Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.

Vincent Engel

Co-Director of Advertising

Vince Engel joined the Academy of Art University in June 2008 as a part-time faculty member and has worked in advertising for nearly 20 years. He received his Bachelor's degree from Humboldt State University and has created work for brands such as American Express, Qantas, Nike, ESPN, Subaru, Miller Brewing Company, MTV, Ubisoft, Dr. Martens, and many more. He has received numerous awards, including two Gold Lions and two television Emmys for work done on ESPN's NCAA Basketball "Goulet" campaign.

Ellen Shakespeare

Co-Director of Advertising

Ellen Shakespeare is an accomplished freelance writer, and has worked with distinguished advertising agencies including The Bomb Factory, Goodby Silverstein, Cole & Weber, and Ogilvy & Mather for clients such as Rhino Records, Ford Motor Company, Samsung, and Avia. She conducted her undergraduate studies at Western Michigan University and Art Center College of Design where she received respectively her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, and received her Master of Arts degree in English from Kent State University. Prior to joining Academy of Art University, Ellen spent the last several years working as an Advertising Instructor at Art Center College of Design.

Mark Edwards

Online Director–Associate Director of Copywriting

Mark Edwards has been a successful, award-winning copywriter for more than 20 years. His work has been recognized in shows as diverse as The One Show, the Addys, and the Direct Marketing Association's Echo Awards. His work has appeared for some of the world's best-known brands including Aetna, AMD, Apple, Bank of New York, BMG Entertainment, Charles Schwab, Chase Manhattan Bank, DeBeers, Dove, Dunkin' Donuts, EMI Records, Harry Winston, Intuit, Lucent, Microsoft, Saab, Showtime, Sony, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, Time Warner and Wells Fargo.

Cameron Maddux

Associate Director of Account Planning

An account planning superstar, Cameron's career has included stints at Haggin Marketing, JWT, and Slingshot. He received his BA in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his MA in Advertising with a focus in Account Planning from the University of Texas, Austin. He has helped shape brands such as Verizon, Cellular One, Pizza Inn, Jack Daniel's, Starbucks, GM, The Department of State, The British Council, and many more.

Laura Lahti

Faculty & Curriculum Coordinator–Online

Laura Lahti loves collaborating on progressive and integrated brands with those who believe in pushing clients and pulling crowds. A Communications graduate of Boston University, she was an experiential art director at several agencies in Boston, including Modernista! and Arnold Worldwide, before moving to San Francisco to start her freelance career. She has created work for Cadillac, Hummer, Project (RED), Ocean Spray, Keurig, Monster.com and many more. She currently teaches and designs online advertising courses at Academy Art University.

James Wojtowicz

Faculty

James Wojtowicz has worked as an Art Director across several disciplines including advertising, feature films, interactive web development, and magazine publishing. He has developed branding campaigns alongside California lifestyle brand specialist Mike Salisbury as well as major advertising agencies including Chiat Day, Foote Cone and Belding, Public Interest, and Ogilvy & Mather. His client list includes Levi's, Volkswagen, Rollerblade, Los Angeles Angels, Quicksilver, The Bill Gates Foundation, Twentieth Century Fox, and others. Jim has lectured on the creative process at the Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian design conference in NYC.