TXADPR Faculty Highlight - Dr. Laura F. Bright, Ph.D
With registration coming soon around, students are scrambling around trying to get a gist of their professors and what classes are all about. We, here at TXADPR, are here to help make that task just a bit less daunting. For this week's faculty highlight, we are recognizing Associate Professor of Media Analytics, Dr. Laura F. Bright. Her studies include social media effects, privacy, and the impact of big data in advertising. Just like her name, Dr. Bright’s bright persona makes any learning environment a great one.
Her official biography is as follows:
Laura F. Bright (Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin) is an Associate Professor of Media Analytics in the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Laura’s research focuses on social media addiction and fatigue, big data and personalized advertising, and consumer engagement online. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising, the Journal of Interactive Advertising, Computers in Human Behavior, the Journal of Marketing Communication, the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, and Internet Research, among others. In the classroom, Laura delivers content in the areas of media management, digital media effects, and advertising research methods. She has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Interactive Advertising and currently serves on the editorial review boards for the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising, International Journal of Advertising, and the Journal of Social Media in Society. She has spent over a decade working in the interactive advertising business in Austin, Texas and currently consults various companies and organizations on optimizing their digital presence.
During this crazy time of the semester, as students and faculty are bearing the weight of midterms and deadlines, we were able to get incredible insight from Dr. Bright regarding herself and her work.
Q: Why did you decide to go into teaching?
A: I went into teaching for a variety of reasons but mainly because I love to interact with students and help them find their way in the professional world. When I was in graduate school here, I was exposed to a lot of different professors that really inspired me to think about academia as a career and that is when I got really serious about it. I also had an amazing history teacher when I was in 8th grade who showed me that you can have really challenging content in the classroom and still have lots of fun which got me hooked on the idea of being a teacher one day.
Q: Do you have any advice or tips that you would like to give students entering the field of advertising after graduation?
A: Definitely - I would tell them to be persistent in going after what they want and also be flexible as things in advertising tend to move fast. Your career will have a lot of different aspects to it so don’t be afraid to explore all of the areas of our field - you will be surprised at the different opportunities that become available. Also, never be shy about seeking out other opportunities if you aren’t happy where you are - life is too short to feel like you have to stay put in a job you don’t like.
Q: What are your interests? Any interesting hobbies?
A: In terms of hobbies, I love to knit and make jewelry which I have done for almost 20 years now. I made extra money selling my crafts at music festivals in Austin during graduate school. I love a good true crime mystery to watch in my downtime. And, you can find me pretty much every morning walking through campus with my dog, Oscar, as walking is one of my favorite things to do. I can also be found frequently at Gregory Gym cheering on the lady longhorns volleyball team.
Q: What is your favorite area of advertising and why?
A: My favorite area to teach in advertising is digital - it moves so fast and is always so interesting. It also combines three of my favorite things which are information science, consumer psychology, and advertising.
Q: What course(s) do you teach here at UT? When are they available?
A: I teach Media Foundations (undergraduate level), Media Management (graduate level), and PhD Methods II (graduate level). The undergrad courses are offered all year - the grad courses are staggered across semesters and typically teach Media Management in the Fall and PhD Methods II in the Spring.
I have had the pleasure of taking Dr. Bright’s Media Management course during the Fall 2020 semester. As a masters student who did not come from an advertising background, I learned a great deal about media and its advertising aspects during the span of the course. Her teaching style and friendly demeanor made me excited to learn. In addition, Dr. Bright made sure our class stayed engaged during the crazy time when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. Zoom university was not a walk in the park, but Dr. Bright made it work incredibly well. She was extremely helpful and was always there with an answer when you had any questions. I’m sure any of the classes she instructs will have a similar experience.
For more information, please visit www.brightwoman.com or follow her on Twitter @lbright. For more upcoming faculty highlights and all things regarding advertising and the Stan Richards School of Advertising, follow @TXADPR.