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The Zimmerman Advertising Program Team

A dedicated team of leaders with both university and professional experience guides the Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP) to ensure that students learn advertising and business like no other program in the world. The team closely monitors the progress of the students and the strategic direction of the program. The curriculum never becomes outdated because the ZAP team continually reviews courses so students gain the business advertising skills needed by the industry today.

The Zimmerman Advertising Program brings together an interdisciplinary team from two colleges at USF, the Muma College of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Alexis Quintal
ZAP Recruiter

The newest member of the Zimmerman Advertising Program team, Alexis Quintal, also is the first face most prospective students will see. Entrusted with finding the best 34 students in the world, Quintal travels frequently looking for the world’s next generation of chief marketing officers. As the architect of ZAP’s entire recruiting strategy, Quintal has developed a close bond with her suitcase and frequent flier miles as she takes the ZAP message to high schools and college fairs across the nation. With the kind of precision that ZAP students learn to target their advertising, Quintal uncovers any place likely to be home to advertising’s next great leaders. In addition to mapping out a strategy to find and attract the very best students, Quintal oversees all marketing efforts for the program. From posters and brochures to the clever ZAP branded beach balls and sunglasses (popular in the northeast in the winter), Quintal coordinates these efforts, overseeing ZAP’s web presence and social media. She also reviews applications to ensure they meet the program’s academic standards, and coordinates campus visits and interviews to find exactly the right 34 students each year.

A veteran of college admissions, Quintal began working in admissions as an undergraduate student at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Having found her home in college recruiting and admissions, after receiving her bachelor’s degree, Quintal earned a master’s in higher education student affairs at Salem State University. After uncovering her spark during the interview process, the ZAP team worked hard to recruit this recruiter to USF.

Maura Cheatham
ZAP Adviser

As both the academic adviser and the living-learning-community (LLC) adviser, Maura McCool Cheatham, takes primary responsibility for the smooth academic progress and residential experience for ZAP students in the LLC. Through Cheatham’s skill and dedication, students’ academic lives usually do run smoothly. Since the LLC is a 24/7 experience, however, Cheatham is the point person for when students hit a rough patch. Luckily for ZAP, Cheatham is battle tested in high stress situations, having worked as a wedding planner before graduate school.

As the academic adviser for the ZAP program, Cheatham provides academic and career-focused advising, beginning at summer orientation and continuing each semester through graduation. Cheatham gets to know students personally during their year in the ZAP LLC, which is located in Juniper-Poplar Hall. The ZAP LLC is a community of first-year advertising students who live together and participate in professional development activities such as agency tours, etiquette dinners and networking events with industry professionals. Cheatham has an office in both Juniper-Poplar Hall and the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications, which assists students in accessing advising services. She also teaches the Academic Foundations Course for all first-year students in the program.

Cheatham received a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from John Carroll University. She worked at the University of Florida in the Heavener School of Business as an adviser in Career and Leadership Programs, and earned a master's degree in student personnel in higher education.

Jacqueline Nelson
Senior Director of Undergraduate Affairs
Collier Student Success Center

Jackie Nelson is the academic nerve center of the team and has worked to build the Zimmerman Advertising Program since its inception. As the founding director of the Collier Student Success Center in the Muma College of Business, Nelson innovates to ensure that our students receive the best preparation for their careers and lives. With an encyclopedic knowledge of courses, requirements and policies, Nelson has developed a course of study that is comprehensive and efficient. ZAP students acquire a mastery of business advertising and graduate on time.

She leads both living-learning communities for the Muma College of Business, ZAP and the Bulls Business Community. As the college’s greatest champion for student success, Nelson leads the Undergraduate Academic Advising, the Corporate Mentor Program, Business Communications Center, Employer Relations and Study Abroad. In her role as Senior Director of Undergraduate Affairs, she oversees the development of undergraduate programs, undergraduate international programs and student services.

Samuel D. Bradley
Director, Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications
Zimmerman Endowed Professor

A relative newcomer to the team, Samuel D. Bradley came to Tampa to be part of the most exciting place in advertising education. Although much of the structure of ZAP had been built by Kumar, Nelson, O’Brien and Osborn, a larger team was needed to launch this collaborative cross-college effort. Bradley came to USF from Texas Tech University, where he had served as chair of the Department of Advertising. The business-first, metrics-driven approach of ZAP was an excellent fit for Bradley, who grew up in his family’s direct-response advertising agency. Although accountability for Return on Advertising Investment is a new trend for many traditional agencies, direct-response agencies always have calculated the success or failure of each ad from its response. While many students sold hamburgers in high school, Bradley analyzed response rates and conducted market research for the family agency.

