BOONE, N.C. — Associate professor of advertising Dr. Shanshan Lou broadens the global perspective in Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication. She is considered an expert on cross-cultural advertising and the effects of media technologies on audiences’ attitudes and behaviors.
She opened up new worlds to students at Appalachian when, in 2016, she began a study abroad program in China that allows students in the Bachelor of Science in communication, advertising program to immerse themselves in the media and communication culture of that country.
Lou has been recognized by a number of national organizations and is a fellow in both the Advertising Educational Foundation Visiting Professor Program and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Media Ad Sales Program. She has conducted research in advertising with clients and academic colleagues in both China and the U.S.
With her extensive industry contacts, Lou has successfully helped students find internships and employment at a variety of advertising and public relations companies in major markets such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Seattle.
Learn more about Lou and her approach to teaching at Appalachian:
- What excites, motivates or otherwise inspires you about advertising?
The advertising industry is constantly changing. It really is an exciting and stimulating field, and you can expect something new every day. I like the fact that my research and teaching reflect changes in the industry. It is never boring to find projects to research or discuss in class.
When I take students abroad, I notice that advertising is among the first things they recognize as a means to learn a different culture. As an institution, a business and an industry, advertising has been a major force that shapes the worldwide drive toward globalization and socialization.
- Why should a student interested in advertising choose Appalachian?
I love the fact that students are our highest priority at Appalachian. Professors here really care about students, and we are devoted to helping them succeed. Small class sizes help me get to know my students individually and well. We love what we do, and we try to provide students opportunities to better their learning experiences within and beyond the classroom.
Through classes, projects, study abroad trips and networking events, we develop relationships with our students. These relationships are meaningful for me and constantly motivate me to seek more ways to help them achieve their goals.
- What do you hope students take away from the classes you teach?
As an international faculty member and scholar, I am passionate about providing diverse perspectives and encouraging students’ global thinking. I am committed to creating an inclusive space where students can feel comfortable sharing different opinions. I also hope students can learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills from the classes I teach.
- Why did you choose to come to Appalachian to teach?
The position allows me to do exactly what I wanted to do. I am able to teach the subjects I enjoy and conduct research that I am passionate about. Although I had never lived in the mountains and had not been to North Carolina before I came to App State, I love this town more every day. I am a proud member of the Appalachian Community.
- Tell us more about your research specialty. How does it strengthen your teaching?
My research mainly focuses on the effects of new media technologies on audiences’ attitudes and behaviors and cross-cultural advertising. I have been actively involved in creative fields as well, including advertising, film and television. I supplement my traditional scholarly endeavors through professional development that has resulted in three prestigious nationally competitive grants I received in 2014 and 2017. I use social scientific inquiry to solve practical problems in advertising. My work serves both researchers and practitioners from the advertising and mass communication fields. I am a firm believer that research in the field of advertising should have theoretical implications as well as practical values.
As a result, I have developed a close network of professionals who have become great resources for my teaching and students’ career opportunities. For example, I join students at the annual Multicultural Talent Pipeline event hosted by Publicis Groupe. The company fully covers our expenses and provides a great opportunity for students to connect with industry leaders.
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About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at https://communication.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.