Academic Portfolios

Ask any newly minted PhD who is working as an assistant professor and they will have the same answer for what keeps them up at night … the TENURE portfolio! Of course, this is not the only thing that keeps us up at night (insert manuscripts, conference papers, students, and committees here!) but it does weigh on the psyche quite a bit as you prepare to “go up” for tenure.

To lighten this psychic load, I undertook an academic portfolio workshop this past summer and it was a fabulous experience. The teaching center at TCU offers a course for tenure-track faculty with limited spots available each summer and I was lucky enough to score a spot during the June sessions. Here is basically how it goes …

1) You sign up to participate during a week that is convenient for you with a mentor that seems to fit your situation (Hint: I think it is best to sign up for a mentor completely outside of your area of expertise so you are forced to explain yourself more thoroughly … kind of like you will have to do for the tenure board!)

2) You complete a “Getting Started” guide that outlines all of your accomplishments to date including research, teaching, and service and share that with your mentor before your first meeting.

3) Your portfolio coaching week then starts on a Monday and you meet with your mentor for three hours each day for four days – it is intense, time-consuming, and tiring … but, it lets you talk through each portion of your career and how it relates back to why you are doing what you are doing. Each day you talk about a different topic – i.e., Monday is teaching, Tuesday is research and so on. By the end of the week you have an extensive outline that highlights the BEST work you have done to date with explanations of why you are proud of it!

4) At the close of the workshop you are sent off to create your portfolio. One of the best parts of creating this style of portfolio – it CANNOT be more than 15 – 20 pages of text (excluding appendices). This style forces you to concentrate on the activities and accomplishments that are MOST important to you as an academic. Instead of throwing everything and the kitchen sink into your tenure portfolio you create a concise, focused document that truly highlights who you are as a teacher, scholar and member of the community (WOW).

The process of creating this style of academic portfolio takes between 20 – 30 hours of your time and is documented in this book:
The Academic Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching, Research, and Service by Peter Seldin and J. Elizabeth Miller (@ Amazon for $30.24)

I highly recommend going through this process if you are struggling with the idea of getting your tenure materials together. Luckily for me, my university encourages this portfolio format and, thanks to this program, I have a head start on getting my materials together. Tenure is a big, stressful deal – having your materials in order and ready to go will no doubt make the process less intense.

And, finally, a shout out to my incredible faculty mentor Dr. Melanie Harris (total bad-ass in the TCU religion department) – thanks for all of the support!

Classroom Technology

Technology in the classroom is always a hot topic in academia and rightfully so – when it is bad it can break your stride during lecture and when it is good it gives you an awesome technology high. As such, I have been on the quest for the ultimate technology setup for the last four years. I am happy to report that I am getting close.

This semester I set out to change the way I deliver my lectures – I vowed to use my iPad as much as possible, bring an “interactive” chalkboard to the classroom, and to not be attached to the podium at the front of the classroom. Here are the tools that have gotten me close to a daily technology high …

1) My new iPad
2) iPad VGA Adapter
3) A nice bluetooth remote
4) These excellent apps –> DropBox, Keynote, and Paper by 53

Using Drop Box, I can easily create lectures on my laptop, upload them to the cloud, and have them available on my iPad whenever I want. The Keynote app for iPad is great and easy to use – I have not created an entire presentation using the app but it is easy for quick edits. It also nicely goes into presentation mode which shows you the current slide, next slide, presenter notes and presentation time. Lastly, the Paper by 53 app has allowed me to bring an interactive chalkboard type presence to the classroom. Instead of using the white board, I can use the Paper app to draw out equations, show formulas, and best of all, I can quickly erase them all when I am done and start over. Using this setup, I can sit with my students and work through problems on the iPad while they watch on the big screen – moving me away from the podium and into a better teaching space.

There are still some tweaks that I need to make to my presentation style but the upgrades I have made this semester are already paying off. I am always looking for new teaching apps that can bring more to the classroom experience – right now, I am starting to experiment with the TED app, iTunes U, and Wolfram Alpha. I will post an update about my teaching trials here again soon. For now, here is a picture of what I take to class – definitely weighs less than my laptop bag (my shoulder thanks me!).

Links to products:
Apple iPad
Apple VGA Adapter
DropBox
Keynote App
Paper by 53 App
Presentation Remote

Summer Accomplishments

The summer hibernation has paid off this year … here are a few publications and conference papers that have come out over the last couple of months. Fingers are crossed that more are on the way for the fall!

