School of Communication feature: Phillip Michael LeBlanc
Phillip Michael LeBlanc is a creative and a visual communications instructor at Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University. LeBlanc is a 2004 Tech graduate and has been dedicated to Louisiana Tech since his undergraduate days as a graphic design student.
LeBlanc has had many creative outlets throughout his career, such as photography, videography, woodworking, teaching, and freelance graphic design.
LeBlanc has spearheaded the visual communications side of communications studies at Louisiana Tech. His students hone their media studies skills in his classes, where he teaches web design, photography, videography, and video editing. His favorite class to teach is photography, and his passion for photography stems from its immediacy and his feelings of connectedness to his subjects. He has a particular fondness for portraits, and his charming office in Robinson Hall contains a wall filled with them. LeBlanc improved his portrait-taking through his “office portraits” project, where he invited over 200 guests to his office for conversation and a quick photoshoot. These portraits allowed LeBlanc to establish connections with people that produced tangible results.
“It’s almost for me a punctuation on the end of the conversation, like okay, ‘let me solidify this,’” said LeBlanc. “It’s as intimate as cooking dinner can be for someone else.”
LeBlanc believes there is longevity in videography, and he believes the most valuable course he teaches is COMM 295: Multimedia Production & Editing. LeBlanc knows that videography is a valuable skill to bring to any job in the communications field because it is an ability that businesses can always use, and it can be leveraged when starting out in a communications career.
“I think that companies are constantly trying to sell their story, craft their story, or brand themselves, and part of the branding process is just telling a story,” LeBlanc said. “Videography is a great tool in telling someone’s story or a company’s story.”
LeBlanc was a crucial part of the Tech Talk, a student-run campus newspaper overseen by members of the faculty. LeBlanc described the Tech Talk as “tight-knit and family-oriented.” LeBlanc still remains in contact with some students from his time with the newspaper.
Students like Raven Thissel, whose current-day career endeavors resulted in LeBlanc’s work for Karat’s Brilliant Black Minds program, still hold onto their connections with the instructor from their days in his classroom. Karat assists companies worldwide with their hiring processes, and their Brilliant Black Minds program focuses on the hiring of black software engineers. Due to LeBlanc’s Tech Talk connection with Thissel, he has been able to create branding and design work for the Brilliant Black Minds program.
LeBlanc continues to teach important visual communications classes where students find joy in developing their creative skill set, and the work produced by those students and their careers that follow prove to the instructor that his courses are valuable and rewarding.
This story was written by communications student Madeline Kalmbach.