University of Texas’ Ad School Taps Lisa Bennett to Run New Real-World Program

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The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations (SRS) at the University of Texas (UT) appointed longtime agency executive and Texas native Lisa Bennett as executive director of The Lab, a new practice within the school, designed to provide students with practical experience in the advertising and marketing industry.

“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this role my entire life. I grew up in Austin, graduated from UT, learned from some of the best in the business, led work across a broad range of clients and mentored some truly incredible talent over the years,” Bennett said. “Our industry is going through massive change and is facing a multitude of challenges. Creating an entity designed to prepare students for the real world will be an important next stage of my career. The Lab will be designed to give SRS students the best possible chance of succeeding in what is an incredibly competitive and demanding environment.”

Ostensibly a program and student-run agency, Bennett brings voluminous experience to the role, starting at Leo Burnett, where she spent 14 years, ascending to evp, executive creative director. From there, she joined DDB Worldwide as managing partner and CCO of DDB West. Ten years into her tenure, she moved to a North America role. After DDB, Bennett spent time at two independent agencies, including TM Advertising in Dallas, which shut down last year.

“Lisa’s impressive track record and wealth of industry expertise will add tremendous value to the faculty and students of The Lab,” Jay Bernhardt, dean of The Moody College of Communication, said. “I’m confident that under her leadership we will build a highly unique and valuable resource for both students and clients.”

Bennett’s brand resume includes several iconic brands such as Delta Air Lines, Disney, Heinz, Intel, McAfee and McDonald’s. She’s also