The University of Tulsa’s popular Ad Program, part of the Department of Media Studies in the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, has been rebranded as the TU Brand Center. With the TU School of Art, Design and Art History, this interdisciplinary program’s new branding better emphasizes the breadth of the certificate program, which covers disciplines including advertising, public relations, digital media, graphic design and persuasion.
“This program and this industry have dramatically changed and continue to evolve almost daily, so it was time to call it what it really is,” said Adjunct Professor Bill Hinkle. “We still teach advertising, but now it’s much more comprehensive in terms of what the industry demands, which courses we need to offer and where jobs are now available. We want to help students cultivate skills and abilities that employers look for in today’s candidates, so we will look at opportunities to incorporate concepts like creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.”
Teresa Valero, TU Brand Center program director and founder and director of TU’s Third Floor Design, said, “We’ve been fortunate to have incredibly talented professionals in the industry serve as instructors along with our current faculty. But we needed to look at the curriculum and reboot in order to stay relevant with an increasingly digital world. We’ve added a new course in digital media and creative, and we’ll be adding even more in the near future.”
The TU Brand Center also will increase concentration on writing, public speaking and persuasion. “The university’s mission statement notes that our students graduate with strong written and oral communication skills, and it’s our responsibility to make certain that happens,” said Mark Brewin, chair of the Department of Media Studies. “We’ve added, and will continue to add, faculty who specialize in these area, which will benefit students in all disciplines. ‘Exceptional communication skills’ tops the qualities employers most often seek, so we’re going to raise the bar to ensure TU graduates are ready to meet those demands.”
Kalpana Misra, dean of the Kendall College of Arts and Sciences, steered the change and is eager to champion the new branding and direction. “The Ad Program has done remarkable things in terms of internship and employment placement and awards, along with increasing the number of students interested in the courses we offer. It just made sense to widen the scope in order to create a world-class curriculum. I’m excited to watch the program move forward.”