2023 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education

Chicago, IL


12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Pre-Conference Workshop

Marketing Higher Education...Real Fast!

This session will take the principles of marketing and apply them to marketing universities and colleges in a whirlwind! The session is content heavy, highly energetic and interactive. It is guaranteed to set the stage and increase learning for newer attendees as they attend the rest of the Symposium.

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Tom Hayes

Xavier University

Pre-Conference Workshop

Artificial Intelligence, Legal Considerations, and Marketing: Exploring the Legal Terrain of AI in the 2020s

Delve deep into the intricate relationship between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the marketing industry! This presentation offers pragmatic insights into legal concerns pertinent to the everyday utilization of AI, tailored for both beginning and experienced marketers engaged in the frequent use of AI platforms. We will cover topics directly related to U.S.-based marketing professionals to equip you with a holistic understanding of AI’s impact on the legal aspects of your profession including:

  • Application of Generative AI to Marketers
  • Intellectual Property Issues and AI
  • Privacy Rights and AI
  • Discrimination and AI
  • Liability and AI
  • Disinformation, Defamation and AI
  • International Legal Issues and AI
  • The Value of Internal Regulation and AI Platforms
  • Future Legal Issues of AI (Legal Personhood and Carbon Footprint)

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Cayce Myers, Ph.D., LL.M., J.D., APR

Virginia Tech

Pre-Conference Workshop

Let's Do a Podcast. Ok, But Why and How?

You hear that somebody wants to start a podcast. A professor wants to get their research out, the admissions office wants to highlight community experiences or the president wants to communicate their initiatives.

Ok, that’s exciting! But where does the podcast fit with your communications strategy? And how will you do it sustainability with limited bandwidth and resources?

This is an interactive workshop where we will develop a high-level podcast strategy together. Along the way we will take a look at successful podcast models across a range of show types (admissions, alumni, student, professor and president). By the end of this workshop you will have enough to evaluate campus collaboration opportunities to amplify your communications strategy with podcasts.

Sponsored by: University FM

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Robert Li

University FM

1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Senior Leader Experience

The CMO Lifecycle (Career Change and Adaptation) Panel

Get Interviewed, Get Hired, Build a Team, Build a Brand, Survive a Transition (or Not), Rinse and Repeat! The day-to-day responsibilities of a Higher Education CMO can be exhilarating, stressful, tedious, rewarding and fun – all at the same time! The CMO Life Cycle Panel will explore the journey of CMOs from various types of institutions who will share their highs, their lows and their best practices to help existing and aspiring CMOs plan for the future. Subjects will include: How to manage a university transition, leaving on your own terms and how to handle a layoff.

Moderator: Alonda Thomas

Pre-Registration Required: Request your Senior Leader Experience Invitation now.

Luke Anderson

Emory University

Anne Coyle

Russell Reynolds

Bryce Hoffman

University of New Hampshire

Alonda Thomas

Jackson State University

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Senior Leader Experience

Seeing Around Corners: Buckle Up for What’s Ahead

The biggest question leaders have as they reflect on the unprecedented changes of the last three years is: “What’s next.” In a fireside chat with Teresa Valerio Parrot, we will share data from Stagwell’s consumer, business and societal research and explore:

  • The pulse of America today
  • The pulse of society today
  • What it means to education and marketing

Ray Day


Teresa Valerio Parrot

TVP Communications

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Pre-Conference Workshop

How to Create Emails People Want

Each of us (easily) receives over one hundred emails each day. With all of this competition, how can you ensure your messages cut through the noise and get in front of your readers? In this workshop, you’ll see email examples from Cornell University’s advancement marketing team, which boasts industry-leading open and click rates. Learn how to curate quality content, and boost engagement and conversions through high-performing call-to-action emails. People still read email. But not the way you think. Ashley and Day will teach how to write subject lines, optimize links, and lay out email copy so your message is received.

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Ashley Budd

Cornell University

Dayana Kibilds

Strategy Director, Ologie

Pre-Conference Workshop

Developing Student Creators to Enhance an Authentic Content Strategy

No one can tell the authentic story of your institution better than students. But finding and hiring the right students, providing timely training, and establishing trust and your strategy with them is challenging. In this session, you will learn how to select students, build a robust training program, and construct a sustainable system to maintain a high-performing group of student content creators. Attendees will walk away with strategies to help students develop critical thinking skills relevant to social media and ways to empower them to make recommendations for the overall brand content strategy.

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Josie Ahlquist

Dr. Josie, Inc.

Jenny Fowler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT

Cassaundra Moore

Washington University in St. Louis

Rachel Rodemann Putman

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Pre-Conference Workshop

Brand Under Fire — Navigating The Issues Rich Environment of Higher Education

Jeff Hunt, a founding partner of Legend Labs, will address the communications challenges confronting higher education in an increasingly hostile and ever-changing issues landscape. He will highlight the importance of issues preparedness and world-class communications to help institutions effectively manage their reputations.

In an age characterized by extreme polarization, where one viral video can sink the reputation of an individual or an institution, crisis preparedness and response should be at the forefront of every leader’s agenda within higher education. Jeff has authored a book titled “Brand Under Fire: A New Playbook for Crisis Management in the Digital Age,” which serves as the cornerstone for his widely delivered lectures to organizations and universities nationwide. During his panel, Jeff will examine trends affecting higher education today and present powerful tools and strategies for crisis preparedness and management and reputation repair.

