2019 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Sunday, November 10

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Morning Pre-Conference Tutorials

Pre-conference tutorials are optional and have an additional fee associated with them. Tutorial descriptions coming soon.

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Afternoon Pre-Conference Tutorials

Pre-conference tutorials are optional and have an additional fee associated with them. Tutorial descriptions coming soon.

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Evening Reception

Mix with your fellow conference attendees and meet our exhibitors in the Palace Ballroom.

Monday, November 11

7:15 am - 8:15 am


8:30 am - 9:45 am

Opening Keynote: "How to Sell Higher Ed"

Amidst a period of declining enrollment, cuts in state funding and waning public confidence in higher education, how do we create a strategy to flip this script?  Part of the strategy involves the words we use to describe higher education.  Another part involves understanding the critical nuances of what resonates with the various constituencies in higher education.  And, finally, it involves a careful understanding of the qualitative value drivers of the college experience–and an extreme focus on ensuring that value proposition for all students. This session will provide a digest of compelling data and provocative thinking that will fuel your work for years to come.

Brandon Busteed

President, Kaplan University Partners

9:45 am - 10:30 am

Exhibitor Time

Check out the vendor hall on your way to your morning session of choice

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Brand & Content Strategy

Power of Content: How to Transform Your Team

Why invest in content? Instead of telling audiences about your school, pull them in with content that reflects how they want to be engaged. Leaders from St. Edward’s University will share how to transform a marketing team into a content engine that is a competitive differentiator.

Christie Campbell, St. Edward’s University | Frannie Schneider, Rede Atlas LLC

Measurement & ROI

University Website Redesigns: Maximizing Budget and Results

A website redesign can be an ordeal—many cooks, many opinions. So once it launches, it can be instinctual to collapse into a chair and breathe a sigh of relief. But what about the epilogue? We’ll tackle the untold story—how to keep your website relevant, functioning and accessible post-launch.

Mike Lockrem, South Dakota State University | Chris Kappen, Epicosity 

Effective Leadership

Outside-In: The truths and consequences of leaving an agency to work in higher ed

What happens when 3 branding firm partners with more than 50 years combined higher education marketing experience jump ship and go inside to work as employees of universities? Their truthful advice can help marketers on both sides empathize with and understand one another’s challenges and build effective partnerships to collectively attack goals.

Stephen Penning, University of Maryland | Brendan Quinn, Temple University | Jim Walls, St. Joseph’s University

Audience Engagement

From A to Gen Z: The "How To's" of Reaching, Communicating With, and Enrolling This Generation

Today’s teenagers don’t know a world without iPhones. Gen Z uses technology differently, and they have definite expectations for how we should communicate with them. What does this mean for student recruitment? This session will discuss the use of effective digital advertising strategies and AI chatbots to communicate with Gen Z.

Kris Delaney, Georgia State University | Alexa Poulin, Carnegie Dartlet



The Adult Student Market: Research Insights to Drive Recruitment Strategies

When it comes to higher education, adult learners are often an underserved and overlooked audience. The tools, messaging and recruitment approach that works for teenage prospects won’t connect with the adult student market. Our marketing personas, backed by a nation-wide survey, will highlight how to serve this audience more effectively.

Kirsten Fedderke, Lipman Hearne | Suzanne Grigalunas, Lipman Hearne

11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Keynote Luncheon: "Emerging Trends in Adult Online Education"

We’ve gathered a panel of marketing leaders from a variety of schools to discuss online adult education: where it is and where it’s going. Moderated by Seth Odell, National University.

Panelists include:

Kathy Urban

Director of Undergraduate Programs, University of Pennsylvania, College of Liberal and Professional Studies

Adrian Haugabrook

Senior Vice President, University Chief of Staff, Southern New Hampshire University

Pam Northrup

Vice President Division of Research and Strategic Innovation, University of West Florida

Dave Bruno

Vice President of Marketing, Lipscomb University

Seth Odell

Vice Chancellor, Marketing, National University System

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Brand & Content Strategy

Creating Brand-aligned Conversations by Teaming with Athletic

Athletics influences the size and type of online campus-related conversation, but is often siloed, making that conversation at best a missed opportunity and at worst a liability. It doesn’t have to be that way. Learn how Beloit College works with coaching staff and student-athletes to drive brand- aligned conversations.

