The Blount Lighthouse lecture series is a forum where students meet and interact with faculty from all over the University campus. Our aim is to introduce Blount students to faculty and disciplines they otherwise might never encounter in their time at UA, foster more informed communication about the opportunities the University of Alabama has to offer, introduce the UA faculty to our amazing Blount students, and to promote the Blount Scholars Program.

Please Join us for our November lecture and discussion with the amazing Mark Barry Friday November 12th in Tuomey hall and on Zoom: link


Mark Barry:

Director, Minerva Creative Advertising Portfolio program                                                                                                Assistant Professor, Dept. of Advertising & Public Relations

Click on the video and read the bio below to get a taste of what to expect on Friday.

Mark Barry has learned a lot. Growing up a military brat, his family moved often. (This is how he learned to be comfortable navigating unfamiliar social situations and how to make friends quickly.) Because of a severe lack of academic focus (and a deep hatred for algebra), he just barely graduated high school in 1993. (This is how he learned that doing the minimum is sometimes enough.) In 1998, he graduated from college with a BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design with a Marketing minor. In his first interview for an unpaid internship after graduating, the owner of the agency looked at the first two pieces in his book, grunted, closed the portfolio, and said, “There’s zero chance you’re getting this internship.” (This is when Barry learned that doing the minimum is never enough.) The following week, he skipped sleeping and completely rebuilt his portfolio with all new work and landed a (paid!) internship in J. Walter Thompson’s Houston office. A year later he was an Art Director in their New York office. (This is where he learned that hard work pays off.) Barry opened his own small agency in 2006. (This is where he learned he’s terrible at accounting.) Burnt out from chasing invoices and getting chased by business taxes, he gave it all up and went back to school to get an MFA in painting in 2011. (This is where he learned taking care of one’s mental and emotional health is a very good idea.) He taught a few classes in grad school and found himself loving something he had always hated before: the classroom. (This is when he learned that wonderful surprises are easier to find if you go looking for them.) He taught his first adjunct class in 2014. Now, he’s an Assistant Professor in Advertising and the Director of Minerva, The University of Alabama’s creative portfolio program. (This is how he learned failure is opportunity in disguise.) Mark Barry is still learning.