Sponsored by: Legend Labs

Pre-Registration Required: Choose two of the six available workshops. Your selection occurs on-site. Learn more.

Jeff Hunt

Legend Labs

James Wakefield

Legend Labs

Senior Leader Experience

Invite Only

The Senior Leader Experience is an intentionally programmed time where top campus marketers can share challenges, exchange ideas and make connections to build a lasting support system. Be the leader who values growth, best practices, boosts morale and inspires a high-performing marketing team! Learn more.

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

First Timer Reception and Orientation

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Welcome Reception


7:00 am - 7:45 am


7:30 am - 8:30 am


8:30 am - 10:00 am

Welcome + Keynote: Fulfilling Our Promise: From Equity Talk to Equity Walk

How do we build and strengthen our capacity to deliver on the promise of a postsecondary credential and degree? How are we translating the value of higher education and institutional goals for student success into our daily practices to promote higher levels of academic and social mobility? How are we developing as a student-ready professional learning organization that is responsive and reflective? In this session, participants will identify key steps for examining and for establishing equity-centered goals focused on achieving strategic priorities through deeper understanding of our individual and shared roles in fulfilling the promise of higher education for all students.

Tia Brown McNair

Keynote Speaker

10:15 am - 11:15 am
Effective Leadership

Staying Strategic Through Constant Change

The only constant is change, so let’s discuss how to successfully navigate the shifts. Join five leaders representing small, large, public, private, R1 and regional universities to discuss real-life examples of staying strategic through change. We have successfully navigated presidential transitions, employee retention challenges, campus crises, complex budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, building new teams and completely reinventing divisions. We are excited to share practical advice and relevant ideas whether you are an individual contributor or the most senior marketing leader. Our session will be highly interactive, so we can discuss what is most on the minds of session attendees.

Christie Campbell

St. Edward's University

Christie Harper

University of Arizona

Angela Polec

La Salle University

Frannie Schneider

Creighton University

Brand & Content Strategy

Helping Old Dogs Show Off New Tricks

Universities today are constantly launching new initiatives, programs, centers, and even campuses. In some institutions, they face not only the challenge of positioning their new offerings to audiences, but also the challenge of ensuring that they live within the context of their storied pasts, traditions, and reputations. When does a new offering need to diverge from its parent brand? How do we ensure that moving forward doesn’t mean leaving everything behind? Sullivan’s Nicole Ferry and Virginia Tech’s Tracy Vosburgh share their insights, based on their experience working together to help higher ed organizations take flight with new ideas.

Nicole Ferry


Tracy Vosburgh

Virginia Tech

Evolving Higher Ed Landscape

Uplifting Under-Represented and Equity-Deserving Voices Through Inclusive Marketing

At the intersection of UBC’s vision to inspire people, ideas and actions for a better world and institutional mission to foster discourse, knowledge exchange and engagement, UBC mobilizes EDI-related research and expert knowledge to spotlight and encourage discourse around systems and impacts of discrimination. This session highlights the journey the Brand and Marketing team is on to build inclusive marketing capacities and diversify its content and storytelling to uplift under-represented, marginalized and equity-deserving voices at UBC and beyond. Marketing communications professionals will hear how a holistic inclusive marketing approach has helped UBC live its commitment to anti-racism and inclusive excellence.

John Lo (骆杰俊)

The University of British Columbia

Audience Engagement

A Win-Win Partnership Between Enrollment and Marketing

Heard this before? “When we exceed revenue numbers, THEN we will have surplus for marketing.” RIT’s Division of Marketing and Communications heard it year after year, until they tried something different. They partnered with Enrollment Management to frame enrollment and marketplace challenges together, highlighting how collaborative efforts successfully addressed these challenges and elevated RIT into a new peer set. Only then did the Board of Trustees and senior leadership start to see marketing as an essential part of the solution. Learn how to link your marketing objectives to enrollment’s revenue-generating goals to get more attention, more interest, and more action.

Cassandra Nickels

Rochester Institute of Technology

Colleen Peterson

Rochester Institute of Technology

John Trierweiler

Rochester Institute of Technology

Thought Leadership

Data Alchemy | A Panel Discussion: The Intersection of Data, AI, Technology and Human Intelligence to Optimize Engagement Throughout the Student Journey

In our quest to enroll best-fit students for educational institutions seeking to improve student outcomes, a diverse panel of marketing experts will discuss invaluable insights offered by data-driven marketing technologies and approaches in today’s dynamic and highly competitive environment.

  • Data-driven strategies to identify, target and engage ideal student prospects in the digital ecosystem.
  • The intersection of human intelligence and AI in the context of emerging data-driven marketing technologies.
  • Data privacy and implications in a cookie-less future.
  • Overcoming barriers to data optimization in a characteristically decentralized environment.

Prepare to be inspired, informed, and equipped as we embark on this enlightening panel discussion, where data is central to unlocking enrollment growth, retention, and engagement throughout the student lifecycle.

