Mass Comm alum, Disney Executive to give commencement address at CSU-Pueblo
PUEBLO – A new media executive and 1999 mass communications graduate of Colorado State University-Pueblo who spearheads Disney’s Interactive Media Group’s Disney.com mobile strategy will share his insights with the 2010 graduating class in May. Pueblo native and 1994 Pueblo County graduate A.J. Rhodes will present the Commencement Address to more than 700 graduating seniors during the spring ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 1 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
On May 1, guests at the commencement ceremony may arrive after 8 a.m. in order to secure seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the commencement ceremony, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association will sponsor a reception for graduates and their guests in the lower level of the Kitchen Craft Hall (formerly the Palace of Agriculture).
A.J. (Anson Jay) Rhodes of West Hollywood, Calif., has served as director of mobile strategy and marketing for Disney Interactive Media Group for the past four years. After launching the Disney.com mobile site two years ago, Rhodes was instrumental in making the site the #1 entertainment mobile destination according to m:Metrics. Rhodes has championed unique mobile destinations sponsored by top-tier, family, and tween brands that have generated new revenue streams on the emerging Disney.com mobile platform. Rhodes also works closely with all other Disney businesses to create and execute marketing campaigns and initiatives that bring a wide array of Disney stories and characters to life on the mobile platform.
Rhodes began his tenure with Disney at Radio Disney, creating promotions and strategic alliances that extended the brand into multiple distribution channels including television, online and mobile. Previous to that Rhodes was at MGM Studios managing worldwide marketing for consumer products, interactive and location-based-entertainment. Rhodes led the cross-functional team for the Pink Panther 40th Anniversary, which generated more than 100M consumer impressions and spawned a special edition DVD set, three music albums, multiple retail promotions, and a U.S. postage stamp. While at MGM, Rhodes also created programs for the TV series Stargate SG-1 and film franchises like James Bond, Rocky & Legally Blonde. Previously Rhodes held advertising planning and buying positions at Focus Media in Santa Monica, California and was a production manager for New Media Productions in Colorado.
His work has been honored by the industry with a variety of awards, including three PRism awards, three MarCom Creative Awards, and a Mercury Gold Award for the Pink Panther 40th Anniversary. The Disney mobile site also was a 2009 nominee for Outstanding Mobile Site both by the Webby Awards and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). The MMA also listed the Disney mobile site as one of the top five mobile destinations in 2009.
“The opportunity to speak at commencement is a great honor,” said Rhodes. “The education I received at CSU-Pueblo has been an invaluable and great foundation upon which my career has been built. My message to graduates will be a simple one – the world is at their feet. I was just a kid from the country who now works in an industry that I love and have had the chance to do things that I never even imagined.”
“If if can happen for me, it can happen for anyone,” he said.
For additional information on the commencement ceremony, contact Kristi Bonham, commencement coordinator, at 719-549-2284 or visit http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/about/Pages/Commencement.aspx