For the past 20 years at Ithaca College, Scott Hamula, associate professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, has eagerly helped thousands of students find, in his words, “the spark that drives them.”
Last week, the American Advertising Federation recognized his longstanding dedication to his profession by naming him its 2019 Distinguished Advertising Educator.
“It’s exciting,” said Hamula of the honor. “I’m humbled by the award and to join the ranks of the DAE faculty, many of whom I have come to know and respect.”
An active member of many national organizations, Hamula serves on the American Advertising Federation’s National Education Executive Committee. Since 2016, he has been a panel chair on the National Advertising Review Board, an appellate body for advertising industry self-regulation.
During his tenure at IC, Hamula has taught a range of courses and served as a major and minor advisor. In doing so, he has not only helped students earn degrees, but launch their careers.
Hamula’s mark as an educator can also be seen in the success of his students. This year, students in his Ad Lab class — a senior capstone course in the integrated marketing communications major — took home first place in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. It was the fifth time the Ad Lab team had qualified for the national competition with Hamula as the advisor. The win also drove home some of Hamula’s teaching tenets.
“There's a business goal behind every advertising campaign. In my course, students learn and perform the process: discover a key insight through research, conceive a big idea, and then consistently and creatively execute their message through advertising and experiences,” he said. “Advertising isn’t just messaging for entertainment. It’s messaging to achieve business goals. It’s rewarding to help students realize that when they are presented with a business problem.”
Looking back on two decades at IC, Hamula shared what truly stood out to him: “I’m proud of the teaching, learning and relationships that I’ve been a part of, and of the accomplishments of our students.”