His experiences in film, publishing, and advertising have taken PSU Marketing Professor Linden Dalecki to a lot of places.
But when it comes to relocating to the middle of the country for your first teaching job, Dalecki said the adjustment of leaving the bigger cities behind hasn't been too hard.
"When my dad visited Pittsburg, he said it reminds him of the town he grew up in," Dalecki said. "My family has all made a point to come to Kansas to visit me."
Dalecki, who joined PSU in 2008 after finishing his Ph.D. in advertising at the University of Texas-Austin, is uniquely qualified for the new courses the College of Business has introduced. He has written plays for screen and stage, and his short documentary about breakdancing titled "Breakin' Away" was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
He was also a presenter this fall at the Proctor Gamble Annual Ethnic Summit, where he was invited to show a film he produced with students from the University of Texas. The film focused on African-American perspectives on marketing and advertising, and was presented to the brand managers for the top Proctor and Gamble companies.
Now, his role as movie-maker has changed to one of professor, as he teaches courses in Advertising Management and a new PSU offering, Entertainment Marketing.
"In both classes we've done some team projects that have outreach to the local community and beyond," Dalecki said. Students spent the fall creating promotional projects for the Colonial Fox Theater Foundation, the Kansas Board of Tourism and a few Austin-based film companies. The experience gained from a real-world project, he said, is invaluable.
"Even if it's a relatively small project for students, I think it's important for them to get their hands dirty with a something that might help a real company," Dalecki said.
Born in the Philippines while his parents were on a tour of duty with the U.S. military, Dalecki was raised in Washington, D.C. After receiving his bachelor's degree in film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he spent four years in the U.S. Navy before globe-trotting to places like Hong Kong, France, Israel, Greece and Egypt.
But it was his time in D.C. that left the biggest impression. Growing up, he became part of the breakdancing scene, an experience which inspired him to write a teen novel titled "Kid B," as well as his movie. Set in the urban hip-hop subculture, the book addresses issues of ethnicity and stereotypes from several sides. The novel was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006.
Although settling in the Midwest to teach has been a new direction for his diverse career, Dalecki says the warmth he's felt from faculty at PSU has made it a good place to call home.
"This has fit in with my life," Dalecki said. "A lot of other programs, you walk in as a new guy and it's like, ‘Here's a laundry list of assignments.' Here, there are immediate opportunities to really get involved."