Sponsored by Advance360 Education

Aimee Bigham

MV Digital

Will Hajjar

Advance Local

Andy Monfried


Erin Keane Scott

University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Randi Ungar

Advance 360 Education

Paul Westcott

L2, Inc.

Fireside Chat

How to Be the Campus Where People Wanna Work

We all have taken note of that place where we would love to work because of employees who looked fulfilled or maybe (even)…happy? Engaged employees are often marketing gold for organizations. Establishing your college or university as a great place to work can happen even with resource constraints or leadership challenges.

This interactive Fireside Chat will foster a meaningful, open conversation about recruiting and retaining talent. You will have the opportunity to engage with panelists, share their observations and challenges, and walk away with actionable ideas to make your campus where you want to work and where many others aspire to be.

Eddie Francis

Founder/Principal, Edify Ventures

Marc Harding

University of Pittsburgh

Alonda Thomas

Jackson State University

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch + Networking

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Roundtable Discussions

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Exhibit Hall Break

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Fireside Chat

Who You Gonna Call? Busting Marketing Inefficiencies

The University of Arizona adopted an internal consulting model for connecting decentralized marketing offices across campus to the central university marketing team, revolutionizing its marketing approach and improving efficiencies across campus. By leveraging the expertise of these internal consultants, we empower decentralized marketing efforts to be more cohesive and aligned with our brand strategy. In this presentation, we will discuss our case study of identifying and leveraging internal resources, building a collaborative culture, and measuring the impact of our efforts. Attendees will leave with actionable insights and tools to help drive success in their own organizations.

Frank Camp

University of Arizona

Maya Patterson

University of Arizona

Jenna Rutschman

University of Arizona

Mike Southworth

University of Arizona

How It's Made

A Branding Blueprint for a State of Change

Is college worth it? In a rural state with one of the lowest college attendance rates in the country, declining state funding, and unknown public perception of higher education, learn how Boise State University partnered with SimpsonScarborough to take back control of their narrative. Taking inspiration from their iconic blue turf, see how they built a compelling brand strategy that reaches beyond the political landscape to connect and engage with diverse audiences in order to shift the value proposition of higher education.

Lauren Griswold

Boise State University

Jason Simon


Sara Wallace


Effective Leadership

The Role of Strong Brands in Reputational Recovery

Crises. Until recently, these were rare moments colleges hoped would never hit their campuses. No longer. Politicization of higher education, tensions between administrations and boards, random acts of violence all can spark events with significant reputational risks and potential impact. At a time when both the cost and purpose of higher education are questioned, marketing teams play a vital role in reputational recovery.Through multiple crises that made national headlines, University of Virginia and Michigan State University share lessons learned and suggestions for how marketing teams can earn a place at the table as partners before, during and after crises.

Carol Keese

University of Virginia

Heather Swain

Michigan State University

Audience Engagement

I’d Rather Recruit a Parent Than a Student

Choosing a university with a high school senior is one of the most significant decisions parents make, and the process is overwhelming. Parents face many options, and they want to ensure that their student gets the best education possible. As a result, universities must create effective content that resonates with parents and influences their decision-making process. In this session, we will discuss strategies for creating content that appeals to parents and guides them during the college selection process.

Mary Beth Marks

University of the Pacific

Jennifer Sparkman

University of the Pacific

Elizabeth Stevens-Bishop

University of the Pacific

Brand & Content Strategy

Higher Education Marketing in the Age of AI: How ChatGPT Helps You Work Smarter, Not Harder

The robots are coming. Just kidding. But AI and emerging trends like ChatGPT are already reshaping many higher ed processes. Is your team prepared for these changes? And how can we leverage this tech to increase your team’s effectiveness and drive engagement? Instead of fearing the rise of the machines, it’s time to embrace the future and harness the power of AI and machine learning to better our recruitment processes, maximize our staff’s time and energy, and meet student expectations. Dive into the cutting edge tech of prompt engineering and using AI to help generate more effective marketing.

Ardis Kadiu


Devin Purgason

Forsyth Technical Community College

Innovation Showcase

Shaping the Future: Navigating Students, Gen Z and Generation Alpha Preparedness in 2023

The State of the American College Student: 2023 | Fuseideas

Justin Vogt, Vice President/Group Account Director of Fuseideas, and Erin Francis-Cummings, President & CEO of Destinations Analysts, will present the findings from their perennial national survey of prospective and current college students. Now in its third year of fielding, this research shares critical trends built upon benchmarks established in 2021, providing insights on students’ personal motivations for choosing an institution, as well as identifying key emotional and behavioral factors impacting students today.


How-To Guide: Effectively Advertising to Gen Z | Glacier

Hear about the latest data from Glacier’s new 2023 High School Advertising research report! Glacier surveyed 1,000 high school students in the United States to gain deeper insights into the factors that affect their higher education decision-making process and the effectiveness of marketing strategies. We’ll review our findings and compare our 2022 results to 2023.


Preparing for Generation A | Digital Pulp

Join us as we explore Generation Alpha. This generation will be the most diverse in history and will expect more from how institutions engage and inspire them. They’ve been witness to a global pandemic that changed the world faster and more profoundly than anyone could have imagined. They are always connected and the line between life and technology is blurred. Independence is woven into their experience of the world as they navigate education, careers and work-life balance. An uncertain future is their norm, and meeting them where they are is a challenge we all need to address.

