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What A Difference A Year Makes

sina 2Today’s blog comes to us from TU sophomore Sina McLin. She is double majoring in Art History and Arts Management, as well as earning a certificate in Advertising. Sina is from St. Louis, Mo., and studied abroad this summer with the San Gemini Preservation Studies program in Italy.

When I left home for college I didn’t know what to expect.  I had been told countless times that the next four years would be the time to discover myself and what I was most passionate about; a time to travel and meet new people and make the memories of a lifetime.  I can honestly say that my first year at The University of Tulsa was everything people kept telling me, and abundantly more.

I experienced so much during my first year that it almost seems surreal.  I got an Internship my first semester at a non-profit art gallery in downtown Tulsa called 108 Contemporary.  I was the Art Administrative Intern and that experience helped me declare my major.  I decided to double major in Art History and Arts Management and to get a Certificate in Advertising.

Sina 1My ceramic artwork was displayed in two student exhibitions:  the Core Connections Student Art Exhibition at Living Arts of Tulsa, and the Gussman Juried Student Art Show held annually at TU.

I received the School of Art Scholarship by submitting my ceramics portfolio and the scholarship has been an important factor in my college experience.  I interacted with the fine arts faculty prior to starting my first year for the review of my portfolio and to interview for the scholarship, so I was acquainted with a few faculty members before officially arriving on campus.  It was comforting to see familiar faces when I went into the art building the first day of classes and to have people already know my name.  While I didn’t decide to major in ceramics (as I initially intended), the department made it easy for me to keep pursuing ceramics, something I have been passionate about since eighth grade.

Sina 3The School of Art Scholarship also influenced my ability to study abroad this summer with the San Gemini Preservation Studies program in Italy.  The Art Scholarship allowed me to manage my financial resources and facilitated my ability to participate in the study abroad program.  I took two classes for TU credit on Archaeological Ceramics.  Not to sound cliché, but it was the most amazing experience I have ever had.  My favorite academic aspect of the trip was restoring a plate from a tomb burial that was from the 2nd-1st century BCE.  The plate was almost 2,000 years old and it was incredible being able to handle and preserve a piece of history.

Like all study abroad programs, my time in Italy wasn’t all work.  I lived in a small medieval town, located in the province of Umbria, which was full of culture and a deep sense of history.  Living in a small town was a unique experience for which I am deeply grateful.  I quickly became familiar with the town and was welcomed at the grocery store, gelateria, pizzeria, and the butchers with warm smiles and boisterous greetings.  I met many people and learned so many new things that can’t be taught in a classroom.  I explored surrounding cities in Umbria such as Assisi, Perugia, and Orvieto.  I also traveled to Rome and spent the weekend with my friends exploring churches and getting to view in person some of the artwork I had learned about in my art history classes at TU.

sina 4The support and encouragement I found in the art department faculty, specifically from my art history professors Dr. Olds (who is also my advisor), Dr. Maurer, and my ceramics professor, Whitney Forsyth, was inspiring. I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I did in my first year without them.  They were constantly there to encourage me and embolden my creative and academic sides.  I look forward to the next three years at TU and the adventures and opportunities that await me.

My Favorite Professor – Bill Hinkle

IMG_5118Today’s blog comes to us from Katie S., a junior Communication major from Des Moines, Iowa.

Bill Hinkle is an adjunct professor of advertising in TU’s Communication department. Adjunct means that he is a part-time professor who has a full-time job working in the Tulsa community. He takes time out of his work and life to share his extensive knowledge of the advertising industry with us, his students.

This is Hinkle’s 22nd year teaching at The University of Tulsa. He now teaches Principles of Advertising, Media and Concept Strategies, and advises the annual National Student Advertising Competition. But he started in 1994 teaching just one class.

He described his first ever class to me. He came without a syllabus or book and planned to just wing it for the whole two hours and 45 minutes. He said, “I’m standing on the third floor of Oliphant in this giant room with 42 students. There are 84 eyes staring holes through my forehead, waiting for me to tell them something they haven’t heard before. So it’s six o’clock and I talk for a few minutes and I’m not making any sense, so I decide to call roll.” He continues, “Well that took about five minutes and then I talk some more. I talk and talk and talk and I think that about nine days have gone by, but I look at my watch and it’s only 6:15. I talk some more, and when I check again it’s only 6:25. So I said, “Okay, well that’s it for today and we’ll see you next week!” I got home and walked through the door and my wife looked at me and said, “It’s 20 minutes until seven! What are you doing home?” I told her, “I just told them everything that I know about the advertising industry in 20 minutes!”

News-Hinkle-MACHinkle spent the next week putting together a lesson plan and luckily, he had much more than he realized at the time to share about advertising. He spent the following years perfecting his lectures and projects. He worked in both the college of Arts & Sciences and the Business College. He set out to create a program that truly offered integrated marketing communication, everything from advertising, to public relations, to broadcast production, to graphic design. In other words, all of the vital parts that make up an agency. About seven years ago, he finally saw his goals realized.

He called it the TU Ad Program.

This program was created, in large part, due to the aspirations and hard work of Bill Hinkle. Little by little, it has added more professors, students and special topics. The program encourages applicable knowledge and experiences that are realistic and can help build our portfolios. Many of the professors in the Ad Program are adjuncts, which means they have clients and connections in the Tulsa community and beyond. Our adjunct professors, and especially Hinkle, are the first to make a call for the students that work hard and show great passion.

When asked his favorite thing about teaching, Hinkle’s response is instant and automatic: “the students.”

“I love being around people like you. It keeps me young[er]. I learn just as much as you all do, maybe even more. I love to see the lights come on. Like in that very first Principles class, you have people that don’t even want to stand up and say their names, and now, they are doing amazing things! That’s the fun. I also like the camaraderie. I like the social engagement. And above all, I like to see students move on and do well, whether they go into advertising or not.”

Bill Hinkle is the best advocate for students that I know. He devotes an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort ensuring that his students are successful both in and out of the classroom. He encourages passion, personality, and boldness. In his classes, we are allowed to be daring and bold. He also lets us know that sometimes, our bold ideas will fail. This does not mean that we fail. It is simply an opportunity to try again.