AR Innovator Series- Dr. Stacy M. Smulowitz


Stacy Smulowitz, Ph.D., ABC, is assistant professor at The University of Scranton where she teaches courses in advertising, leadership and organizational communication. Smulowitz’s research focus is on theory and strategy for assessing and promoting excellence in organizational leadership. She holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, a master’s degree from Ithaca College in corporate communication, a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University in organizational and interpersonal communication, and is accredited through the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Smulowitz is Executive Director of the Eastern Communication Association and President of Smulowitz Communications, a strategic communication consulting firm. She resides in Shavertown, PA with her husband John, daughter Victoria, son Alexander and a spirited Brussels Griffon, Arlo. In her spare time, Smulowitz enjoys travelling and sitting on the beach.

How has AR Launchpad help you enhance your classroom material?

I use AR Launchpad in my Advertising Copywriting Class. Throughout the semester, students are taught how to brainstorm and come up with effective advertising ideas. At the end of the semester, they are required to build an advertising campaign for a chosen client. This year, I required them to use AR Launchpad in one of their advertising components.

How have your students benefited from using AR technology in the classroom?

The students were surprised at how much they could do with AR Launchpad. It opened a lot of possibilities for their ad campaigns that they wouldn’t have been able to do with just a regular print ad.

One student used AR Launchpad to promote low calories counts in a fast-food business. Another used AR technology to show various memories using marks, stains and images on the sole of a shoe.

Why do you think it is important to incorporate various technology into your classroom material?

“When students come into advertising, they come in and think they are going to create ads and all of these pretty things. But it’s so much more than that.” Advertising, in particular, is a field that is constantly changing. It’s really important for students to understand that they need to keep up with what’s new. TikTok was not a thing a couple years ago and a couple years before that we didn’t know what Snapchat was. Every couple of years there’s a new technology or product that comes out which supplies us with a new way to reach our consumers. If we can find a fun way to reach our consumers, that is only going to help us. “Using AR may be able to give us that edge that’s kind of fun, kind of cool.”

Do you plan on using AR Launchpad for more assignments in the future?

We plan on using the AR Launchpad platform in our Advertising Club. Here, the students take on real clients and help resolve issues they are experiencing. This year we have a local, non-profit client who we believe will benefit from the platform. The students will put together a fully integrated marketing/communications/advertising plan for the client and present it to them at the end of the semester. We’ve worked with so many different clients including Sno Mountain and a lot of Downtown Scranton businesses.

Do you have anything additional you would like to add?

At the end of the semester, I have some local professionals from the advertising industry come into class and evaluate the student’s portfolios. This year, the professionals thought that AR Launchpad was such a neat addition to the class. They said it was something that would make the student’s portfolios stand out among others when they are going for interviews. “It’s just one more thing they can have in their pocket when they’re applying. I think that would be kind of impressive for employers.”


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