Gene Lewis

CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Digital Pulp

John Reid

President of Glacier

Justin Vogt

Vice President / Group Account Director Fuseideas

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Evolving Higher Ed Landscape

Sweet Harmony: When Strategic Branding Meets Strategic Planning

To thrive in an increasingly competitive higher education landscape, universities need both a compelling vision for the future and an effective brand identity that resonates with prospective students, donors and influencers alike. Attendees will learn collaborative strategies to ensure marketing has a voice at the strategic planning table, including how to use marketplace perception data to inform the process. Using The University of Texas at San Antonio’s recent strategic planning process as an example, we’ll take a fresh look at the role of marketing in your university’s strategic plan, and how to integrate strategic plan initiatives into your brand strategy.

Grant De Roo

ADV Market Research & Consulting

Lisa Jasinski

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Anne Peters

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Audience Engagement

Student Mental Health: Marketing Makes a Difference

Knowing nearly three quarters of college students report moderate or severe psychological distress, our team created something new—Aggie Mental Health, a campuswide mental health marketing and outreach initiative. Our goals include: Reducing stigma and barriers to mental health care. Empowering students to seek help. Providing immediate and long-term resources for students, staff and faculty. Increasing usage of campus resources. Our session dives into the research and development of the key components of Aggie Mental Health—a centralized, user-friendly website; full-scale branding and marketing and a 30-student peer ambassador program as well as the successes we’ve seen so far.

Jennifer Butler

UC Davis

Andrew McDaniel

UC Davis

Jennifer Vaughn

UC Davis

How It's Made

Not Your Parents’ YouTube

YouTube has evolved from a hub for quirky videos to a powerhouse marketing platform that is the second-largest search engine in the world. With Washington State University grappling with enrollment challenges post-COVID, attention finally turned to its YouTube repository of Zoom recordings and town hall meetings. By instituting a recruitment-first content strategy, embracing YouTube’s new features, and introducing some much-needed organization, #WSU transformed its flagship YouTube channel. This is the story of how WSU took back control of its YouTube presence and optimized for Gen Z.

Cara Hoag

Washington State University

Brent Reser

Washington State University

Effective Leadership

Marketing Maturity Models as a Roadmap for Transformation

Transforming your approach to marketing and communications can feel like a daunting task. Leaders often understand the ideal end state: an innovative, data-driven, creative organization that strategically provides value, is operationally effective, and crafts omni-channel campaigns that put our audiences at the center. But achieving that vision can feel insurmountable if you find yourself in a situation that is reactive, transactional, and siloed. One way to address this challenge is to use a maturity model to guide your efforts.

Jaime Hunt

Old Dominion University

Research, Measurement & ROI

Tuition Transparency in Higher Education: A Mixed Methods Study

RWJ Research has conducted a series of studies to assess the value of higher education, the impact of advertised tuition prices, and the effect of scholarships on the application and enrollment decisions of prospective students and their families.

David Bushman

Bridgewater College

Jessica Neumann-Kersten

RW Jones Agency

Kevin Swartout

Rankin Climate

Innovation Showcase

How AI, Brand Action and Accessibility are Game Changers for Universities

The AI Advantage:  How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Creativity in Higher Education Marketing | Net Natives
Artificial intelligence (AI) is here — and it’s impacting higher ed marketing in a major way. So, how are your colleagues and students using AI? And how can you leverage the technology to take your marketing campaigns to a new level?

In this session, you’ll learn some of the ways Net Natives, a global higher ed marketing agency, is integrating AI into their work with university partners, and the pros and cons of using the technology.

Attendees will also get the scoop on some of the most useful AI platforms for higher ed marketers. Plus, you’ll learn how universities are leveraging the technology to be more efficient and creative, and how students are using AI for positive (and sometimes questionable) purposes.

By the end of the session, you’ll have a firm understanding of AI basics and will leave with solid strategies to leverage on your campus — and maximize your marketing results

Content: The Most Ignored Barrier to Education | Ologie
If I asked you to name one of the greatest barriers to education, what would you say?

I say: Content.

Good content can be an effective tool to create access for equity-deserving students. Bad content can be the barrier keeping them from understanding instructions, following processes, and feeling welcome at your institution.

Drawing from the personal story of a Latina teenager and Ologie’s most recent web study, this talk will showcase how traditional admissions content can exclude the very groups you want to include — and it will show you the role marketers can play in creating access at our institutions.

The Intersection of Brand and Revenue: The Kurt Vonnegut Effect | Zillion
Is it better for a brand to be or to do? Defining a brand through its identity or through its actions? While this isn’t a black-and-white question, the answer just may be. Because one of these options has the potential to generate affinity across wider audiences, which, in turn, drives improved results and greater revenue. In a challenging environment for higher education, having an active brand is a decided advantage.

Fernando Bergás-Coria


Brian MacDonald


Charlie Penrose

Net Natives

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Keynote: Back to The Future: The Evolution of Brand

There is more change happening around us than ever before, and with these changes have come a host of new expectations—from how we engage with work, our health, our family and seemingly everything that touches day-to-day living. To no surprise, these changes have created new expectations with regard to brand and how we engage with them. Therefore, higher ed and business leaders must pay mind to these changes and consider how the evolution of brand impacts how they go to market. This talk provides a perspective by which we might view the implications of these changes to higher education and, ultimately, leverage the possibilities that with the aid of today’s hyperconnected technology.

