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General Studies Graduates

Allen Garcie, MFA

Allen Garcie, MFA

What I do now:
I am currently a tenured Associate Professor within the LSUS Department of Arts & Media Digital Arts Program.

My work/job consists of:
Teaching LSUS students and continuing to find better ways of doing this. Also, while it's technically not part of my position, I also help with teaching online faculty as well as providing technical support when needed.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
I feel my parents played a big part in shaping who I am. I think one of the main things that I've taken from both of my parents is the value of setting goals and working hard to accomplish them. Both of my parents are hard workers and I always respected them for that (along with many other things). They also taught me the value of education and really thinking things through before making a decision.
Regarding teaching, I guess you could say that the first experience that made me think about this was when I had to teach/train others in JROTC at Caddo Magnet High School. I also found myself being placed in a few teaching/training positions in the military. I always liked being able to share information with others and watch them grow. A big part of this was thinking about how I was taught/trained and then trying to figure out how I could do it better. It was kind of like a puzzle.

The first class I ever taught at LSUS was a non-credit course with the Division of Continuing Education & Public Service (CE). My first class didn't go so well. In fact, after the class was over I asked the students what they would have done differently. Many of them stayed behind and shared their thoughts. The next class, after taking their comments into consideration, I changed my entire curriculum and the way I was teaching. At the end of class, I was given a standing ovation. I learned a lot during that class - especially about how to listen to my students. I also discovered that I had a passion for teaching others. I went on to teach for a number of years with CE and then had the chance to teach a credit course as an adjunct in the Department of Psychology. I taught University 100 to incoming freshmen, which was an enjoyable experience for me. Next, I was given the opportunity to teach graphic design in the Department of Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, & Humanities. I started as an adjunct and then went on to become an Instructor of Fine Arts teaching within both the graphic design and Animation & Visual Effects programs. After a number of years teaching as an instructor, a full-time position became available and I applied. I was hired and I'm now an Assistant Professor teaching full time in the Digital Arts Program. It's incredible! I genuinely love what I do!

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I always felt I would go to LSUS. I did consider other colleges, but LSUS seemed to be the best fit for me.

Fond memories of LSUS:
- The graphic design program for showing me that I could make a living doing something that I truly enjoyed.
- Continuing Education for giving me the opportunity to teach and share my knowledge with others.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
- Jason Mackowiak - Enrolling in his graphic design courses helped to set me on the path that led me to where I am today.
- Dr. John S. Vassar - Enrolling in his religious studies courses changed my worldview. They showed me that you shouldn't always take things at face value. If you really want to learn more about a certain subject, do the research yourself and make up your own mind. Don't let others make it up for you.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
LSUS helped me succeed by allowing me to find my passion. When I first started at LSUS, I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I liked computers, writing, and drawing, but that was about it. Honestly, fine arts never came to mind specifically as a major since a high school teacher told me that it was just a hobby and that I couldn't do anything with it! That was the last time I took an art class before attending LSUS. Nevertheless, my studies led me to taking a Photoshop course and the rest is history. I'm now in a field that makes use of my love for computers, writing, and art. Without the programs at LSUS and the faculty support I received as a student, I wouldn't be where I am now.

Awards and Honors:
In May 2017, I received the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Tenth District Outstanding Advertising Educator of the Year Award and was selected to serve on the National Education Executive Committee (NEEC). The AAF Tenth District Outstanding Advertising Educator of the Year Award is given to a faculty member who has gone above and beyond to ensure the growth and improvement of advertisement through the academic process. I am very motivated to help students at LSUS and across this nation succeed in their careers.

The AAF Tenth District is comprised of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Northwest Louisiana. This award has been given by the AAF Tenth District every year since 1968, and I was surprised to see that I'm the first in the district from Louisiana to receive it! As a member of the NEEC, I will serve with 16 other advertising professors
and industry professionals from across the nation. We will assist in the oversight of all of the AAF's educational programs including the National Student Advertising Competition and Alpha Delta Sigma Honor Society.

Advice to college-bound students:
Nothing is given to you and nothing worth doing is ever easy. If you want to be successful, you've got to set goals for yourself and work hard to accomplish them. You have to put effort into getting what you want out of life! College isn't easy. It's not meant to be. Sure, you're going to take some courses you may not be interested in at first. You may even wonder, "How is this course going to help me achieve my goals?" Just keep an open mind for learning new things and you'll see that everything ultimately fits into place. Also, set a goal for yourself and hold on to it. This goal will serve as a reminder of why you are attending college and what you hope to accomplish. At the beginning, it may seem like you have a long road ahead, but in the end, you'll graduate and then wonder where the time went. You will have accomplished your goal and, thus, become a better person for it.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Some people want to be a teacher because they get summers off or can get a "job for life" (amongst many other reasons, I'm sure). These are not good reasons to become a teacher. Being a teacher is hard work. It's about caring for others. It's about having the patience to work with and help others to see their own potential. Doing this isn't easy, but it is extremely rewarding.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Many students choose their majors based on money prospects, perceived "prestige," what their parents and friends think, etc. Any of these are the wrong reason for selecting a major or career. Go with what you love! If you truly enjoy doing something, it's not work. You'll certainly be a healthier person both mentally and physically for choosing what you're passionate about. On the other hand, if you don't know what you're passionate about, give yourself some time. Don't rush things. Again, keep an open mind. Each new experience will help you know more about yourself and bring you closer to finding your passion.

My toughest professional challenge:
My toughest professional challenge came with the realization that I wanted to teach. Once I knew that teaching was for me, I made every decision, both personally and professionally, based on this. Each decision I made from pursuing additional degrees to taking more opportunities to teach, etc. came with its own set of unique challenges. I tackled those challenges head on and never let myself forget my ultimate goal. I'm now experiencing the fruits that were born of a decision I made many years ago.

My toughest personal challenge:
Honestly, choosing to become a teacher was both a professional and a personal challenge. The toughest personal challenge was the sacrifices my family had to make. Whether it was me staying up all night working on projects, preparing to teach a class, or driving out of town to attend classes, my family have always been there to support me. Without their encouragement, accomplishing my goals would have been next to impossible.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
Professionally, my successes are embodied in my students. Seeing them succeed is best honor I could ever receive!
Personally, Kathi, my wife of 15 years! Being married to her has taught me so much more about life and being a better person. I just wouldn't be the same without her. Professionally, I received a 2018 Gold ADDY Award (AAFSB American Advertising Awards).

I've learned this from life:
In the words of famed fashion columnist and editor Diana Vreeland, "There's only one really good life and that's the life that you know you want and you make it yourself." In other words, nothing is given to you and nothing worth doing is ever easy. If you want to be successful, you've got to set goals for yourself and work hard to accomplish them. You have to put effort into getting what you want out of life!

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would love to travel with my wife and constantly learn new things.

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