Professor of the Month: Catherine Hillman

Catherine Hillman
Instructional Designer, Online Teaching Specialist, Adjunct Faculty

School: California Polytechnic State University & Cuesta College

Location: San Luis Obispo, California

Catherine Hillman is a Cal Poly SLO grad (Art & Design, English – 1989) and she received her MS Ed. From Cal State East Bay. Currently, she teaches Social Media Marketing in the Cal Poly College of Business and the Business Education department of Cuesta College. Catherine is also a full time Instructional Designer for Cal Poly, specializing in Online Teaching and Learning.

In the early 90s, Catherine’s work in print design and advertising quickly gave way to the emerging field of Web design and advertising, and by the late 90s Catherine was working full time in web development and digital promotion. Teaching opportunities opened up in 2000 in the Computer Science, Business and Library Tech areas, and Catherine has taught Social Media Marketing since 2010. She has taught online and on-site courses for numerous colleges in the past 20 years, including several years at Governor’s State University of Illinois while living in California.

We asked Catherine a few questions. Her answers are below.


Currently, I’m using the Mimic Social simulation in my courses, and this fall I am also adopting the Consumer Behavior simulation. I love it as much as my students do, and I’ve had several of them contact me to let me know they were able to speak about concepts they learned in the simulation during their successful job interviews!


One of my favorite assignments has students completing a “personal brand” inventory. They take an online personality sorter, a values assessment, and they choose attributes and characteristics that fit from a list of adjectives. Next, they set up six month, one year and three year goals based on their personal brand identity. Finally, they compile all of this information into a letter they write to their future selves using the Futureme site online. Many tell me it’s the first time they’ve done a personal brand audit, and they often send themselves multiple emails into their future lives!


I have been a roller skater for over 40 years: at one point I studied dance skating, and when I turned 40 I joined a roller derby team and played, coached and refereed the sport for nearly 10 years before “retiring” to teach local skate classes on weekends. This photo from a few weeks ago is me teaching a group of 7-12-year-olds how to “shoot the duck” on quad skates.

I am on the board of a non-profit organization that is restoring a historic building that used to be the Printery for William Randolph Hearst. Here I am dressed in clothing that was worn in 1915. We teach children about older printing techniques every year at a city-wide event.

Thank you, Catherine, and congratulations!




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