Advertising, brand management professional named Bellisario Professor

October 17, 2019

Dave Wozniak, a Penn State faculty member who brings decades of leadership experience in advertising and brand management, has been named the inaugural Donald P. Bellisario Career Advancement Professor.

Wozniak, a Penn State alumnus and most recently vice president of advertising and partnerships at Lincoln Financial Group, joined the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in the spring. His background includes broad experience in all aspects of advertising, branding, integrated communications and sports marketing on both the client and agency sides of the business.

Wozniak teaches in-residence and online courses in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, bringing relevant experience and a strong professional network to the classroom. Career advancement professorships are designed to support promising faculty members who are new to their academic rank in teaching, outreach and professional development.

Wozniak is the second faculty member to move into a professorship named for Bellisario, the Distinguished Alumnus who provided a $30 million gift to the University in 2017. Mary Beth Oliver was named the Donald P. Bellisario Professor of Media Studies in October 2018. Oliver, an award-winning researcher, is a Fulbright Scholar and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State.

“Mary Beth and Dave are exemplars of the unique and powerful way the Bellisario College combines scholarly expertise and professional credentials in a student-centered learning environment,” said Dean Marie Hardin. “They are two members of an outstanding faculty that make the Bellisario College a destination for the best students in the country.”

The designation of Wozniak for the Bellisario professorship will enhance Penn State’s already strong reputation in advertising, public relations and strategic communication, Hardin said. “Besides his decades of experience and network, Dave brings a strong commitment to teaching. Already, he’s making a difference with our students,” she said.

“Being named a Bellisario professor is truly humbling. I especially look forward to partnering with my colleagues within the Bellisario College in doing great work that helps enrich the academic and practical experiences for our students and prepare them for the ever-changing landscape of the advertising industry,” Wozniak said. “And I’m deeply appreciative of the opportunity to return to Penn State. This is the place that helped launch my career and it now provides me a chance to pay it forward.”

Prior to his arrival at Penn State, Wozniak served as vice president of advertising and corporate partnerships for Lincoln Financial Group. During his 15-year tenure at Lincoln Financial, he was responsible for a wide array of initiatives that were designed to build a strong Lincoln Financial Group brand, including strategy development, consumer and business-to-business advertising programs, content and social media strategy, corporate identity management and brand communications program integration across the Lincoln enterprise.

He was also responsible for overseeing Lincoln’s long, successful partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles, including the development of experiential programs as the naming rights partner for Lincoln Financial Field. Under his leadership, several of Lincoln’s campaigns have been recognized for communications excellence.

Wozniak also served as director of advertising at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1998-2003. Previously, he spent 10 years at N.W. Ayer & Partners in Detroit, where he was the account director on the General Motors brand advertising program. He was also the advertising manager at Barnett Banks of Florida Inc.

Funding for the professorship was part of the $30 million gift from Bellisario and his wife, Vivienne. At the heart of that gift was a scholarship fund for communications students, with first preference given to undergraduates who are U.S. military veterans, active-duty service members, reservists and members of the National Guard.

The Bellisarios’ gift also included support for programs and faculty, along with funds to help launch a new media center at the heart of campus in fall 2020. The Bellisario gift has advanced "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university.

  • Dave Wozniak

    Dave Wozniak

    IMAGE: Photo Provided
Last Updated October 30, 2019