Tim Jones, Beloit College | Steve App, Campus Sonar

Measurement & ROI

Social Media Metrics from Scratch

Data rules but it can be unruly. With countless tools and ways to tackle social media data it can be a challenge to develop a reporting rhythm. Our UGA team has developed a monthly social media dashboard template and year-end report. In this session, we will walk you through how to assemble your own dashboard and spotlight your successes.

Kalena Stull, University of Georgia | Leslie Colvin, University of Georgia

Effective Leadership

Marketing Matters: A Presidential Perspective

University marketers know the challenges they face all too well. But do you understand the perspective and pressures your leaders face when asked to invest, defend and support marketing? This panel discussion will provide insight from university leaders that see marketing as an integral component of their institutions’ success.

Robert Johnson, University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth | Jeffrey Armstrong, California Polytechnic State University | Brian Ralph, William Pace University | moderated by Jason Simon, SimpsonScarborough

Audience Engagement

Stop Posting. Start Collaborating: Digital and Gen Z

Throw out what you know about higher education digital marketing. A new generation has arrived, so new rules apply. Generation Z doesn’t want to be confined to your content calendar; they want to create it. Learn how Coastal Carolina University digitally empowers the new generation of current and prospective students.

Lindsi Glass, Coastal Carolina University | Brent Reser, Coastal Carolina University 


Using Mix Methodologies to Inform Effective Marketing Strategies

This joint session between George Washington University and Hanover Research discusses how institutions can leverage a mixed methodological research approach (primary and secondary, qualitative and quantitative) to provide robust and comprehensive insights towards the development of a strategic and targeted marketing plan.

Gabrielle Julien-Molineaux, Ed.D., George Washington University | Fox Troilo, Ph.D., Hanover Research

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Exhibitor Time

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Brand & Content Strategy

Complacency is Failure: Building a Values-Based Challenger Brand

In 2017 Colby was gearing up for the largest-ever liberal arts college campaign. To challenge the standard and showcase leadership, the campaign brand takes its cue from consumer branding — not higher education. Beyond fundraising, it cracked the school’s cultural code, positioning Colby to Dare Northward in all pursuits.

Jennifer Eriksen, Colby College | Anthony Ronzio, Colby College | Sandy Colhoun, Colby College | Kim Hallman, 160over90

Measurement & ROI

Dashboard Data Drives Precise Personalization, Surge in Inquiries

With one change to our digital strategy, we increased the number of inquiries to our programs by more than 400 percent. How? By deploying a real-time dashboard with the ability to understand and optimize engagement across all platforms, including social and websites, and across all 12 of our graduate programs.

Timothy Bohling, University of Notre Dame

Effective Leadership

Herding Goats? Gaining Leader Consensus and Buy-In

Gaining consensus and approval on a historic mass media buy to establish a brand and support a philanthropic capital campaign is like herding goats: administration, alumni leaders, vocal legislators, and opinionated staff are all part of the herd. See how two small departments and one agency manned the pens despite the bleats.

Gretchen Yordy, University of Illinois System | Sue Johnson University of Illinois Foundation

Audience Engagement

The New Recruit: Prospective Parents

It’s no longer enough to just keep parents in mind—they’re craving their own relationship with their student’s college. In the last two years, Fordham has launched more robust, multi-platform campaigns for this audience. These initiatives have seen record levels of engagement, creating a connection with the true influencers of Gen Z.

Alexandra Loizzo-Desai, Fordham University | Logan West, Fordham University


E-Expectations 2019: Exploring New Opportunities and Deepening Strategy on our Digital Standbys

E-expectations™ research has provided thought leadership and support to the higher education marketing community for nearly 15 years. The 2019 breaks new ground while continuing our study of prospective student use of websites, texting, social media and email. New questions focus on use of voice search, keyword strategies, AI and personalization.

