Nashville, Tenn. – April 5, 2019 — Dr. Ralph Brigham, global director of campus relations of Southwestern Advantage, and Southwestern Advantage have been selected as the recipients of the 2019 Charles F. Kettering Award.
Each year, Cooperative Education & Internship Association (CEIA) recognizes one recipient of the Charles F. Kettering Award for excellence in industry, business or government internship/cooperative education programs. CEIA is the national leader in cooperative education and internship program management.
This award comes with the distinction of being rated the top internship/cooperative education employer in the nation providing outstanding resources and services to university students and the cooperative education profession. Dr. Brigham and Southwestern Advantage join a prestigious group of past winners including IBM, NASA, Walt Disney, AT&T, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bloomingdale’s, Ford and General Motors.
For the past 17 years, Dr. Brigham has served as Southwestern Advantage’s global director of campus relations. In his role, Dr. Brigham is the liaison between universities and Southwestern Advantage in building and maintaining relationships with the more than 200 universities in North America, Europe, and Asia that have students participating in the program (more than 1,600 campuses total in 151 years of continuous operation). He has spoken to students at universities across the United States and in France, England, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and beyond.
Dr. Brigham has served as the president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which includes approximately 9,000 careers center professionals and campus relations directors, and in 2013, he was inducted into the NACE Academy of Fellows. Prior to his time with Southwestern Advantage, he was the director of career services at Montana State University. He currently serves as professional vice president of the National Council for Pi Sigma Epsilon, the professional sales and leadership fraternity. Dr. Brigham is a certified life coach, mentoring students and professionals in topics including finance, career, health and wellness, and developing habits to build a successful life.
“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by CEIA, and for Southwestern Advantage to also be recognized alongside some of the top companies in the world. For over 150 years, Southwestern Advantage has provided services and opportunities for university students to gain an experiential education through our entrepreneurial program. This award is a result of the principles that the company stands for and instills in the students who participate,” said Dr. Brigham.
“CEIA is an international organization. Knowing Southwestern Advantage’s background in recruiting international students in addition to the opportunities for students in the states was one of the key reasons why Dr. Brigham and the company rose to the top. This award comes from an employer perspective and is given annually to someone who spends lots of time in the field and an organization that provides mentorship, leadership and growth opportunities for interns. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important students gain practical experiences that will set them apart and make them more marketable when seeking their first full-time experience,” said Scott Maynard, program director for employer relations at Florida State University and past president of CEIA.
Southwestern Advantage is the oldest entrepreneurial program in the U.S. Since 1868, Southwestern Advantage has offered a sales and leadership program that gives university students a way to afford a degree, gain entrepreneurial skills and build character. Each summer, a sales force of nearly 1,500 independent student representatives market an educational learning system to families across the U.S. and Canada through direct sales.
In addition, Southwestern Advantage empowers university students with the tools, training and coaching they need to build their own businesses and gain transferable life skills. The product lines of early learning, homework help and SAT/ACT resources help millions of children excel academically and feel excited about school. Student representatives meet with families for short consultative visits to discuss education and sell websites, apps and books that help families reach academic goals.