Maura McCool Cheatham, ZAP Advisor
As both the academic advisor and the living-learning-community (LLC) advisor, Maura McCool Cheatham, takes primary responsibility for the smooth academic progress and residential experience for ZAP students in the LLC. Through Cheatham's skill and dedication, students' academic lives usually do run smoothly. Since the LLC is a 24/7 experience, however, Cheatham is the point person for when students hit a rough patch. Luckily for ZAP, Cheatham is battle tested in high stress situations, having worked as a wedding planner before graduate school.
As the academic advisor for the ZAP program, Cheatham provides academic and career-focused
advising, beginning at summer orientation and continuing each semester through graduation.
Cheatham gets to know students personally during their year in the ZAP LLC, which
is located in Juniper-Poplar Hall. The ZAP LLC is a community of first-year advertising
students who live together and participate in professional development activities
such as agency tours, etiquette dinners, and networking events with industry professionals.
Cheatham has an office in both Juniper-Poplar Hall and the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications, which assists students in accessing advising services. She also teaches the Academic Foundations Course for all first-year students in the program.
Maura worked at the University of Florida in the Heavener School of Business as an advisor in Career and Leadership Programs, and earned a master's degree in student personnel in higher education. She received a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from John Carroll University. After completing her undergraduate studies, McCool Cheathem spent three years as a teacher at Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio. During that time, she also worked at Kirkbrides Wedding Planning and Design as an event coordinator.
Alexis Quintal, ZAP Recruiter
Alexis Quintal is the first face most prospective students will see. Entrusted with
finding the best 34 students in the world, Quintal travels the country looking for
the world's next generation of chief marketing officers. As the architect of ZAP's
entire recruiting strategy, Quintal has developed a close bond with her suitcase and
frequent flier miles as she takes the ZAP message to high schools and college fairs
across the nation. With the kind of precision that ZAP students learn to target their
advertising, Quintal uncovers any place likely to be home to advertising's next great
In addition to mapping out a strategy to find and attract the very best students, Quintal oversees all marketing efforts for the program. From posters and brochures to the clever ZAP branded beach balls and sunglasses (popular in the northeast in the winter), Quintal coordinates these efforts, overseeing ZAP's web presence and social media. She also reviews applications to ensure they meet the program's academic standards and coordinates campus visits and interviews to find exactly the right 34 students each year.
A veteran of college admissions, Quintal began working in admissions as an undergraduate student at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Having found her home in college recruiting and admissions, after receiving her bachelor's degree in communications, Quintal earned a master's in higher education student affairs at Salem State University. After uncovering her spark during the interview process, the ZAP team worked hard to recruit this recruiter to USF.
Jacqueline Nelson, Senior Director of Undergraduate Affairs, Collier Student Success Center
Jackie Nelson is the academic nerve center of the team and has worked to build the
Zimmerman Advertising Program since its inception. As the founding director of the
Collier Student Success Center in the Muma College of Business, Nelson innovates to
ensure that our students receive the best preparation for their careers and lives.
With an encyclopedic knowledge of courses, requirements, and policies, Nelson had
developed a course of study that is comprehensive and efficient. ZAP students acquire
a mastery of business advertising and graduate on time.
She leads both living-learning communities for the Muma College of Business, ZAP and the Bulls Business Community. As the college's greatest champion for student success, Nelson leads the Undergraduate Academic Advising, the Corporate Mentor Program, Business Communications Center, Employer Relations and Study Abroad. In her role as Senior Director of Undergraduate Affairs, she oversees the development of undergraduate programs, undergraduate international programs, and student service.
Phone: (813) 974-4281