Social Media Design Management students will have the diverse skill set needed for creating innovative marketing materials for companies or assist not-for-profits or social movements in getting their story out to supporters with creative campaigns and fostering relationships online.
Students will learn how to communicate, inform, and brand in creative and compelling ways, including understanding social media analytics. Students will additionally be able to present themselves to prospective employers effectively.
Professor Adolphs received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture at Michigan Technological University. A common thread throughout Professor Adolphs’ education and professional life has been the synthesis of practice and theory as it relates to the production of visual communication, as well as the analysis of emerging digital media technologies.
Professor Adolphs has been teaching graphic design, digital imaging, and other media focused classes at the collegiate level for the past twelve years. His expertise resides in design research, identity branding, advertising, photography, motion graphics, and user interface design. The programs Professor Adolphs engages with most frequently are Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Dreamweaver, and XD.
Dr. Gary J. Brunswick holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State University, and currently holds the rank of Professor of Marketing at Northern Michigan University. His research interests include marketing strategy, services marketing, and e-commerce. He also holds an M.B.A. from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and two undergraduate degrees from Northern Michigan University (Associate Degree, and Bachelor of Science - Summa Cum Laude).
His research has been published in wide range of journals including, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Behavior, The Marketing Management Journal, The Journal of Professional Services Marketing, The International Journal of Case Studies and Research, The Journal of the International Academy of Case Studies, The Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, The Journal of Business Case Studies, and The Academy of Marketing Studies Journal.
He has received the Distinguished Faculty Award from NMU, as well as the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, along with 3 teaching awards within the College of Business, including the M.B.A. Program Professor of the Year Award.
Professor Christian has taught Art & Design courses across two distinctly different studio art areas, Computer Art and Digital Cinema. He was the first in the school to develop web design instruction teaching web and interactive design within the Computer Art program for many years before it was migrated to the Graphic Design program.
He was instrumental in the implementation of a technology plan for the School of Art and Design which supported many of the school's programs and directly contributed to the growth of the school; involving research, internal grant proposals, purchasing, installation, and maintenance of equipment. In addition, he has been a constant contributor to the publicity of the school's programs through the development of web sites and other multimedia presentations both on and off-campus.
Professor Christian has often worked on national commercial projects within the web design and interactive media fields along with pursuing personal artwork displayed in gallery settings.
Professor Keith Ellis received his B.F.A. in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, while working for web firms, print houses, and even television. After school, Professor Ellis worked in various industries, including design, photography, and medical education. Professor Ellis received his M.F.A.in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Tom Isaacson is an Associate Professor of Public Relations and PRSSA Faculty Mentor at Northern Michigan University. Dr. Isaacson started at NMU in 2012 and teaches a variety of core courses in the PR curriculum along with specialty courses in sports PR and international PR.Prior academic appointments include full-time work at Marquette University, graduate assistant teaching at Michigan State University and summer appointments at the American University of Rome. For 12 years, he brought students to Rome, Italy, and Cannes, France, for a 6-week Advertising/PR study abroad program. The program included attendance at the world’s largest advertising festival, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Prior professional experience includes technology PR agency work in the Seattle area, working with early-stage companies seeking VC funding or positioning for future acquisitions. The bulk of the PR strategy and tactics for these companies focused on media and analyst relations. His sports PR work crossed the gamut of levels – NCAA Division I, Division II, Pro Sports, Minor-league Sports – while holding full-time or internship positions with Ferris State University, MSU, Chicago White Sox and Greensboro Bats.
During the summer 2014, Dr. Isaacson served as NMU’s acting AVP of Identity, Brand and Marketing while a search was completed to fill the position permanently. In that position, he assisted with the launch of a new external branding campaign and developed internal launch concepts.Research interests include crisis communication in sports and WOM communication. Dr. Isaacson authored or co-authored three book chapters on Sports PR. His most recent chapter, published in a book titled Reputational Challenges in Sport (2018), is about the PR work behind the Chicago White Sox current rebuilding effort. Research has been published in Mass Communication and Society and Journal of Advertising Research.
Professor Jane Milkie received her MFA in Computer Graphic Design with an additional emphasis in Graphic Designfrom Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Professor Milkie teaches Graphic Design courses. Her freelance commissioned and pro bono print and web design work serve mainly non-profit clientele. She is a member of the AIGA Professional Association for Design and the UCDA University College Design Association where she has presented at many National Design Education Summits. Before teaching at NMU she taught graphic design for four years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Professor Milkie became the Associate Dean and Director of the School of Art and Design in 2023.
