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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Echo
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Elliott details marketing, Taylor career

New professor shares heart for teaching

With a versatile, extensive background in the marketing field, Taylor’s newest assistant professor of marketing — Erica Elliott — has a genuine passion for teaching. 

Aside from teaching and pursuing her marketing career, Elliott is also passionate about fly fishing and gymnastics and is an avid dog lover.

Elliott began her educational career on the pre-medical path at the University of Central Oklahoma. After her freshman year, she switched her major to business administration, and later, she added an emphasis in marketing. 

Post-graduation, she decided to continue her education, earning an MBA in marketing from Oklahoma City University. Soon after graduating from her MBA program, Elliott had an opportunity to teach at New Mexico University, where she fell in love with higher education. 

“I had always had that coaching/mentor spirit given that I was a gymnastics coach for many, many years from high school to grad school,” Elliott said. “I’ve always loved that kind of interaction with people, helping them grow.”

While she would have loved to continue teaching, Elliott’s career path took her elsewhere first: a 20-year career in marketing and advertising.

During this period, she held several marketing roles such as those at various marketing and advertising agencies, product and brand management at Pizza Hut and her role as vice president of marketing at SPIETH America, a sports equipment manufacturing company.

While working at SPIETH America, Elliott was able to bridge her marketing career with her passion for gymnastics.

The company had just grown exponentially in market impact, allowing them to contract with Olympic gymnast Simone Biles to create her product line around the time of the 2016 Olympics.

“We wanted it to be a whole product line so that it could inspire younger gymnasts to get involved in the sport,” Elliott said. “We created her signature for the actual product line (and) what items would go into the package itself.”

Elliott was responsible for the coordination of the product line’s promotion, development of the materials and the product line itself. This was an exciting and fun opportunity for her, especially because of her ample experience competing in, coaching and judging gymnastics.

Positions such as this one provided Elliott with knowledge and skills that would later assist and strengthen her career in higher education.

In 2017, the door opened for her to go back into teaching as an instructor and program director of digital marketing at Grace College. Elliott originally thought this position would be her retirement career. However, a few years later, she was recruited to work for Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) National & Global as their vice president of marketing.

“I had no intention of leaving Grace and teaching, but God puts different paths in front of us for a reason,” she said. “So I had a chance to get experience on the administration side and I also got to meet my husband there (at IWU).”

After departing IWU in late 2022, Elliott was unsure whether she would have more opportunities to teach.

Then, the opportunity to teach at Taylor presented itself.

“Through a series of events and again, God leading the way, here I am at Taylor,” Elliott said. “A year ago, I wouldn’t have ever thought that that would be the case, but (I’m) super glad that that chance has been presented.”

Elliott is beyond excited to step into the world of Taylor because of the strong sense of community, excellent quality of students and opportunity to be a part of the immense growth and change that the university is pursuing.

She is also looking forward to eventually revamping the marketing degree and modernizing it in a way that will allow students to make an effective impact immediately.

This semester, Elliott is instructing the Principles of Marketing and Digital Marketing courses at Taylor. So far, she has loved learning more about Taylor’s culture and education style and getting to know her students.

Having a diverse marketing background — including agency, client-side, direct-response, digital and brand — has given Elliott a well-rounded perspective of the marketing industry. She hopes to leverage her experiences to create fruitful learning experiences and impact among students at Taylor.