Matlock Celebrates National Teacher Day

In honor of National Teacher Day, we asked the Matlock staff to recall their favorite advertising and public relations teachers and the impact they had in their lives.  Below are a few of the responses we received. Erika Ludwig, Account Coordinator – Reputation:


I was at university studying journalism when I decided to take an Intro to PR course as an elective. I was in a class of about 100, but I couldn’t help but notice that my professor seemed to be talking almost directly to me. (I’m a habitual head nodder and I can’t help but make eye contact with presenters. I suppose I’m difficult to overlook!) He was so energetic, so driven and so passionate about public relations that I decided to make the switch and focus my studies on PR. My professor was also the faculty advisor for the Public Relations Student Society of American chapter at my university, so I also joined PRSSA as well. Best. Decision. Ever.

Greg Heydel, VP & Group Director-Reputation:


My first public relations professor at the University of Florida, Dr. Glen Butler, encouraged me by offering me a paid job to research and write the copy for an international studies brochure for the university.  Not only was the money useful, but it showed me that I could make a living and career from writing and public relations.  Thank you Dr. Butler!

Edward Rutland, EVP & Managing Partner:



My college major was chemistry at Morehouse College. However, my most influential professor was Dr. Jeanette Hume, a humanities teacher. Dr. Hume helped to develop my inquiring mind by exposing her classes to classical literature; Homer, Chaucer, T.S. Elliot and Shakespeare. We even had to memorize the first lines of the Iliad in Greek! Most importantly, she helped me to improve my writing; essays, essays, and more essays! No matter what your major, the ability to communicate effectively and convincingly is one of the most useful skills for a successful career in any field. Thank you, Dr. Hume.

Ashley Ihesiaba, Receptionist:


My first advertising professor at the University of Georgia, Dr. Jennifer Griffith, didn’t start out as my favorite, but she made me not only a better student, but also a better person. My first class with Dr. Griffith was an Advertising Message Strategy class. I remember one project in which we were tasked with writing copy and designing a billboard for an online dating service. Each student had to present 5 options, which were critiqued one-by-one by our classmates. When it was my turn to present, my classmates agreed that I’d come up with a few solid options. Dr. Griffith, however, vetoed all 5 ideas and told me to start over. After many tears, 20 ideas later, and even thoughts of changing my major, Dr. Griffith approved of an option.

In hindsight, the idea Dr. Griffith eventually approved was much better than my original 5 options or even the other 14 that followed. Dr. Griffith was able to pull out the best in me when everyone else accepted my mediocrity. She taught me to be strong, to challenge myself, to not be easily defeated and most importantly to never give up. The life skills she instilled in me go beyond the classroom and are traits that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I will also never forget the idea that finally won her over.

Thank You Dr. Griffith!

We thank not only the teachers mentioned above, but all teachers and the amazing work they do every day. Who was your favorite advertising and public relations teacher, and what impact did they have in your life?