holland (JMU ’82), General Partner, Foundation Capital

After the Google visit, my students spent two days visiting seven local firms to network with our JMU alumni.  I extend my heartfelt thanks to Paul Holland (Foundation Capital & JMU Alum) and his Assistant Angela Baiamonte, for making these visits possible.  Through Paul’s efforts my students enjoyed company tours and connected with the following JMU alums:


    • Paul Albright, (Captora & JMU Alum)
    • Caitlin Friel, (Square & JMU Alum)
    • Lauren Kennedy, (Guidebook & JMU Alum)
    • David Rabil, (Airbnb & JMU Alum)
    • Tim Roche, (Quantifind & JMU Alum)
    • Michael Ross, (Visa & JMU Alum)
    • Dan Smolkin, (Quixey & JMU Alum)


Rachel Lam compiled a Google photo album to showcase some of the highlights from our trip.  Enjoy!



On Friday, December 5, 2014 I held my first class of MKTG 477, marking the eighth time that James Madison University will participate in the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).

It has become tradition to start the course prior to the official start date in mid-January.  We meet for three hours, but in yesterday’s case it was almost 4 and a half, to discuss the course requirements, form students into teams, and review the important tasks that must be completed over the holiday break.

One of those important tasks is studying for an AdWords final exam which is administered on the first day of class on January 16.

Your read it correctly when I said the FIRST day of class.

To make the holiday studying experience a more enjoyable one, representatives from Silverback Strategies sweetened the deal at our annual kick-off meeting.

While everyone enjoyed delicious cupcakes from a local bakery in Alexandria, VA…

cupcakes  …Andrew Nelson and Shay Meadows shared their experiences from participating in the GOMC at JMU.  They talked about how the Challenge inspired them to go into search engine marketing as careers.  Andrew and Shay provided valuable advice for doing well in the Challenge, working with clients, applying for jobs, and thinking about future careers.

Andrew Nelson (Director of Search) and Shay Meadows (PPC Manager) at Silverback Strategies talking to JMU students participating in the 2015 GOMC.

Andrew Nelson (Director of Search) and Shay Meadows (PPC Manager) at Silverback Strategies talking to JMU students participating in the 2015 GOMC.


They also challenged the class to study hard for the AdWords test in order to win one of four special prizes.  Thank you to Silverback Strategies for donating an iPad mini, a Chromecast device, a Google water bottle, and a Google bag.  The top performing student on the AdWords test gets first pick from the four prizes.  The second highest performer goes next, and so on for the top third and fourth place performers.Silverback Prizes

I thought that these prizes were such a great idea to highlight the competitive nature of the Google Challenge and to motivate students to work hard over the break.  Thank you to Silverback for their generosity with these gifts and for your continuous support of our educational programs at JMU.

Stay tuned to see our winners!


HootSuite CertificationDuring the fall 2014 semester in my MKTG 384 course, students were offered an opportunity to earn a few extra credit points through a HootSuite Certification Assignment.

One part of this assignment entailed students passing a certification exam to showcase knowledge about social media marketing.  Topics included scheduling social media updates, tracking social media performance, managing team and information flow in social media, and working with social media reports.

I am pleased to report that 18 James Madison University marketing students recently passed the HootSuite Certification exam and are now identified as HootSuite Certified Professionals.  Join me in congratulating the following individuals:

If you are interested in other types of social media certification, check out 8 places to get certified in social media.


Congratulations to my former MKTG 384 students for recently winning the Fall 2014 Direct Marketing Association of Washington Educational Foundation’s Collegiate Maxi Competition.

The team of Lauren Crain, Dan Frohelich, and Patrick Shamburger developed and presented an integrated marketing communications plan for the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour, an annual event where people are encouraged to turn off all lights for one hour in March.

Lauren Crain, Dan Frohelich, and Patrick Shamburger presenting their "Earth Hour" Campaign at the World Wildlife Fund Headquarters.

Lauren Crain, Dan Frohelich, and Patrick Shamburger presenting their “Earth Hour” Campaign at the World Wildlife Fund Headquarters.

While I am extremely proud of this group for winning the top award, I’m even more happy that they did the work for no course credit.  It is always a pleasure to work with students who invest their extra time into projects because they genuinely want to learn more about marketing.

Thank you to Lauren, Dan, and Patrick for giving me an opportunity to be your coach.

To learn more about this amazing team, please visit this JMU story about Marketing Students Taking First.

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