Jessica Thompson is an Associate Professor in the College of Business. She teaches courses in public relations, new media, sustainability and environmental communication. She serves on the Marquette Climate Adaptation Task Force and is the current coordinator for the Northern Climate Network and faculty advisor for the EcoReps – a sustainability brand ambassador program.
Prior to NMU, she was on the faculty in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has more than fifteen years experience working on collaborative climate change related projects across the Western US, Mexico, India, Singapore and Mongolia. She has published more than 40 manuscripts including her dissertation, which became a book, “Interdisciplinary Team Dynamics: A Systems Approach to Understanding Communication and Collaboration in Complex Teams.” She is currently finishing editing her second book, which is collection of 20 case studies of learning in America’s national parks, “America’s Largest Classroom: What We Learn From Our National Parks” – forthcoming in April 2020.
Jes earned her doctoral degree in Environmental Communication and Conflict Resolution at the University of Utah in 2007. She is also a trained facilitator and has a graduate certificate in Adaptive Management of Environmental Systems. Finally, she is a proud graduate of NMU (class of 2001).
Dr.Thompson is the Director of the NMU Sustainability Hub for Innovation and Envrironment (SHINE).(SHINE)
Brian Zinser, Associate Professor of Marketing in Northern Michigan University's College of Business, is the 2020-21 recipient of NMU's Faculty Leadership Award. He also serves as an assistant department head responsible for management, marketing, entrepreneurship, ski area business management and the bachelor of applied science (B.A.S.) programs.
Zinser is credited for his creative, forward-thinking ability to reduce barriers and assist transfer students. He represented the college in the Michigan Pathways Program, meeting several times with community colleges and university registrars to map out a reasonable and seamless pathway for business transfer students.
He also developed the B.A.S. in Management program, the only such program in Michigan specifically designed for employed adults. It gives those with a technical associate degree the opportunity to complete a bachelor's in two to three years while working, with the flexibility of taking online courses.
Prior to joining the faculty in 2014, he had previously served as an adjunct instructor for the college while working as director of marketing and co-director of NMU Communications and Marketing from 1998-2004. In between the two assignments at Northern, he taught at Lake Superior State University and across the border at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Zinser holds a doctorate in business administration (D.B.A.) from the Falls School of Management at Anderson University, an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from the J.J. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
An exploration of various technical methods of construction, production, and assembly used in the creation of art forms (2D, 3D, and 4D), integrated with an introduction to and application of the visual vocabulary of art (visual elements, principles of design, color theory).
Introduction to graphic design concepts with the development of technological and craft skills. Emphasis is placed on the use of process, typography and composition as well as the foundational skills of gestalt and color theory.
Implementation of typographic systems in concept and composition. Emphasis is placed on process, letterform, and layout as well as typography’s use in interactivity and motion.
Chronological exploration of the history of graphic design and illustration from the era of the illuminated manuscript to the present. Emphasis is given to graphic expression in modern society from the mid-19th century on. Digital design and illustration are included.
Study of the basic marketing functions from a managerial standpoint. Emphasis is placed on the development of a marketing mix to enhance the operational performance of all organizations that undertake marketing activities. Students further develop marketing-related knowledge and skills through integrated assignments and exposure to additional topics in marketing; emphasis is on the strategic implications of marketing decision-making.
Study of important psychological, sociological and cultural determinants of buying. Students are expected to make applications of concepts, theories and principles to specific marketing problems.
Study of the need to consider consumer needs and experiences in developing advertising and sales promotion campaigns for both traditional firms and new service firms. Students are expected to make applications of concepts, theories and principles to specific marketing problems.
As e-commerce and the usage of social media and mobile devices continue to grow in importance from a marketing perspective, a variety of strategic issues and implementation challenges arise when either transforming a firm’s existing business model or developing a new one. An understanding of existing and emerging issues and successful practices related to marketing in a digital environment will be developed.
The theory and practice of public relations, its function in organizations and its role in society. Topics include the history, communication theories and ethics of public relations, areas of practice in public relations and career opportunities.
Focus is on research, writing and planning skills unique to public relations. Topics include news releases and media kits, backgrounders and position papers, newsletters and brochures, advocacy advertising and special event design.
The study of various forms of “new” media. Topics include description of and practices associated with various forms of new media, the ethics associated with usage, and the impact of new media on society.
