In Advertising, Faculty News

Two new faculty members have joined the School of Communications beginning January 1, 2016.

Jeff Sheets and BYU Laycock Center students.

Jeff Sheets, Derek Hansen, BYU Laycock Center. Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU. © BYU PHOTO.

Jeffrey Sheets, former director of the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration, accepted the position of associate teaching professor of communications. Additionally, Jessica Zurcher will teach Comms 101 and 416 as a temporary visiting instructor for the Winter 2016 semester.

Ed Carter, director of the School of Communications, made the announcement in November. “Jeff brings a wealth of talent and experience to the position,” Carter said. “He has a strong commitment to the mission of BYU and great love for BYU students.”

Sheets graduated from BYU’s Advertising Program and has taught at BYU since 2002. Previously, he was the director of the Advanced Advertising Lab (BYU AdLab) and adjunct faculty where he taught the theory and practice of integrated marketing communication. He has spent the last decade working and consulting with world-class brands and retailers.

Jessica Zurcher

Jessica Zurcher

Zurcher graduated from BYU with a master’s degree in mass communications and is working to obtain her doctorate degree in communication and media studies from the University of Utah. Her research involves digital media, diversity and family conversations about mass media messages.

“Jessica brings valuable teaching experience to this position,” Carter said. “She has great rapport with students and is committed to the goals of the School of Communications and BYU.”

These positions opened up with the recent retirements of journalism professor John Hughes and advertising professor Doug McKinlay.

Doug McKinlay

Doug McKinlay works with Comms students at the Brimhall. Photo by Meagan Larsen.

During McKinlay’s tenure—between 6,238 creative review sessions and 47 semesters—he and Sheets founded the BYU AdLab.

“We had been thinking for some time that there needed to be a place for kids to get together outside of class to think and talk about their ideas,” McKinlay recalled.

To honor McKinlay and the BYU AdLab, both he and Sheets plan to establish a new scholarship, the McKinlay/Sheets Advertising Awards, to go to the best Creative and Management students in the Advertising Program.

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We started it together & in a twist of synchronicity it's a tag team transition as Doug McKinlay is retiring & I am returning to take his place on the Ad Faculty. To honor Doug, and the work that went in to creating the @byuadlab he and I wanted to remember that legacy and have established a new scholarship, the McKinlay/Sheets Advertising Awards, to go to the best Creative and Management students in the Ad Program. We are seeding this fund with $10,000 from the two of us. And we invite all of you who feel like you have been impacted by Doug and his teaching and the Ad Lab and it's preparation for your career, to help us remember the true legacy we have and pay it forward to the future generation of students who now follow in YOUR footsteps. Doug and I always said the reason we both were here at BYU was for the students, and with that focus came all the blessings, each one of you! We love you! To join us in donating please click here: And reference in the notes section that this is for the McKinlay/Sheets Ad Awards (or that you love Doug as much as I do). It is a tax deductible donation and goes through LDS Philanthropies website. And look at it this way, when those people come calling from the Alumni group wanting a donation, you can tell them you already gave, and you know who it honors and what the money does, supporting the future generation of advertising leaders to come through the BYU AdLab

A post shared by Jeff Sheets (@jeffsheets) on

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