About to enter his final scheduled semester as an Illinois undergrad, a thought occurred to Terry Kasdan:
Maybe a career in science wasn’t the way to go, after all.
And so, “less than six months before graduation, I changed my major. I was studying physics but spent most of my free time designing ads for The Daily Illini and coordinating all of the marketing and promotions for the Illini hockey team,” Kasdan (BS ’96/advertising, MS ’98/advertising) says from Northbrook, where he’s founder, web developer and digital marketer of atCommunications, LLC.
“This was my passion, and in the winter before I was scheduled to graduate from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with my degree in physics, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the College of Communications, now the College of Media, and changed my major to advertising.
“I needed to stay an extra year to complete my degree, then stayed two more years to receive my master’s in advertising. In that time and in the hallowed halls of Gregory Hall, I met some people who influenced me profoundly and shaped me into the professional I am today.”
To name a few:
— “Dr. Cele Otnes, who gave me the honor of being her graduate teaching assistant for two years.
— “Peter Sheldon, who taught me that ‘good enough’ isn’t nearly good enough.
— “Dr. Kimberly Selber, who to this day remains the most creative person I know.
— “Dr. Michelle Nelson.
— “Steve Hall.
— “Classmates and students who are now colleagues and friends.
“And, most importantly, my wife, Abby (Gress) Kasdan, who at the same time came all the way from Long Island, New York to Urbana-Champaign for her master’s in advertising — and, of course, to meet me.
“Today, I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve on the Department of Advertising’s James Webb Young Board for alumni relations and professional advisory, and I love coming back to campus for meetings, to guest speak, and to work with students.”