Marcus Collins

Keynote Speaker


6:30 am

Morning Run

Pack your running gear to join your conference running buddies! Fitness Finders are leading a 4-mile run along the Chicago Riverwalk to kick off Tuesday morning! Check out the map for the run here: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2535432340/

Sponsored by: Fitness Finders

7:30 am - 8:30 am


Senior Leader Experience

Collaboration, Conflation and Complexity: The Future of Integrating Marketing and Communications

“Don’t let the urgent get in the way of the important.” – Kay Yow

For leaders managing the marcomm function during today’s upheaval in higher education, communications often feels urgent – the endless effort to control the message in quick-moving, audience-driven social media. Meanwhile, the marketing function requires research, influence based on relationship building and strategic campaigns that require time. This session will take a deep dive into the organizational challenges and opportunities of integrating marketing and communications. Sometimes it feels like we, as leaders, are endlessly discussing the best organizational approach. But how can we innovate marcomm organizations for the future?

Jeneane Beck

University of Iowa

Kate Ledger

Old Dominion University

Rob Zinkan


8:30 am - 9:45 am

Keynote: How to Excel When Everything is Changing - Including You

We are in a period of rapid and intensifying change. Yet our models for change, which all too often lead to futile resistance or over-controlling, are inaccurate and outdated. In this keynote, Brad Stulberg, author of the new book Master of Change, will share a new, research-backed, and better way to navigate change and life’s inevitable flux. He’ll focus on how to be in conversation with change: not completely giving up your agency, but also not resisting what is happening. You’ll leave this talk with an exciting new conceptual model for change, along with new skills to ride the waves inherent to your professional and personal life.

Brad Stulberg

Keynote Speaker

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Brand & Content Strategy

Gen Z Uses Social for Search. Are you Ready?

According to a recent survey by Google, almost 40% of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search. More and more, prospective students are bypassing Google and other search engines to learn about colleges and universities via social media — and social platforms are doing everything they can to take and keep that traffic from Google. Do your social channels have the content that Gen Z is looking for? In this session, the team from Creighton University will share how they’re evolving and resourcing social platforms for changes in user behavior.

Kevin Coffey

Creighton University

Kristen Paulmeyer

Creighton University

Audience Engagement

Destigmatizing Mental Health: Student Affairs and Marketing Unite

Addressing the mental health needs on our campuses is pivotal to ensuring success for both our students and those who work at our institutions. Once we create the plan to address the needs, how do we effectively communicate the work? During this session, participants will:

  • Learn how Kent State University expanded mental health resources and services across an eight-campus system and an international campus.
  • Engage in discussion on developing effective marketing strategies for a comprehensive mental health campaign.
  • Apply practical examples from lessons learned through the lens of both a marketing professional and student affairs senior administrator.

Angelique Daniels

Kent State University

Taléa Drummer-Ferrell

Kent State University

How It's Made

Put the You in UX: DIY User Discovery

Trying to figure out the best way to organize your Student Life section? Curious whether prospective students will scroll your homepage on their phones? Caught refereeing between divisions about whose content deserves front-and-center placement? Let your end users weigh in. UX research may sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. We will walk you through the key elements of an effective research project. Then we’ll give a quick demonstration to show how achievable solid research can be with short time, slim resources, or a small budget.

Colleen Brennan-Barry

Northeast College of Health Sciences

Lamar Goodenough

Digital Wave

Effective Leadership

The CMO and CDO: Drive Change through an Authentic Partnership between Marketing and DEI

See how a strategic partnership between marketing and the diversity offices can measurably improve your institution’s brand perceptions and build cohesion across the organization – all while engaging diverse stakeholder groups of students, corporate partners, alumni, faculty, and staff. In this session, you’ll learn how to: Foster innovation and advance an inclusive culture. Engage internal and external stakeholders around DEI issues. Amplify diverse voices in your community. Build authentic and diverse brand campaigns. Navigate complex organizational structures to drive change.

Binnu Hill

Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin Madison

Typhaine Morrison

Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin Madison

Thought Leadership

Reaching Students in the Moments That Matter

The student journey has changed significantly over the last year. As students become more pragmatic in their approach to education, the way they’re moving through their enrollment journey and the most impactful media touchpoints have evolved. With that journey becoming more complex, education advertisers need to ensure they understand what students are prioritizing, how to best reach them throughout their journey, and how to drive efficiency in marketing efforts. Join Google to unpack how student mindset has shifted in the last year, how that’s playing out in demand trends, and how education advertisers can drive efficiency by meeting learners throughout their journey.

Sponsored by Google

Stefanie Stewart


11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Fireside Chat

Shifting Faculty Perceptions of and Participation in Marketing

The expectations to build your campus brand and increase awareness of your institution’s offerings often require the buy-in and participation of faculty. Yet faculty can bristle at the idea of engaging in marketing efforts. A tenured professor and former interim dean, and a marcom leader have cracked the code for what works when proposing the concepts of brand-based initiatives and thought leadership to academics. Together they will share how to build trust, buy-in, and cooperation and provide tips for packaging opportunities that resonate with faculty and show results with key audiences.