As the holder of the Zimmerman Endowed Professorship in Advertising, Bradley serves as ZAP Director, which largely involves staying out of the way of the extraordinary team members and helping them acquire the resources necessary to achieve their vision. Bradley serves as director of the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications, which was renamed after a transformative gift by USF alumnus Jordan B. Zimmerman. Bradley teaches both graduate and undergraduate advertising courses.

Bradley earned his B.A. in journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University, M.S. in mass communications from Kansas State University, and Ph.D. in cognitive science and mass communications from Indiana University.

Anand Kumar
Chair, Department of Marketing
Associate Professor

The Zimmerman Advertising Program was built to provide a complete training in advertising, merging the business skills of marketing with the creative skills of communication. More than mere cooperation, this immersion demands complete immersion in both sides of advertising. As chair of the Department of Marketing in the Muma College of Business, Anand Kumar oversees the marking aspects of the curriculum. Having worked internationally in both marketing and marketing engineering, Kumar returned to graduate school to study consumer psychology and brand strategies. He has become an award-winning researcher in consumer psychology. Kumar teaches consumer behavior and promotion management at both the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral level.

A key architect of the ZAP curriculum, Kumar oversees the marketing courses and ensures the continuity of coursework while minimizing overlap among courses. He also works with both academics and professionals to ensure students are learning current skills.

Kumar earned his M.B.A. from Indiana State University and his Ph.D. in marketing from Indiana University.

Coby O'Brien
ZAP Associate Director
Senior Instructor

Coby O’Brien has 20-plus years of professional advertising experience, starting in traditional and evolving with the excitement of the ever-changing industry. In his past he has had the honor of working with amazing individuals from stellar agencies, including: Silverman Mower, Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, Saatchi & Saatchi, and AKQA. He is equally fortunate to have worked with brilliant clients who build and manage global brands that continue to make advertising one of the most rewarding careers in the world economy.

Although never one of his clients, the deeply passionate O’Brien could have served as the inspiration for the Energizer Bunny. His tireless work ethic has seen his goal of helping to build the leading advertising program in Florida to success. As both a creative force of nature and the hardest working person you’re likely to meet, O’Brien helped to recruit the team that has built what is truly the most unique advertising program in the world and played an instrumental role in the development of the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications in the College of Arts & Sciences. He co-teaches the Academic Foundations course that makes sure ZAP first-year students have a smooth transition to being university students in a demanding elite program. With the widest professional experience on the team, O’Brien serves as a professional mentor to the students.

O’Brien earned his B.S. in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and his M.A. in mass communications from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Carol Osborne
ZAP Associate Director
Senior Instructor

Another veteran with more than two decades of ad industry experience is Carol Osborne, who brings a career’s worth of consumer targeting and branding insight to the Zimmerman Advertising Program. She earned her B.A. from State University of New York, and an M.B.A. from the University of South Florida.

Osborne gained deep insight into brand management and market research as an advertising manager for Cox Media’s Val-Pak division, the direct-mail giant who handles clients large and small. Quickly rising through the ranks, Osborne was soon named the Vice President of Marketing for the Cox Media Group and was recognized as a “Woman to Watch” by the industry’s leading publication, Advertising Age, in 2000. Working in direct mail provided Osborne knowledge in knowing how to simultaneously work with multinational advertising conglomerates, small local businesses, and typical consumers.

Although enjoying a highly successful career, Osborne said she decided to forego the boardroom for the university classroom in search of the “human element” of her career. Now a veteran with more than 10 years of teaching marketing, Osborne has a bevy of teaching and service awards to complement her numerous career awards. She’s never truly left the industry, however, as she helps direct the program’s National Student Advertising Competition team every year. Run by the American Advertising Federation, colleges and universities across the nation compete to produce the best campaign for a real national client. Osborne also launched ZAP’s study abroad program in London in 2015. She currently teaches basic marketing and promotion management.


Filed under:Mass Communications Arts and Sciences