Katie (Noah '06) Gibson | English
Web writer for Emerson College, Boston
B.A. in English at ACU (2006)
M.A. in English, Oxford Brookes (2008)
From the moment Katie Noah Gibson first visited ACU, she knew where she wanted to go to college. It was somewhat … well, inevitable.
"I just fell in love with the place. I knew it was somewhere I could thrive," she said.
And along with that sense of connection with the university, Katie found an equally strong tug toward the English department.
"I loved the English department - the sense of camaraderie, the quirky, intelligent professors, the great discussions of literature," she said.
Katie used those joint passions for ACU and for the English language during her two tenures in the Creative Services department, which produces all print materials used by the university. She served as an editorial assistant until August 2006 when she left for graduate school, and then returned to a full-time position in January 2009. She was also associate editor for the magazine ACU Today and helped senior editor Ron Hadfield examine the magazine and other print materials for microscopic flaws.
"I learned more about ACU than I ever thought possible," she said. "I came to know the culture and image of the place."
Although proofreading printed materials - which included theatre programs, recruiting handouts and business cards - may not seem glamorous, Katie found her job fascinating from a public relations point of view. She and her co-workers were not only learning about the history and image of the university, they were helping create it.
"We were the gatekeepers of the ACU style," she said.
She's using that same flair for guiding public image through web design at Emerson College in Boston, Mass., where she works in the Communication and Marketing Department as a part of web services.
"I'm responsible for making sure that the content is consistent with the message of Emerson and for speaking to our respective audiences," she said. "Part of my job is figuring out how to help people make their website visually appealing and marketable."
Katie not only enjoys helping people hone and refine the university's image, she also loves the beauty and historical weight of her surroundings.
Inspired by history
"There are perks to the location," she said. "Boston is beautiful - when the weather is nice enough to enjoy it."
But then, Katie is no stranger to beautiful and historic cities. She took her M.A. in English at Oxford Brookes, a small liberal arts college in Oxford, England. Though she initially found it difficult to transfer to a new department (as well as a new country), she found the change intellectually stimulating.
"It was exciting, challenging - I needed something different," she said. "It was helpful to be dialoguing with such a variety of people."
From moving to a new continent to rooming with three British girls she'd never met before, Katie had to rely on self-confidence and a strong sense of purpose to make the transition. But it's one she's never regretted.
"It was quite a leap of faith," she said.
Sharing love of language
She took another leap of faith when she agreed to teach a freshman English class at Hardin-Simmons University in the fall of 2008, after her return to the United States. Katie also taught two developmental English classes at ACU in the spring of 2010.
Her students included those who were struggling with language skills, as well as international students for whom English was a second or third language.
"It was a challenge," Katie said. "But we had several Aha! moments."
One of those moments came during a lecture when Katie used a sports analogy to drive home a point she was making about English. Suddenly the student athletes in her class accorded the material much more interest and respect, she said.
"It gave me some credibility in their eyes," she said. "It was a definitely a triumphant moment for me."
Whether she's relating to students with baseball analogies, working on web design, or proofreading a university magazine, her goal remains the same: crafting images within the scope of the English language.
"I’ve always been a writer and reader," she said. "There was never any other experience I wanted to pursue."
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