Students win IMPAQT innovation awards for advertising challenge

May 07, 2009

Three Penn State student teams participating in this year’s Google Online Marketing Challenge were recently chosen as winners of the Penn State portion of the challenge sponsored by IMPAQT (, a Pittsburgh-based search engine marketing firm.

IMPAQT gave $1,000 to the class taught by Jim Jansen, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. Funds were distributed among the top three teams in the form of gift cards. Winners were chosen based on the analytics data from the e-marketing campaign created by each team for businesses in the State College area.

The multi-disciplinary course is composed of students from five colleges and 13 majors. It focuses on keyword advertising and leverages technical, marketing and advertising skills. Students work in teams with real clients, manage real advertising campaigns and use real money while competing with teams from around the world.

In addition to the financial support from IMPAQT, Jansen said students in the class also heard from several guest speakers, including AdWords for Dummies author Howie Jacobson, Dennis Yu of BlitzLocal, Ian Howells and Christian Wenzel from Pepperjam, Michelle Sharp from IMPAQT and Mark Ruzomberka from

“These folks really provided some great and practical insights into keyword advertising,” Jansen said.
The winning teams and their clients were:

First place: Dong-Jun Jung, Richard Kachman, Brook Randel, Mitchell Rukat, and Dennis Siller. Client:

Second place: Arielle Amchin, Eileen Chan, Jonathan Lorenzini, Steven Sharer, and Renee Stepler. Client: The Bicycle Shop.

Third place: Kirby Chin, Jonathan Coles, Ashley Kaufman, Alyssa Miller, and Zachary Oakes. Client: New Pennsylvania Realty, Inc.

The winning teams received their prizes from Michelle Sharp, a Penn State alumna and account group manager at IMPAQT, at a celebratory dinner held at The Tavern restaurant in State College sponsored by the College of Information Sciences and Technology and the Smeal College of Business.

All of the Penn State teams’ campaigns will be entered into judging by Google and a Global Academic Panel to determine the top ten teams worldwide. Those teams will receive a tour of the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, along with other prizes.


Last Updated May 07, 2009