One Foot in the Classroom—The Other in the Ad Industry

Scott Hamula, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Ithaca College, was the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Advertising Educator Award from the American Advertising Federation. Hamula was honored at the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) Luncheon during ADMERICA, AAF’s national conference, on June 7. 

Awarded annually, the Distinguished Advertising Educator Award recognizes the best advertising professors in the country. Nominees for this award must demonstrate excellence in teaching and student advisement, a record of scholarly research, publications and professional experience, as well as active involvement in the advertising industry and its organizations, academia, and the community.

In addition to being a full-time radio advertising professional, Hamula began his teaching career in 1989 as an adjunct professor at three community colleges. He became a full-time professor at Keuka College in 1994 and moved to Ithaca College shortly thereafter. At IC, Hamula co-created the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) major and is now a tenured associate professor, IMC Program Director, and the Department of Strategic Communications Chair.

A dedicated servant to the advertising profession, Hamula has been an active member and leader of many organizations. He received the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's (AEJMC) Advertising Division’s Outstanding Service Award in 2016 for his service as a member and former officer. Since 2016, Hamula has served as a faculty member of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), a unit of the National Advertising Division (NAD), Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC), and Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). In addition, he is the faculty advisor for the IC AAF college chapter, Park AdVenue, and advises the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team each year. Nationally, he serves on the AAF’s National Education Executive Committee (NEEC) as the chair-elect and District Two faculty representative. He was also recently appointed to Adweek magazine’s Academic Council. 

Hamula’s biggest impact is in the classroom with his students. Students and colleagues frequently reference his passion for advertising education, noting his “pure enthusiasm” and celebrating him as “a champion for his students.” One former student said, “[Hamula] gave me the knowledge, strength, and opportunity to be prepared for my career.” 

IC has made it to the NSAC finals six times under Hamula’s leadership. A former team member said, “he encouraged us with true joy and excitement to perform well. He was our biggest cheerleader and his enthusiasm was contagious amongst the entire team. We felt like we were competing not just for ourselves but also for Scott. We were his team and we wanted to make him proud. That is the type of loyalty and fondness Scott encourages from every one of his students.”