Kenneth Carter

Oxford College of Emory University

Teresa Valerio Parrot

TVP Communications

Brand & Content Strategy

Building a Next Generation Brand

The New York Times deemed Texas “the Future of America” because experts predict the demographic shifts it’s experiencing will occur nationwide, making America more diverse. In the 2020 census, Texas added 4M new residents, 95% people of color. Many will be first-generation. Once a predominantly white institution, Texas State University has also transformed, with student demographics that mirror the state. This seachange created an exciting opportunity for TXST to revitalize its brand and meet the next generation of Texans. In this session, TXST’s marketing team will share strategies and learnings while leading the university’s first rebranding in over 17 years.

Elissa Fontenot

Texas State University

Kelly King-Green

Texas State University

Callie Lewis

Texas State University

Elias Martinez

Texas State University

Research, Measurement & ROI

Bridging the Trust Gap in Higher Education: Insights to Inform Marketing Strategy

“Enrollment cliff” is one of the key challenges threatening the financial and reputational sustainability of many institutions. This session provides an overview of the Most Trusted Universities survey, highlighting trust as one of the key brand health metrics for universities to unlock the potential for growth in enrollments and endowments. It shows the importance of marketing strategies that bridge the trust gaps among stakeholders by race/ethnicity, gender, first-gen, and Gen Z high school students. This session will also include interactive discussions with university leaders on their approach to building data-informed strategies that aim at measuring and improving brand health metrics.

Rahul Choudaha

Morning Consult

Isaac Muñoz

Texas A&M University

John Stafford

Stanford University

How It's Made

From Crisis to Community Connection

When concerns over sexual harassment hit social media, it presented not only a challenge, but an opportunity to build a campus-wide initiative and outreach campaign that raised awareness and took lasting steps to address the issue on campus and beyond. The SpeakUp initiative provides a case study of how issues can serve as a catalyst for bringing together campus constituencies, as well as the broader community, to make real change and have influence on critical topics.

Dina Abulfotuh

The American University in Cairo

Innovation Showcase

Embrace Your Authenticity & Empower Your Audience: How to Drive Meaningful Change on Campus

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth Narratives for Institutional Branding | Campus Sonar
The root of higher ed’s public trust problem is a generational shift from institutional to peer influence. Deeply understanding, amplifying and engaging with peer-to-peer conversations that hold high value for consumers is the key to rebuilding trust and should be at the center of institutional, marketing and enrollment strategy.

Our recent industry trends research and customized social listening revealed audience perception themes and big-picture context to help institutions understand the nuances in aligning their specific goals and unique identities.

Unlocking the Power of Creative Operations in Higher Education Marketing | Lytho
In today’s fast-paced world, higher education marketers face ever-increasing pressure to create and deliver high-quality, compelling content to their target audience. Creative operations can play a vital role in streamlining the content creation process, reducing cost and ensure that content is delivered on time and to a high standard.

In this session, we’ll explore how creative operations can help higher education marketers to overcome common content creation challenges, including managing multiple stakeholders, coordinate large-scale campaigns and maintaining brand consistency across different channels.

Key takeaways:

– Understanding the basics of creative operations and its benefits for higher education marketing
– Best practices for managing creative projects, including scoping, workflow, and stakeholder management
– Tips for optimizing your team’s efficiency and effectiveness in content creation
– Strategies for maintaining brand consistency across various campaigns and channels
– Real-world case studies of a higher education institution that has implemented creative operations into their marketing efforts.

Owning Who You Are | Up&Up
Join Up&Up for an enlightening presentation that highlights the importance of owning who you are as a college or university and how it can help you attract prospective students who are the right fit for your institution. In a competitive educational landscape, it is crucial for colleges and universities to create an environment where students can thrive and grow authentically. Up&Up believes that by celebrating your institution’s unique identity and values, you can attract students who resonate with your mission and vision. During this session, we will share practical strategies, compelling stories, and actionable insights to help you showcase your authenticity and connect with prospective students effectively.

In this presentation, you will:

1. Explore your uniqueness: Uncover the values that actually set you apart versus what everyone else is claiming. Discover truths about your institution that are specific to your audience’s needs.
2. From teacher to learner: Understand the importance of learning from your audience before attempting to influence their decision-making.
3. Walk in authenticity: Learn how to cultivate and carry out a truly unique brand that attracts your right-fit students by reframing “the norm”.

Molly Clark


Liz Gross

Campus Sonar

Allison Lanier

Director of Client Services, Up&Up

Elliot Lollis

Account Executive - Brand Strategy, Up&Up

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch + Networking

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

What Happens to Cinderella After the Ball?

In March 2022, Saint Peter’s University accomplished the greatest March Madness run in NCAA history, catapulting it to national prominence. But that kind of momentum can be short-lived – the next tournament can always bring a new belle of the ball. SPU took advantage of its unique opportunity to develop a new brand campaign– one that demonstrates that basketball victory is emblematic of the success within reach for everyone in the community, not just a lucky break. Moving fast required setting up buy-in for the process, engaging stakeholders strategically, and trusting the team. Learn how they did it.

