The College of Liberal Arts honors talented and driven young alumni each year as recipients of the Emerging Voice Award. This award was created to recognize recent graduates who are achieving their career goals, serving their communities, and representing the College’s mission by shaping today’s world while imagining a better one.
BA 2002, Brian Lamb School of Communication
Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer, Digital Brand Architects
New York, NY
Kendra Bracken-Ferguson became an expert in social media and digital marketing before these ideas were commonplace in the marketing world, and puts that knowledge to work in the company she co-founded: Digital Brand Architects.
Her previous positions as the youngest vice president ever at PR agency Fleishman-Hillard New York and as director of digital media at Ralph Lauren gave her the experience and confidence to launch her own business. She also holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University and was named by Essence Magazine as one of the 28 most influential African American women in 2011.
Joining a sorority at Purdue and working in athletics promotion and on the Black Cultural Center newsletter were the beginnings of her drive to take ownership of tasks and demonstrate entrepreneurship. These experiences were important to her because, she says, “We all want to be a part of something greater.”
BA 2002, Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts
Design Manager, Hasbro, Inc.
Eric Siebenaler passively collected toys for years and eventually made them his career—by working as a toy designer. Now Hasbro’s design manager for the Littlest Pet Shop brand, he has also worked on Transformers and Star Wars.
Siebenaler played a role in the creative process for six animated series and three feature films related to the toys he designs. He enjoys the combination of professionals he works with, from creatives to those on the engineering and business end of the spectrum.
He strives to create things that connect with people on a personal level and help them find enjoyment or inspiration, if only for a few moments at a time. His own inspiration comes, in part, from his time in CLA. “The power of Purdue,” he explains, is that “if you build relationships with faculty and your peers, they will support you.”For a complete list of past recipients, and for information about nominating a Liberal Arts alumnus/alumna for the EVA, please visit www.cla.purdue.edu/alumni/awards/emergingvoice.