Advanced research and visual problem-solving. Emphasis is placed on the creation and application and coordination of branding and identity systems for social media platforms.
The foundations of digital video production; how to shoot and edit short-form cinematic works; survey of fiction, nonfiction, and experimental video production.
Introduction to the fundamental technical and compositional aspects of digital photography. Students practice compositional strategies, methods of controlling manual digital SLR cameras, and basic non-destructive digital post-processing techniques through relevant and interrelated readings, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, assignments, and individual and group critiques.
Introduction to the concepts and practices of computer art. Foundational approaches to photoillustration, animation, and 3D modeling will be explored.
Continued development of digital video production skills and knowledge emphasizing fiction video production; lighting strategies, camera work, composition, and post-production.
The course focuses on extending students’ knowledge of fundamental photographic methodologies including professional lighting techniques, basic film and silver-based darkroom processes, and advanced non-destructive digital post-processing techniques. Students explore traditional photographic concepts and genres through relevant and interrelated readings, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, assignments, and individual and group critiques.
Advanced studies in the design and development of web sites. Emphasis is placed on the conceptual development and layout of websites as well as its use in multiple devices and environments. Front-end HTML and CSS coding will continue to be developed throughout this course.
Advanced studies in visual systems; emphasis is placed on conceptual development, complex layout, production skills and three-dimensional design.
Students will learn to apply research, problem solving, and the user’s experience to interactivity. This course’s focus is on app/software interfaces and other media, wayfinding and the conceptual development of interaction and design.
Advanced research and visual problem solving. Emphasis is placed on the creation and application of large-scale branding and identity systems.
The object of this course is to provide Art and Design majors with professional work experience in their chosen area of concentration.
The mechanics of hard news reporting and writing in a converged media environment. Frequent exercises and critiques.
Students learn about the sport public relations field with a focus on publicity and promotion techniques used to attract fan attention and generate revenue. Unique aspects related to media relations and social media promotion are also covered.
Professional experience for qualified marketing students. Working relationships will be established with organizations. Students are required to write a paper and will be evaluated by their faculty supervisor in consultation with the employer.
The student completing this program will be able to manage the online social identity/branding of a company with the knowledge that includes understanding and reaching customers, creating high-quality media, and marketing. The graduates will be attractive to small and mid-range companies due to their diversity of skill sets allowing those entities to hire fewer people to construct their online branding/presence, but they could also navigate in media structures at large organizations.
The Social Media Design Management program will provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to their education that utilizes the skills and resources from three separate disciplines. Students will develop software and design skills in the School of Art & Design, build knowledge of Marketing in the College of Business, and communication and presentation skills from Public Relations in the College of Business. Internship course opportunities will exist in both the College of Business and the School of Art & Design.
The growth of social media use in the professional sector has been explosive over the last ten years. The program offers a combination of skills, producing a student with hands-on design experience and knowledge of brand identity developed from three different perspectives. The interdisciplinary nature of the program will encourage independent critical thinking and strong communication skills.
Advertising encompasses paid activities designed to sell a product or service. Social Media Design is about connection building and storytelling through the use of emerging technology and visual design. Both fields share the intention of communicating in compelling ways, many times through creative visuals to convey concepts. Social Media Design Management includes both Graphic Design and marketing strategies. A variety of delivery formats and online platforms are utilized.
Most of the software learned in graphic design deals with print production as well as web. Adobe Photoshop CS, Adobe Illustrator CS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, and other web and ap design software are covered throughout the courses.
Students receive a computer and Adobe Creative Cloud software. Other art supplies needed for graphic design or art courses are supplied with small art share fees. Printing and mounting projects take up the bulk of the cost and available at a reasonable price.
The Art and Design Internship course is available as an elective to junior students. Students find there own positions typically during the summer. Students find internships and or freelance design work both locally and at home. Design and social media jobs are available on the NMU campus. Work obtained before graduation expands the learning process and aids in securing a job upon graduation.
The Social Media Management degree would prepare students for a variety of job titles (Digital Engagement Specialist, Social Media Strategist, and Online Community Manager) across several fields: including Public Relations (9%), and Graphic Design (4% Job Growth ), and Advertising and Promotions and Marketing Managers (10% Job Growth). The program provides students a more varied skill set should be useful in creating strong candidates for these needed types of positions. NMU already has a successful history of preparing Graphic Design graduates who have migrated more towards these mixed positions, especially for mid-sized companies.
No. If accepted at Northern Michigan University, you can immediately enter the program.