The Philly Ad Club Educational Foundation and the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association sponsored this year's group of Toyota Philly Ad Club Scholarships. The funds are awarded in varying amounts to deserving advertising students attending colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia area. Alexandra Cahanap, a senior advertising and film and media arts double major, received a $5,000 scholarship. This honor follows Cahanap's other recognitions from the past school year, including consideration as a recipient for the DAPPER Award, which is given to a standout student in the Advertising and Public Relations Departments at Klein College of Media and Communication.
Cahanap earned the Philly Ad Club scholarship after receiving the nomination from instructors in the Advertising Department. In May, she had a Zoom interview with a panel of judges during which she showed them her portfolio and website, and then answered their questions about her work.
Cahanap, who was initially interested in studying communication when she started at Temple University, eventually found her way to advertising and film and media arts, a program in the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts. Once she realized that she was particularly drawn to visual media, she took pleasure in developing her skills in photography and videography while building her portfolio. Various internships and creative positions also helped her establish herself as a dependable professional, including her time as a marketing intern and junior content creator at Mole Street agency, co-founded and headed by alumnus Brendan Walsh, KLN '05.
Since January, she has worked in an artistic content creator apprenticeship with Cohere, a creative agency that focuses on bringing stakeholders together around a common vision in the hospitality, real estate and food sectors. Cohere Founder and CEO Antoinette Marie Johnson, CLA '06, says that Cahanap has advanced quickly during her time at the agency, taking on an increased amount of responsibilities in videography, photography and art direction. Johnson even credits her with brainstorming how the agency can work more efficiently with internal talent.
"She's so hardworking and she really dedicates herself," Johnson says. "She doesn't get bored with the projects easily; she really stays committed and has a relentless desire to achieve the best and really fulfill her full potential in each project that she does. But mixed with a rare openness to not have to stick to one medium or one role. So I think it's super unique to have that combination of talents."
Cahanap is hoping to continue her Cohere apprenticeship in the fall while dedicating herself to her freelance work. She plans to use her Philly Ad Club scholarship to purchase professional equipment that will help her advance as an art direction professional working in an increasingly digital landscape.
"Lately I've been getting a lot of freelance projects which has been so amazing, especially in this virtual reality that we're living in now," she says. "It's really easy to connect with people online and that's become only easier for me."
The Philly Ad Club plans to hold an in-person or virtual scholarship awards ceremony in late August or the first half of September.