Brian Tinker is a professor and program director at Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College. “I direct the graphic design program and design the ever-changing curriculum, manage a number of adjunct faculty, and teach at least nine credit hours each semester, including at least one online course. I also teach online courses for New School of Architecture and Design.” Brian has become deeply involved in college governance through his long-time membership in the school’s information technology and curriculum advisory committees and by serving as the chair of the faculty promotion committee.
Prior to earning his Doctor of Education, Brian worked in the design and marketing industries as an art director, creative director, and marketing director. “I started teaching a class at The Art Institute of Las Vegas in 2002 and discovered a genuine passion for higher education. I eventually joined their full-time faculty and pursued additional education.”
Brian has won design and advertising awards from The Direct Mail Marketing Association, American Advertising Federation, Graphic Communication Society, and AdAge Magazine. “I've also been privileged to present on the topic of assessment of subjective subjects at several academic conferences. In addition to active engagement with professional organizations like American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society for Experiential Graphic Design, and University & College Designers Association, I am involved with a non-profit that works primarily in India, providing alternate employment and education to those victimized by the sex servitude industry.”
Brian, who in 2013 earned a Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning from Argosy University, Online Programs, says that his degree provided an advantage when he applied for positions. “Because a Master of Fine Arts is considered to be a terminal degree in my subject area of graphic design, I wanted to earn a doctorate to provide me with an employment advantage.” He chose Argosy University, Online Programs because the school was owned by his employer at the time (Education Management Corporation)—and tuition assistance was an employee benefit.
Brian changed employers before completing his degree, but he says that paying for the rest of his education was a worthwhile investment. “In addition to providing the crucial letters after my name, the curriculum in the education program prepared me for the obtuse, counter-intuitive world of higher education administration. My many years in the commercial sector had resulted in my valuing productivity, efficiency, efficacy, and innovation. These are not the real values of public higher education.”
He explains that “moving the needle" in higher education requires the ability to adapt to the values of “entrenched bureaucracies” that aren’t motivated by what he describes as a profit imperative. “Argosy University, Online Programs taught me to practice zen-like methods to achieve success within [this challenging] environment.”
Brian says it’s important that students apply what they’re learning to what they plan to do in the real world. Brian adds that his biggest challenge in working toward his Doctor of Education was time. “There are only 24 hours in each day. My workaholic nature helped, as did the patience and understanding of my family.”
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