SOJC: What Will Your Story Be? - Brand Responsibility


Sally Nguyen

Senior, advertising
Upstream Advertising team, The Rising Project, The Siren digital content director, Womxn of Color Coalition
Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Sally Nguyen’s school burned down when she was in fourth grade, and she still remembers how Nike stepped in with donations to help her schoolmates relocate. It was the first time she realized commercial brands can help people.

“As a woman of color with immigrant parents and as a low-income student, seeing how brands are helping underserved communities has always been really important to me,” she said. “I want brands to be a part of the social conversation.”

Nguyen’s interest in brand responsibility led her to the SOJC, where she works with real-world clients and competes in the National Student Advertising Competition with the university’s award-winning Upstream Advertising team. Her passion for social justice has also propelled her to join initiatives such as The Rising Project, whose mission was to create a climate justice playbook, and to serve as digital content director for the campus feminist magazine The Siren.

“I’ve always been passionate about advocating for authentic representation of marginalized communities, and I realized, at the root of it, seeing how brands act behind the scenes is my broader interest,” she said. “The SOJC has helped me find this niche interest by pushing me to be curious and ask smarter and better questions to continue learning what I’m passionate about.”

“The structure of the class and an agency’s process overlaps a lot. I’m gaining a lot of real-life experience that will prepare me for agency life.”
Sally Nguyen


a student at a laptop asks a question in class



brainstorming notes and a sharpie on a table


three students discuss a project for their class in advertising and brand responsibility
Continue Your Education with a Master's in Brand Responsibility

Consumers want companies to address social justice issues, and people working in advertising believe brands have a responsibility to better society. So, in 2019, the SOJC launched the first-ever master’s program dedicated to brand purpose. In the one-year Master’s in Advertising and Brand Responsibility program, students learn firsthand how to use strategic communication skills to guide strong brands in areas like sustainability, privacy and data protection, social justice, and diversity.

Do Well By Doing Good

Meet the Brand Responsibility Faculty


David Ewald pictured in front of a bright green plant-filled background

David Ewald

Professor of practice in brand innovation

Before becoming the SOJC’s first professor of practice in brand innovation, David Ewald helped clients including Google and Facebook bring innovative products to life as a founding partner and chief design officer at the Portland-based design studio Uncorked. Bringing over 20 years of real-world industry experience to campus, Ewald serves as the interim director of the Master’s in Advertising and Brand Responsibility and the executive director of the student-run Allen Hall Advertising agency.


portrait of Troy Elias taken outdoors

Troy Elias

Director of the advertising program

Troy Elias believes good things are ahead. And he would know: He researches diversity and equity, media effects, and attitudes related to climate change with the goal of helping organizations, brands, and journalists focused on climate change understand how to include and communicate with communities of color. As the faculty advisor for the UO student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, he helps students produce content and collaborate on portfolio work centering around social justice, entertainment, and culture.


studio portrait of Donnalyn Pompper on a gray backdrop

Donnalyn Pompper

Endowed chair in public relations

Donnalyn Pompper brings 25 years of practical experience in both journalism and public relations to the classroom and to her research. An internationally recognized scholar, her research provides routes for enabling people globally to achieve their maximum potential at work, embrace their intersecting social identity dimensions, and critically examine these issues across mass media representations. In the classroom, she teaches courses in public relations, corporate social responsibility, and social identity.


Sabrina Ionescu holds a basketball on her shoulder. Photo licensed from Getty Images.
What our alumni say

Sabrina Ionescu ’20

Point guard
New York Liberty of the WNBA

“I wish more people knew about [the Master’s in Advertising and Brand Responsibility] because of how great it is and how great the people are. All the professors … have been amazing, always wanting to see you succeed, letting you do what you want with your projects and course materials, and letting you brainstorm on your own.”

See How Sabrina Built Her Brand