SMU Advertising Welcomes New Chair and Director

By: Sarah Jane Eckelkamp

Professor Dr. Joe Phua appointed as Endowed Distinguished Chair and Director of the nationally ranked Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Please join the Temerlin Advertising Institute in welcoming Dr. Joe Phua to the Meadows School of the Arts leadership team. 

Dr. Joe Phua’s past experiences include work in the advertising industry and academia. Before earning his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (2011), where years earlier he earned his undergraduate degree in Cinema-Television, he worked for several major media companies, including MTV Networks, Viacom, IPG, and Paramount Pictures. He said this experience in Hollywood and Los Angeles gave him a “strong understanding of the international media industries and the role of marketing communications within the global economy and in major multinational corporations.”

After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Phua entered the world of academia. He spent over a decade at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he taught classes in digital advertising, strategic planning, social media branding, and others. He simultaneously conducted research focused on using digital media technologies for effective persuasive interventions in health contexts, such as obesity, healthy eating, vaccines, and e-cigarettes, with major externally-funded grants in these areas.

Dr. Phua said he plans to use his past experiences to “help TAI continue to build its stellar reputation as a major center in the United States and internationally for advertising education and research.” As well as to “give SMU advertising students a strong and well-rounded education, so they have the necessary tools and knowledge to become future leaders in advertising.”

He believes that “in order to create great advertising, we need to first experience and know the world around us.” One of the tools the new Director plans to utilize for TAI is Dallas’ status as a major media and arts hub. The strong and emerging tech and innovation scenes increase the attractiveness of the metroplex in which SMU is located, and Dr. Phua “sees many opportunities for TAI moving forward in terms of jobs and internships for advertising students, corporate partnerships for undergrad and graduate programs, and harnessing the location to play a leadership role in nurturing and educating the next generation of advertising and marketing professionals, leaders and innovators.”

His ultimate goals include “making the Temerlin Advertising Institute an International hub for world-class advertising education and research” and he desires to “shape the next generation of leaders in the field” through “training and educating the best students who will go on to change the world through their work.” All while “nurturing research that can exert a positive impact in the world,” as Dr. Phua’s priorities for research include “more varied research opportunities for students and faculty, such as in the areas of data science and artificial intelligence.”

Temerlin’s motto “Better Advertising. Better World” embodies, for Dr. Phua, how “advertisements tell stories and reflect the world around us.” He believes “ads are pieces of art that educate and inform us, while also serving as “mirrors” reflecting who we are as a culture, a country, a world. Advertisements have the ability to persuade and change how people perceive brands, products, and companies. Additionally, advertisements can shape how people think about important social, political, and environmental issues.” Dr. Phua believes “that we can create a better world with better advertising. We can use advertising to create awareness for, advocate, shape ideas, tell stories, and seed conversations around issues of concern in our world, thereby helping to change the world, a little at a time.” SMU’s motto “World changers shaped here” is also meaningful to TAI’s new Chair as he believes “that is exactly what we do at Temerlin. We educate advertising students who will go on to create better advertising and thus change the world. Our responsibility as educators at Temerlin is, therefore, to shape future leaders in advertising who are creative, curious, tenacious, and passionate about the world around them, and who will go on to become world changers.” says Dr. Phua.

We are thrilled to have Dr. Joe Phua joining the Meadows leadership team as Professor and Endowed Distinguished Director and Chair. Please give him a warm Mustang welcome!

A Word From the Director and Chair…

“I would like to tell current, future, and past students to always remember to think big and dream big. Believe in yourself. You have the power and ability to change the world.” -Dr. Joe Phua

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