Stephanie Geyer, Ruffalo Noel Levitz | Lance Merker, OmniUpdate

4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

Roundtable Discussions

Join your peers at expert-led tables on topics such as branding, content strategy, business schools and more.

5:45 pm - 7:00 pm

Evening Reception

Tuesday, November 12

7:30 am - 8:15 am


8:30 am - 9:30 am

Tuesday Morning Keynote

Description coming soon

9:45 am - 10:45 am
Brand & Content Strategy

Ambition Can’t Wait. An In-House Designed, National Awareness Campaign for Influencers

Drexel’s brand elevation iniative, designed in-house, represents one of the most ambitious awareness campaigns the University has ever put in-market. During a time when peer institutions are committing significant media spends targeting prospective students, Drexel is sharing its mission and academic model with a broad, influential audience.

Craig Kampes, Drexel University | Larry Bender, Drexel University | Joseph Master, Drexel University

Measurement & ROI

Growing Enrollment Through Niche Micro-Marketing

The session explores how two different small private colleges–a HBCU in New Orleans and a private liberal arts college in Virginia, each achieved success using micro-marketing tools, leveraging the strengths of traditional and omni-channel digital tools with research, segmentation, visionary leadership, and the help of the larger campus community.

Keyana Scales, Xavier University of Louisiana | David Lesesne, Randolph-Macon College, Mike Wesner, enrollmentFUEL

Effective Leadership

Strategic Marketing Services for All: Building an In-House Agency

Brown University recently built an integrated, strategic marketing operation to support campus partners, moving from a fulfillment service model. From staffing the right teams to launching a new project management system and designated vendor program, this session offers a view of the operational infrastructure required to deliver strong creative.

Carly Kite Lapinski, Brown University

Audience Engagement

Slay It by Ear: Building a Better University Podcast

Three communications pros at the University of Connecticut had a vision to tell UConn’s story through the growing medium of podcasting, without making it feel like stiff PR. Hear how we got buy-in to create the award-winning UConn 360, how to produce and promote a compelling podcast, repurpose content, and fit it all into your existing workload.

Julie Bartucca, University of Connecticut | Tom Breen, University of Connecticut | Ken Best, University of Connecticut


The Reasons Behind A Student Saying 'No'

Every higher education program has students that inquire but don’t end up enrolling. Ever wonder why? Using survey data straight from the source, we look at the reasons these students chose a different path to their degree than yours and how you can use that information to inform and refine your marketing strategy.

Rich Funk, Eduvantis

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Brand & Content Strategy

Let’s Rock & Enroll: Experiential Marketing At Work

Colleges put a lot of pressure on campus events—for good reason. They’re high-converting opportunities, giving you the chance to engage with captive audiences on your home turf. That’s why every visit should be unforgettable. If you’re not yet thinking like an experiential marketer, you will be after this.

Allison Turcio, Siena College | Ned Jones, Siena College | Katie Szalda, Siena College | Lauren Herrington, CCA 

Measurement & ROI

Monetized Behavioral Metrics

The higher ed digital experience is becoming an increasingly complicated space. With website features competing for scarce resources, finding a way to understand the value each offers is a challenging and mission-critical task. Learn how Google Analytics can be customized to monetize behavioral metrics, providing key data for strategic decisions.

Alan Etkin, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Effective Leadership

From Instincts & Intuition to Methodology & Metrics

Becoming a Crisis Ninja: As brand building has become ever more sophisticated, the discipline around protecting it has lagged. We share 5 strategies to help you apply the same rigor, methodology, and focus that you apply to your brand to the issues that risk becoming crises and the crises the risk your hard-earned reputation.

Jen Rettig, Blue Moon Consulting Group | Kent Cassella, Blue Moon Consulting Group

Audience Engagement

Our Commitment to Diversity, Their Commitment to Enroll

Technically a public school, the United States Coast Guard Academy is highly selective: cadets pay nothing. The cost is a commitment to serve. Enrollment isn’t an issue, but a diverse class is a federal mandate. Learn how a national marketing campaign engaged minorities and females to apply and enroll.