Kirsten Fedderke

Yes& Lipman Hearne

Sarah Malinowski Ferrary

Saint Peter's University

Effective Leadership

Lessons in Leadership: Rebuilding culture with a banana

This is the true story of 20 colleagues picked to work together, survive leadership turnover, and have their lives upended by a pandemic to find out what happens when we stop the silos and start getting real. Oh, and a banana. Sara Miga and Julia Marco, two directors and marketing leaders from Skidmore College will tell a story and present a case study on how they — and their team — picked up the pieces of a post-pandemic workplace culture, re-aligned a team with a mission, and discovered the joy of a mystery banana.

Julia Marco

Skidmore College

Sara Miga

Skidmore College

Audience Engagement

Let's Get Personal: Perfecting the Prospect Experience with Web Personalization

Personalization is not just a buzzword, it’s the key to unlocking the perfect experience for prospective students and donors. Your website is your most visible marketing tool, but settling for one-size-fits-all content will leave you drowning in the sea of sameness. By tailoring your website to each unique visitor, you can cut through the noise and create meaningful connections that drive your audience to take action. In this session, we’ll get personal. We’ll discover the simple steps to creating remarkable personalized web experiences and explore how Ferris State University drove a 2800% growth in CTA clickthroughs using these tactics.

Eric Hazen

Ferris State University

Evolving Higher Ed Landscape

Empathy-Based Marketing: Co-Designing Strategies for Student Success

Marketers are often in the best position to look beyond competing staff agendas to stay mindful of student needs. When our service is grounded in real understanding of students, we can bring groups together to align support. We’ll explore marketing’s evolving role in the higher ed landscape, and the need for more retention-focused, empathy-driven marketing. The session covers: Journey mapping: Using qualitative research to understand the moments that matter during the first year. Co-designing with students: How to start with questions, not solutions, to engage students meaningfully. Alignment: How marketers can elevate student voices to align people, processes, and technology.

Jen Halls


Jen Rhee

New York University

Camille Wilson

New York University

Thought Leadership

Content-First Enrollment Strategies

Most enrollment marketing teams think of content and paid media as separate and distinct efforts. They produce content to drive brand awareness and engagement, and invest in templated and salesy paid media campaigns to drive demand and leads that hopefully turn into applicants and enrollments.

The problem with this siloed approach is that graduate student prospects want to be engaged via authentic faculty, student, and alumni content at every stage of the marketing and enrollment funnel. Failing to leverage a content-first approach in paid media results in missing key opportunities to differentiate your brand and beat out the competition.

Content-first paid media strategies hook your prospects on the promise of actionable insights into an immediate problem they’re trying to solve at work (like wanting to become a better data analyst). They then spoil them at every step through engaging and authentic (aka non-salesy) content rooted in faculty, alumni, or student stories and learnings. This results in ads, nurture campaigns, social media, and other marketing tactics that stand out and allow your prospects to attach to actual people at your institution.

Citing examples from their work across the Tufts School of Medicine, Northeastern University, Babson College, the University of Cambridge, the University of New Mexico, and Assumption University, Viv Higher Education’s co-founder and CEO Suzan Brinker, along with Viv’s Director of People and Process, Audra DeLaney-Hall, will present winning strategies for creating content-first enrollment marketing campaigns that result in lower costs, higher engagement, and more enrollments than traditional paid media campaigns.

Sponsored by Viv Higher Education

Suzan Brinker

Viv Higher Education

Audra DeLaney-Hall

Viv Higher Education

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
How It's Made

We ‘Bout That Action: Effectively Motivating Your Audience

Jackson State University has been a consistent winner for the past six years of participation in The Home Depot’s Retool Your School Competition. Through the campaign, the University has received campus improvement grants that have promoted sustainability and long-term benefits to the campus and students. Learn how JSU has garnered support for the campaign over the years from its students, alumni, and other constituents and how you can use similar tactics to motivate your audience in mini-campaigns.

Tangelia Kelly

Jackson State University

Kentrice Rush

Jackson State University

Evolving Higher Ed Landscape

AI Marketing: Because Who Needs Human Connection? **

Get ready to replace all your human connections with the magic of AI! In this presentation, you’ll learn how to turn students into mere data points using predictive modeling and chatbots. We’ll show you how to create campaigns that manipulate people’s emotions, so you can forget about genuine human connection altogether. Don’t miss out on the chance to become an AI marketing master and say goodbye to authenticity forever!

Title and summary written by Chat GPT. Actual discussion will feature humans talking about the opportunities and challenges of AI in higher ed.

Grant Heston

Virginia Commonwealth University

Christine Dellert Mullon

Sonder Says

Fotis Sotiropoulos

Virginia Commonwealth University

Jose Villalba

Wake Forest University

Research, Measurement & ROI

Informing Cabinet-Level Decision-Making with Social Listening

Your audiences are online, talking about your campus every day. How do you know what’s really said? And when your president, dean, or other leaders ask, how confident are you in response? Through social listening, you can accurately find and interpret the conversation and why it matters. This panel of CMOs, AVPs, and social listening experts will demonstrate how campuses leverage online data to inform cabinet-level decision-making. Combining new industry research with on-campus case studies, we will explain how social listening insights guide leaders in developing and aligning their strategies with the goals of the campuses they serve.

