Two Washington State University students are among the 50 Most Promising Multicultural Students of 2020, according to the American Advertising Federation.

Jordan Graham and Nam Nguyen were the only students from a Washington college to be honored as part of the association’s latest cohort.

Graham is a senior in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications studying strategic communications. The North Bend, Washington native is the first member of her family to attend a four-year university.

While drafting essays required for consideration, Graham wrestled with how much of her personal story to share with judges. With the encouragement of friends and family, she opted to write about her experience as a biracial student who was made to feel at times as though she wasn’t black or white enough.

“As I got older, I stopped caring about what color I was or who people thought I should act more like, and decided to do what made me happy,” Graham said.

The recognition validated the hard work she’s undertaken as a student at WSU. Hearing how passionate a campus tour guide was about the communications field led her to enroll and pursue marketing while maintaining her passion for art.

Nguyen is a senior in the Honors College and Carson College of Business studying Business Administration who has received considerable recognition during his time in Pullman, including being chosen as Forbes Under 30 Scholar, awarded the Rising Star Award by NASPA and the Global Student Leadership Award by Diversity Abroad.

“Being recognized with this award was a great opportunity to get exposure to the advertising and marketing industry and also allowed me to meet lots of bright, like-minded people from around the nation,” Nguyen said.

Nam is pursuing a master’s degree in education this fall at the Johns Hopkins University. His goals include inventing new methods of measurement and evaluation for teaching and learning using technology and creating education opportunities for underserved and under-resourced communities. Nguyen also wants to develop educational programs with global reach that use technologies such as virtual reality.

“I have personally felt the benefits of global learning experiences and would like to create a way for others to develop a global perspective, despite the constraints of their geographic, socioeconomic, or physical limitations,” he said.

The American Advertising Federation has offered numerous programs advancing multiculturalism within the advertising industry for more than two decades. Students selected this year by a panel that included representatives from Adobe, Spotify, Target and others participated in a four-day industry immersion program that included workshops, site tours and more.