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Marketing Professor Fulfills Dream In Bull Run

When Andy Artis' son ran with the bulls in Pamplona six years ago on his 21st birthday, the USF associate professor of marketing was proud, but also a little envious.

"When I was a young man, I always thought I would run with the bulls as well, but time gets away from you," the marketing professor said. "Sometimes you have to find a new way to fulfill an old dream."

Andy Artis and the other Bull Runners

So, Artis put another type of "running with the bulls" on his bucket list: running out through the tunnel with the USF football team onto the field during a Bulls game. However, that dream turned out to be as hard to achieve as running with the bulls in Spain: the selection process for that bull run is an extremely selective and competitive process.

Undeterred, every semester Artis shared his bucket list with students in his MBA leadership class as an example of goal-setting. Then this year, a former MBA student, Joe Bennett, called him and said the USF Athletics Department was auctioning off a chance to run with the bulls for a charity event.

"If you share your dream with your network, you'll be surprised what can happen," Artis said.

Not allowing himself to be outbid, Artis won the auction and was able to cross off an item on his bucket list. Artis took Bennett with him as his plus-one on the field during the USF-FAU game. Artis ran through the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium and high-fived fans in the stand, shaking Provost Ralph Wilcox's hand at the end of his run. His son, the other bull-runner and also a marketing professional like his father, made a video of Artis' journey and posted it to YouTube.

Andy Artis with Bulls cheerleaders

"USF athletics loved our team spirit so much, we're invited back for homecoming," Artis said. "In the 10 years I have been a Bull, I have never had more fun than I did that day."

Artis, who has won numerous teaching awards from USF, said part of his teaching strategy is emulation: to enjoy learning so much that students also want to enjoy learning. He said that attitude extends beyond the classroom for him. Faculty members should embody the USF spirit they look for in their students, he said. He hopes he can teach his students something by following his dream of running with the USF Bulls.

"The college experience is not just about sitting in a classroom or getting a diploma," Artis said. "It's about making friends and making memories with those friends. We, as college professors, need to help our students create a positive and memorable college experience at USF."