  • Bright, Laura F. and Nicole R. Cunningham (2012). The Tweet is in Your Court: Measuring the Effectiveness of Athlete Endorsements in Social Media. Direct Marketing Education Foundation Research Summit, Las Vegas, NV, October 13 – 14.
  • Bright, Laura F., and Julie O’Neil (2012). Five New Channels & Five New Measures for Non-Profits. DFW Non-Profit Communicators Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, May 18th.
  • Lambiase, Jacqueline, and Laura F. Bright (2012). The Certified Public Communicators Program Proposal and Survey Results. Annual Conference for the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers, Keynote Presentation, Round Rock, TX, June 19 – 21.
  • Logan, Kelty and Laura F. Bright (2012). Deal Me In!: Assessing Consumer Response to Daily Deal Sites. Direct Marketing Education Foundation Research Summit, Las Vegas, NV, October 13 – 14.
  • Logan, Kelty, Laura F. Bright, and Harsha Gangadharbatla (In press – 2012). Facebook Versus Television: Advertising Value Perceptions Among Females. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing (forthcoming in Fall 2012).

Now it is time to enjoy my vacation before school starts in 20 days!

American Advertising Federation Pedagogy Conference

In early June, I presented the top poster for the American Advertising Federation Pedagogy Conference in Austin, Texas. This conference is affiliated with both the AAF Ad Expo and the National Student Advertising Competition. It was a fun weekend watching our TCU team compete in the finals as well as meeting folks who are also interested in social media and pedagogy research.

Summer Hibernation

Now that the loose ends of the spring semester have all been tied it is time to settle into summer hibernation mode in Texas. What does summer hibernation mean for me, you ask? Many days working on research and writing under the cool blast of the air conditioner with my dog Oscar at my feet.

In preparation for the research and writing work I have ahead I took it upon myself to check out a new book on creativity – “Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Ever Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon. The book is spot on and a quick afternoon read. Among my favorite pieces of advice are to “use your hands”, “don’t wait until you know who you are to get started”, and “be boring (it’s the only way to get work done)”. Kleon uses his own advice and adeptly steals like an artist by providing insightful quotes and anecdotes from great minds the world over. Using this information, Kleon weaves a story of his own struggles with creativity and how he finds inspiration to continue doing great work.

As I make my transition from the hectic days of spring into summer hibernation I have one particular quote from the book that keeps bouncing around in my mind: “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work” –Gustave Flaubert (pp.118).

Most who know me can attest that I have the regular and orderly component covered – now it is time to get to work and await flashes of violent originality. Let the hibernation begin!

Recent Work

Here are a few projects I have been working on in recent months. If something peaks your interest, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can discuss it further.

Bright, Laura F. (2012). Advertising Curriculum in 2012 and Beyond: The Future of Media Planning. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference (Pre-Conference Symposium), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 15 – 18.

Bright, Laura F., and Harsha Gangadharbatla (2012). Hey, Whipple, Tweet This: A Guide to Bridging the Gap Between Social Media Education and Practice in 2012 and Beyond. Advertising Education Federation Annual Pedagogy Conference, Austin, Texas, June 2 – 5.

Cunningham, Nicole, and Laura F. Bright (2012). The Power of a Tweet: An Exploration of Female Perceptions of Celebrity Endorsements on Twitter. American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference Proceedings, Chicago, IL, August 17 – 19.

Gangadharbatla, Harsha, Kelty Logan, and Laura F. Bright (2012). Just How Valuable is Television Advertising Compared to Advertising in Social Media in the Minds of Consumers?. “What is TV?” Conference, Portland, OR, March 2 – 5.

Landreth-Grau, Stacy, Laura F. Bright, and Susan Bardi Kleiser (2012). Too Much Facebook: An Exploratory Examination of Social Media Fatigue. American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference, Chicago, IL, August 17 – 19.

More coming soon!

Hello World

Welcome to my newly redesigned website – thanks for visiting!

This blog will eventually include materials related to my research and to teaching digital media, media planning and information science topics.

Please visit my curriculum vitae page for an up to date listing of my research and teaching activities of late.

This summer I will be presenting at the American Advertising Federation Pedagogy Conference in Austin, Texas (June 2 – 4) and the American Marketing Association Conference in Chicago (August 17 – 19).

I look forward to seeing some of you all there … and back here again sometime soon.