Susan Bibeau, U.S. Coast Guard Academy | Jim Paskill, Paskill, Stapleton & Lord


Five New Insights About Transfer Students

Eduventures’ Transfer Student Survey provides needed insight into a hard to reach and little-understood, population of prospective students. For transfer students, the process of transferring from one institution to another can be overwhelming. For institutions, engaging these students can be challenging. This session seeks to bridge these gaps.

Cara Quackenbush, NRCCUA/Eduventures

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch & the AMA Higher Education Marketer of the Year Awards

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
Brand & Content Strategy

Courting a Cowboy Controversy

In 2018, the University of Wyoming launched “The World Needs More Cowboys” marketing campaign. The campaign faced internal and external critics, as well as several unexpected challenges. This session will provide a case study of how a strong campaign concept can overcome criticism and become a movement that ties directly to enrollment growth.

Jennifer Petty, University of Wyoming | Chad Baldwin, University of Wyoming | Michelle Eberle, University of Wyoming

Measurement & ROI

Staying in the Feedback Loop: Developing a Marketing and Recruitment Dialogue to Increase Online Enrollment

How many times have you executed a marketing campaign without making a single change to the strategy along the way? Chances are you can count those times on one hand. At the University of Arizona Online, the marketing and recruitment teams have a continuous feedback loop to exchange information and verify the success of marketing strategy and tactics leading to mutual success and increased enrollment.

Jana Hayhurst, University of Arizona | Suzana Diaz Rosencrans, University of Arizona

Effective Leadership

Mariners & Marketers: Four Leadership Lessons from the Sea

A higher education leader and ship’s captain joins a veteran leadership and communications consultant in applying lessons from leading at sea to leading communications and marketing on campus. They deliver practical takeaways from four essential cornerstones of effective leadership at sea: Navigation, Anticipation, Adaptation, and Communication.

Dr. Jessica McWade, McWade Group, Inc | Peg Brandon, Sea Education Association

Audience Engagement

What You’re Not Doing (Yet): Data-Informed Retention Marketing

In higher education, marketing has always been about driving enrollment, but what if that funnel continued past enrollment into retention? Discover how data mining and predictive modeling – using data you already have! – can fuel a retention marketing strategy that moves the needle in your enrollment outcomes.

Meredith Purvis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County | Matt Walters, VisionPoint Marketing


Influencing Decisions with Alumni Insight Communities

Learn how to build and sustain an alumni insight community so you can create a culture of agile, data-driven decision making.

Jordan Zivoder, Ohio State University | Molly Schmied, Ohio State University

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Exhibit & Networking Time

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Back by popular demand! We’ve picked nine hot topics and nine super-smart, smooth-talking marketing pros, each sharing five minutes of their most unconventional wisdom.

Wednesday, November 13

7:45 am - 8:15 am


Wear your school gear down and enjoy an inspirational and fun final day!

8:30 am - 9:30 am


Keynote description coming soon

Brian Killingsworth

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Vegas Golden Knights

9:45 am - 10:30 am

School Spirit Celebration and Final Exhibit Time

Celebrate your school pride, 30 years of the AMA Symposium, and take one last lap around the exhibit hall!

10:45 am - 11:45 am

Closing Keynote: "How to Evangelize a College"

Keynote description coming soon

Guy Kawasaki

Chief Evangelist, Canva

11:45 am - 12:00 pm

Closing remarks

2017 and 2018

Please see previous years’ agendas & keynotes here:

2018 agenda

2018 keynote videos

2018 presentation slides


2017 agenda

2017 presentation slides



Sponsors and AMA members receive free shipping on promotional products

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? Please reach out to Felipe Reyes for available opportunities: Sales@ama.org



Presenting Sponsors



Industry Experts










Sponsors and AMA members receive free shipping on promotional products

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? Please reach out to Felipe Reyes for available opportunities: Sales@ama.org