Zenith

Christina Gerecke

Christina Gerecke

Account Manager

Christina is a natural born leader from Naperville, Illinois. As a child, she formed her own “clubs,” including one where she passed out permission slips featuring her own rules. She claims this bossier side got out of hand from years of watching shows such as “Gossip Girl” with her older sisters, but we applaud her for taking matters into her own hands. This summer, Christina served as a project management intern at Stevens and Tate and has previously interned at Huntington Bank, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s office and the public relations department at the DuPage County Emergency Management Unit.

On campus, Christina is a former campus outreach coordinator for VS Pink’s Campus Rep Marketing Team and is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. Hailing from the land of deep-dish pizza and Portillo’s, she served as a food committee chair and helped negotiate and select a food company when her sorority transitioned from a cook to a food service. An avid foodie, she encourages everyone to follow her food Instagram, @tastesoftin, for recipes and recommendations. The Instagram handle comes from her beloved 4-year-old niece and “mini-me” who calls her “Tin.” Outside of school, you can find Christina working out, playing basketball, playing piano, painting or spending time with friends. When she was younger, she used to make detailed magazine lines and wrote books for fun, which speaks to her creative side and gave her inspiration for pursuing a degree in strategic communication. As a native Illinoian, Christina was brainwashed to be a Cubs fan even though she does not care about sports, but she rates Kris Bryant a 10 out of 10.

Abby Walden

Abby Walden

Art Director

Though Abby Walden claims the Deep South as home, being born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and later moving to a small town in Arkansas, she has quite remarkably never boasted a Southern accent.

Abby has been drawing and painting ever since she could walk and talk. She considers herself to be a creative soul, and in addition to MOJO Ad, works as a graphic designer for Mizzou’s Strategic Communication department.

On top of creating visual masterpieces, Abby crafts culinary masterpieces. Art director by day, cuisine queen by night, some of her personal favorite dishes include Filipino chicken adobo, coconut cake and banana cream pie with homemade pudding and whipped cream.

Joy Park

Joy Park

Graphic Designer

Joy is a hot sauce-loving, pixel-obsessing creative from Columbia, Missouri. Recently, she held a UI/UX design internship at a local software development company that turned into a part-time job. In that role, Joy helped redesign the Roots ‘N Blues Music Festival’s mobile app. 

Joy has been involved in other creative endeavors on campus, including serving as a graphic designer for the 72nd and 73rd College Photographer of the Year Competition and as webmaster and historian for the Asian American Association. Aside from creating, she volunteers as a tutor for A Way With Words and Numbers and moonlights as a course grader on campus.

A true creative queen, Joy is especially savvy with coding, having earned dual minors in computer science and information technology. Naturally, when she is not geeking out over iOS updates, Joy can be found taking photos, hammocking and baking.

Lauren Roberts

Lauren Roberts

Video Producer

Lauren is an ambitious video producer who’s always on the go, which is demonstrated by her almost-accomplished goal to see all 50 states. She has plans in the works for a road trip along Route 66 to knock out the rest (not including pesky Alaska).

Lauren was a marketing intern for PIC, a nonprofit in San Antonio. There, she helped grow the nonprofit and help the community it serves by running social media campaigns, designing promotional material and using analytics to evaluate the most active post response times. She also worked as a digital media marketing intern at the National Blues Museum in her hometown of St. Louis. There, she created all promotional materials for the museum and the artists performing on its stages, along with working with hotels in the downtown area to promote concerts. She also does freelance design for businesses, helping start-ups with brand standards, logos and other branding elements.

When she’s at MU, Lauren fosters puppies from the Central Missouri Humane Society and acts as a liaison between the shelter and adoption applicants. She also feeds the homeless and volunteers at Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for youths in need. She is a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and was the vice president of public relations for MU Safe Sisters, a mental health and crisis management organization on campus. She’s also involved in Women in Media and the American Advertising Federation.

Mikeala Ashley

Mikeala Ashley

Quantitative Strategist

It’s official: Mikaela Ashley is no longer stuck in the suburbs. In classic 2020 fashion, Mikaela and her family went from quietly quarantining at home in Round Lake, Illinois, to packing everything up and moving to Atlanta mid-pandemic.

Mikaela’s life story is undoubtedly worthy of the big screen. Since her freshman year of college, she has been living out everyone’s Pitch Perfect dreams as a member of Mizzou’s all-female a cappella group, the Naturelles. Mikaela probably sang her first words, too, but we at MOJO Ad can neither confirm nor deny this claim.

In addition to her beautiful voice, Mikaela boasts an impressive resume. Besides being the savviest quantitative strategist on MOJO Ad, Mikaela serves as the Director of Strategy at Relevant Youth and works as an event planner and marketing intern at Missouri Business Alert.

Emma Weatherford

Emma Weatherford

Qualitative Strategist

Emma Weatherford is a curious soul with both an insightful and passionate voice. While she isn’t afraid to question the facts, you’ll never have to question her love for St. Louis, Missouri.

