City Tech Professor Lays Groundwork for Collaboration with Beijing’s Institute for Fashion Technology

A strong showing by his New York City College of Technology students at an international advertising competition landed Professor John McVicker a two-week teaching stint at the Beijing Institute for Fashion Technology (BIFT).

McVicker, a longtime resident of Ditmas Park, encouraged his Advertising Design and Graphic Arts students to exhibit for the first time ever in last spring’s One Club International Student Show. A record 32 colleges and universities from around the world participated in the event, which was sponsored by The One Club for Art & Copy, a world-renowned advertising club and foremost non-profit organization for the recognition and promotion of excellence in advertising.

The “buzz” the City Tech students created motivated McVicker’s peer at BIFT to approach him about a possible future teacher and/or student exchange program. One thing led to another and six months later, McVicker boarded a plane bound for China to teach at BIFT.

Like City Tech, BIFT is home to a vibrant advertising design department. Located in the heart of Beijing just minutes away from the site of the forthcoming 2008 Summer Olympics, it is a modern university complex with an enrollment of more than 7,500 daytime students. At the end of his two-week assignment at BIFT, McVicker was awarded the title “Visiting Professor.”

“My stay in China was one of the truly great experiences of my teaching career,” says McVicker. “I taught two classes, each consisting of more than 50 students, and began each class with an advanced PowerPoint presentation on modern conceptual advertising, a subject I’m currently researching. As China’s rapid growth continues, so will its need for increasingly sophisticated approaches to marketing and communications.

“I assigned each class a project which consisted of designing in three day’s time an ad campaign complete with an outdoor billboard, a tough challenge even for the best of professionals,” adds McVicker. “But these students were highly driven, with most working around the clock to complete the work. My hat is off to every one of those young men and women, as the quality of the campaigns they produced was absolutely first-rate and on a professional level.”

Professor McVicker has been invited by BIFT to return at any time and hopes to do so. An equally important objective during his November visit was to begin to forge a possible relationship between BIFT and City Tech.

“There was a mutual consensus between my BIFT colleagues and me,” he notes, “that by embracing each other, both institutions and their students can benefit in many ways. This is a unique opportunity for the College and I will do everything I can to encourage such an exchange.”

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York is the largest public college of technology in New York State. The College enrolls more than 13,500 students in 57 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, City Tech is at the MetroTech Center academic and commercial complex, convenient to public transportation.

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