Adam Burke

How did you get involved with marketing the Pulse™ smartpen?

"I’ve always been tech-savvy, so I was very interested when I found out about this crazy pen a couple of years ago. Livescribe, the developer, conducted a nationwide search on Facebook for campus representatives, and I was one of 30 students chosen to market the smartpen. I used skills I had learned in the acting program at Towson about how to present myself, and sell myself, to get the job. All of the campus reps went to Livescribe headquarters in Oakland, Calif., for training."


Adam Burke and Jay Herzog
Adam uses the Smartpen to take notes from theatre professor Jay Herzog.

What makes the smartpen so cool?

"It’s a computer in a pen, basically. There’s a recording device that lets you devote 100 percent of your attention to lectures, as opposed to frantically trying to take notes and missing half of what was said. Then you can upload your notes and create keyword-searchable study guides with audio. Smartpen is more convenient than a notebook computer and makes studying more efficient. You have to use one to really appreciate what it can do."

How do you market it on campus?

"I just use my smartpen in class; afterward people come over wanting information and a demo. It’s a unique product that generates a lot of interest wherever it’s used. This past January I transferred my skills to the Twitter community. The Twitter audience consists of very tech-savvy professionals with lots of questions about future applications and development, so I market the pen differently. Communicating with that audience 30 to 100 hours per month, I increased the follower count from about 100 to more than 1,500."


Adam Burke on set
Adam on the set of "The Adventures of Captain Neato-man" directed by Nancy Stange.

Why did you decide to major in theatre at Towson?

"I initially earned an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering from the New Hampshire Technical Institute. Then I decided the field wasn’t creative enough for me and transferred here to study theatre production and design. My mechanical engineering background comes in handy, especially in my part-time job building sets at Centerstage theater in Baltimore."

What do you like most about the theatre program?

"It gave me the opportunity to discover my passions. I explored all of the varied aspects of theatre – from researching the history of theatre practices, using my body and voice to express complex emotions, sewing elaborate costumes, constructing epic sets, painting realistic backdrops, running shows, hanging and focusing lights, and using theatre to educate high school students in the Baltimore area –  I have done it all. The flexibility of the program and the supportive and knowledgeable faculty helped me to develop and taught me how to work in theatre."


Adam Burke back stage
Adam constructs set for theatre department productions.

What are your plans after graduation?

"I'd like to advocate for the arts through Twitter. At first it will be a labor of love. As Twitter grows, I'm hoping that more people will see it as a customer service and research-marketing tool valuable for all companies."

By the way, aren’t you afraid you’ll lose that smartpen?

"There are three things you don’t lose: your cell phone, your car keys and your smartpen."


Related links


Livescribe Twitter

Adam Burke's Twitter

Department of Theatre Arts

Transfer Admissions



University Police

Closings & News
410-704-NEWS (6397)

Text Alerts
Sign up now