Advertising staff and students spent a week working closely with visiting academic, Professor Jacqueline Hitchon, who heads up the Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Professor Hitchon, who has spent her career researching and teaching the advertising discipline, spent time observing advertising classes and tutorials at Swinburne, as well as meeting with a range of media, communication and advertising academics.

The Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois was the first advertising department in the USA, established in 1959 by Charles H. Sandage, and is considered by many to be the ‘father of advertising education’.

Swinburne Faculty of Health, Arts and Design Associate Dean (Learning Innovation) Michael Wilmore said that the one of main purposes of Professor Hitchon’s visit was to pilot a benchmarking project, designed to assist Swinburne in comparing our programs to those of highly ranking international universities.

“The project will help us to identify possibilities for innovation in our curriculum, teaching practice and the student learning experience, as well as possibilities for further collaborations, such as research and staff or student exchange.”

Professor Hitchon, who also chaired a panel at Swinburne’s Advertising Industry Forum, said that her time at Swinburne had allowed her to exchange ideas and meet colleagues from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.

“I have enjoyed learning more about Swinburne, the flexible course offerings available to students and the different types of industry exposure they have access to, as part of their course.”