Editor’s Note: This feature was originally posted on the UGA News website, which includes the complete question and answer profile.
Nathaniel Evans, an assistant professor in Grady College, conducts research that has implications for policymakers and regulatory bodies that enforce advertising policy and protect consumers. The following is an excerpt of some questions that Evans answered about his experience at UGA.
What are your favorite courses and why?
I love teaching “Principles of Advertising.” I typically have around 300 students in the course, and it’s great. I know that some would be intimidated by such student volume, but I actually find it to be a great motivator when it comes to improving my teaching. For one, it has forced me to be a better storyteller. I could spit facts and figures at students all day long, but if they aren’t engaged, they won’t care. I believe that putting the course content in context with some added entertainment value has really paid off. Second, many students in this course constantly surprise me with their ingenuity, inquisitiveness and leadership. Because of this, I am frequently reminded that I must step back and allow students to take the wheel, even if it is in front of 299 of their classmates.
How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?
I try as much as possible to let my research inform my teaching. Whenever I touch on topics relating to advertising law, regulation or deception, I incorporate my research into the content and or discussions. When it comes to newer advertising formats and executions, I feel it is important that students understand the implications, benefits and potential drawbacks for consumers and advertisers alike. My hope is that exposing them to some of my research will help them in that regard.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
Ultimately, it depends on the course. For the large introductory course, my hope is that students will walk away feeling engaged and passionate. I would like them to envision themselves doing something they enjoy. For other courses I teach, such as advertising and society, I hope that students develop an understanding of themselves as potential practitioners and the responsibility that it entails.