Emma’s passion goes much farther than just her hometown. On campus, she is the president of the American Advertising Federation, a tour guide and an admissions student ambassador. Over the summer, Emma worked as an account services intern at Intouch Solutions. Emma values community work and has both volunteered and interned with Ronald McDonald House Charities.

While Emma remains a busy woman, she knows when to take a break and enjoy the sweeter side of life. With a major sweet tooth, Emma views ice cream after dinner as a necessity rather than an occasional luxury.

Ally Friend

Ally Friend

Media Planner

Originally from Trenton, Illinois, Ally is passionate about all things advertising and PR. She is especially interested in young, emerging brands and industry collaborations. Last summer, Ally worked remotely as a PR and account management intern at Osborn Barr Paramore, an advertising agency based in St. Louis, Mo. 

On campus, Ally is an intern for the MU Chancellor’s Military and Veterans Committee. As a military child herself, she is proud to advocate for Mizzou’s student veterans and bring attention to their unique student experience. Ally is also the communications director of KCOU 88.1FM. When she’s not on-air, you can find Ally expanding her vinyl collection, rollerskating, painting or watching movies. One day, Ally hopes to become the communications director for a non-profit organization.

Noah Otterstein

Noah Otterstein

Digital Strategist

As our digital strategist, Noah describes himself as creative, driven and adaptable. Reigning from St. Louis, Missouri, Noah is an avid horror movie buff. If the movie is on a streaming service, chances are high that he’s seen it already. His all-time favorite movies are “Mulholland Drive” and the original “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Noah worked full time as an intern for a small marketing agency in Lake St.Louis called Rivet|MRO in 2020, where he was in charge of content development, on-site SEO, and keyword research. Noah continues to work part time for Rivet while he finishes up his degree at Mizzou. He also served as a social media manager for Elite Barber, where he used Google Analytics to improve its website and social media accounts and Google My Business to monitor traffic across sites. Noah was also granted a research fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, completing data entry and organization with Excel and other data entry programs.

Noah is bilingual in English and German, thanks to both of his parents, and hopes to revisit their hometown of Heidelberg very soon. In the meantime, he can just visit The Heidelberg restaurant in Columbia. Noah hopes to find a way to incorporate German into his professional life in the future. In his free time, Noah loves to pull out all the stops on his electric guitar, jamming out to legendary classic rock songs like “Take it Easy” by The Eagles, “Daytripper” by the Beatles, and “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin.

Sydney Winburn

Sydney Winburn

Public Relations Account Manager

Sydney is a tenacious public relations account manager who combines insights with creativity. She worked as a social media intern with Big Air Las Colinas, where she created content for its Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter channels, along with responding to followers. At Mizzou, she is a member of Alpha Delta Pi, Mizzou Alternative Breaks and the student chapter of the American Advertising Federation. She put her talents to work as the Philanthropy Event Chair for her sorority, planning two large fundraising events for the Ronald McDonald House and contacting local businesses to secure sponsorships.

 Before she moved to the strategic communication world, Sydney got her start in broadcast in high school in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There, she won two national titles and four state titles, including the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association’s Broadcast Producer of the Year and the Student Television Network’s Broadcast Excellence Award for Best Weekly Show in the Southwest. Now, when she’s not working for MOJO Ad, she volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House, Woodhaven, the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri and MU’s blood drive.

Zach Taylor

Zach Taylor

Content Manager

Zach is a relentless content manager who uses his critical thinking skills to solve problems. He works as a public relations coordinator for Strategic Communication, where he interviews sources and writes articles that highlight the successes of Strategic Communication students, faculty and alumni.

 Zach was the vice president of communications for Fight Night for Pediatric Cancer Research, LLC. In the position, he developed and executed social media strategy, secured sponsorships from donors and engaged in public relations with local news outlets and MU. He also assisted the promotion and strategic planning of the 2020 Service to America Medals as a communications and development intern for the Partnership for Public Service, which was a unique challenge as this was the first year the Partnership’s annual gala was presented virtually.

 Zach is also an assistant basketball coach at Smithville High School, recycling volunteer and Cleanup Columbia participant. At MU, he is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and is involved with the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Government. Although Missouri has been Zach’s home since he was two, he was born in California and plans to visit his family there as soon as things are safe again.

Sam Verdisco

Sam Verdisco

Copywriter

Sam Verdisco hails from Tampa, Florida, the WWE capital of the world, so naturally, her creative style packs a punch. It should come as no surprise, then, that Sam’s proudest moment to date is doing physical therapy with John Cena. Sam is even prouder of the fact that she works this story into all of her conversations.

When she is not talking about John Cena or writing the next great American novel, Sam can be found walking backwards around Mizzou and giving tours to prospective students and their families.

In her free time, Sam enjoys playing the piano. At the moment, she is learning Bella’s Lullaby from the Twilight Saga in an attempt to vicariously live out her fourth-grade self’s dreams of being a member of the Cullen clan.