Daniel Morrow

Daniel Morrow

Collaboration opens the door to a wider spectrum of ideas or opinions. Daniel Morrow , Adjunct Faculty, English , The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I was working as an editor for a broadcast news station and when complaining about how simple we had to keep the scripts in order for the public to understand them, my news director suggested if I really wanted to make a difference, I should become a teacher. I did and have been teaching for the past 25 years.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I have written in several different areas of interest—standard business communications, as a Communications Yeoman in the U.S. Navy, for undergrad and graduate academics, and for both print and broadcast news sources. Each of those different areas helped me to realize the functional necessity of clear communications and attention to detail. I understand today’s students are attending my classes for the purpose of improving their own economic situations and I use every class to help prepare them for the challenges they may face involving written communications and to build the confidence and skills within each of them to master those challenges.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I encourage the drafting process as part of my composition classes. Students have the opportunity to create a written product and then, through the editing and revision process, they continuously sharpen academic skills while increasingly gaining confidence to express themselves on a variety of issues via different formats. That process allows each student to put forth his or her ideas, and then ensure that those ideas are communicated as clearly and efficiently as possible to ensure the student is continuously successful in creating more complex written products.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration opens the door to a wider spectrum of ideas or opinions. In collaborative writing, students realize that backgrounds and opinions vary, and by reaching a consensus on an issue, though challenging, students can put forth an extremely detailed and substantial product that expresses their collective opinions or findings on an issue.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

The single most important aspect for a student is time management. I try to combine academic instruction with practical advice in terms of time management, goal setting, and achieving those goals.  In my experience, most students do not fail because of an inability to handle the academic material, but are overwhelmed when multiple factors combine to make the processing of that material much more difficult for them. I spend a good deal of time coaching students on strategies to maximize the use of time and to ensure that each student is not only successful in the classroom, but beyond as well. I give all students the same parting advice regarding writing and survival in the “real world” at the end of a class—Reading and writing academically or professionally are skills. The more a person uses them, the sharper they become. Never doubt your ability to handle a challenge, If you don’t know all of the required information to complete it, find that information (even if you have to ask for help), carefully review it, then put forth an informed, detailed written product to take care of what must be done.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

Personal Background—Married for 26 years so far, two children, one entering college as a freshman this year and the other is a sophomore in high school. Previous injury prevents my continued athletic engagement, but enjoy watching my children in their sports activities tremendously.

Professional Background—Master of Arts in English, Bachelor of Arts in History. 25 years classroom experience, prior stagehand (worked with some awesome bands), prior Communications Yeoman and CMS Custodian in the U.S. Navy, five years experience writing/editing for broadcast news.