Crendalyn McMath Fitzgerald
Associate Professor of Marketing
At North Park Since: 2002
Professor Crendalyn McMath Fitzgerald brings nearly 20 years of experience in education, marketing, and entrepreneurship to the classroom at North Park. She served as the founding director for the Center for Urban Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago, founded and ran a television and video production company, and was president of Kennedy Taylor Corporation. This diverse career gives Professor Fitzgerald a unique perspective to share with her students, and she chooses to teach at North Park so she can work closely with those students who will be future leaders in the marketing and advertising worlds.
“North Park provides opportunities to develop academic programs that reflect the business marketplace,” she says. “Our small class sizes enable me to really get to know my students so that I can best assist them with academic and professional development.”
Professor Fitzgerald helped to build the advertising program—one of the few undergraduate advertising programs in Chicago—for students who want to learn the full breadth of the industry and then work in either the private or nonprofit sectors. “Students learn how to incorporate marketing, communications, art, media, psychology, and sociology into creating solutions for organizations,” she says.
Professor Fitzgerald also points out that advertising is a very competitive field, and students who take part in the many opportunities offered at North Park—internships, networking, extracurriculars—are better prepared to pursue an advertising career.
Her advertising classes challenge students to think beyond their own experiences or desires as a consumer. For example, students, as part of various courses, students may consult with local businesses to build marketing plans or advertising campaigns, or they may explore advertising in a number of multicultural markets. “Advertising relies upon understanding the needs and wants of customer segments,” she says. “A part of this is understanding how culture and subculture factor into the consumer decision making process."
Students in the Integrated Marketing Communications class also participate in brand marketing competitions, including the Effie Collegiate Brand Competition, where they have the opportunity to design ads and campaigns for real companies and compete with students across the country.
Professor Fitzgerald is a member of the American Marketing Association and the Social Entrepreneurship Alliance. She serves on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards and committees.
MBA, Concentrations in strategic management and finance, University of Illinois at Chicago
- BS, Marketing, University of Illinois at Chicago