Lisa Baer

Rosalind Franklin University

Alastair Hayes

Campus Sonar

Matt Serrao

Utah Valley University

Katlin Swisher

Campus Sonar

Gabriel Welsch

Duquesne University

Innovation Showcase

Rethinking Your Enrollment Strategies: New Opportunities to Engage Prospective Students

Find Your People and Get to Know Them: Driving Engagement at Every Stage in the Customer Lifecycle | Marigold
In this session we’ll take a look at some of the successful omnichannel relationship marketing strategies that have helped global brands acquire and engage their target audience.
With an emphasis on zero party data, learn best practices that ultimately convert leads into lasting relationships.

Applying Awareness-based Marketing to your College Recruitment Strategy | Epicosity
You’re familiar with the traditional student recruitment funnel.

Did you know that it’s also outdated and wrong?

Allow us to introduce “Awareness-Based Marketing” – fueled by the five stages of awareness.

What are the five stages of awareness? They allow your team to meet students where they are in their recruitment journey, recognize their pain points, and offer viable messaging and brand touchpoints – they’re also at the very foundation of student recruitment and enrollment.

In our session, we will show you why and how this new model can help you understand more about your prospective students and best practices for reaching them. We’ll cover things like:

  • Student Insights
  • Persona Examples
  • History of the Stages
  • Awareness-based Content Plans
  • And more!

Not only that, but you’ll learn how to implement the Awareness-Based Marketing model into your enrollment strategy and help stakeholders understand the importance of rethinking the enrollment funnel.

Driving Enrollment with Rideshare Advertising | Carvertise
In this session, we will discuss how rideshare advertising can be an effective way to increase college admissions. With more and more people using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, it presents a unique opportunity for colleges to get their message in front of potential students.

We’ll begin by breaking down the basics of rideshare advertising, including the types of ads you can use and the benefits of using this platform. We’ll then dive into some real-world examples of colleges that have successfully leveraged rideshare advertising to increase their admissions.

From there, we’ll discuss the key elements of a successful rideshare ad campaign for colleges, including how to target students in a specific area and how to track the success of your campaign. We’ll also share some tips and tricks for making your ads stand out and engaging for potential students.

Nate Frick


Sam Thorson


Sean Wyrobek


Fireside Chat

The Future of Brand Experience in Higher Education

Within many colleges and universities “brand experience” as a job title likely sits within Communications or Marketing. However, the factors that define how students, alumni, faculty and staff experience an institution extends well beyond the limits of the traditional structure. Learn from a panel of brand experience leaders navigating in their role as an advocate for those they serve across silos, leveraging innovation and building systems to support CX in HE.

Bill Campbell

Chatham University

Corynn Myers


Jenny Petty

4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Higher Ed Marketer of the Year Awards + Excellence in Higher Ed

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Networking Reception


8:00 am - 9:00 am


9:15 am - 10:15 am
Audience Engagement

Going Viral: Students as Social Influencers

The data overwhelmingly shows that short-form mobile video platforms are preferred by Gen Z and Gen Alpha. But, the content also has to be relevant. Kenna Bartlett and Marlee Feacher, students at The Theatre School at DePaul University, will share their path to becoming TikTok influencers and leading an admissions-focused content creation team to viral success. We’ll discuss why your organic social media content matters, best practices for student-led teams, ideal workflow options, and of course, the lessons learned along the way. You’ll leave with actionable insights for creating or leveling up your own content creation team.

Kenna Bartlett

The Theatre School at DePaul University

Marlee Feacher

The Theatre School at DePaul University

Isabella Kruger-Seiler

The Theatre School at DePaul University

Jessica Shasserre


Effective Leadership

Be the Difference: Creating a Culture for Change

Ready to transform your role from managing promotion and messaging to leading change at your institution? Attend our interactive workshop to boost your skills in building relationships, establishing credibility, fostering collaboration, harnessing data and insights, and sustaining cultural change. Real-world case studies, group discussions, and individual exercises will provide you with actionable next steps tailored to your institution. Presented by experienced AMA presenters, don’t miss out on this game-changing opportunity to drive positive change on your campus.

Carrie Phillips

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Allison Turcio

Siena College

Thought Leadership

Spurring Content Success: UWyo’s Digital Asset Management Journey

Join us for this session where we’ll delve into the transformative journey of the University of Wyoming (UofW) in the realm of digital asset management (DAM) and content utilization, offering actionable insights for your own higher education marketing endeavors.

You’ll discover how UofW harnessed DAM to eliminate bottlenecks in their content management workflows. From the initial challenges of moving from an on-premise system to a cloud-based DAM system, the resulting improvements in productivity and ease of access, to showcasing the power of self-service content access through portals, you’ll learn how DAM has impacted every part of their content management process.

In this session, we’ll cover:

  • How marketers at UWyo used DAM to successfully orchestrate a website rebrand, empowering site authors to maintain brand consistency with ease across hundreds of pages.
  • How the team leverages metadata for content discovery, and its impact on achieving a more diverse image library and the ability to produce hyper-targeted campaigns.
  • How streamlining content access reduced photography costs, saved time, improved morale, and empowered creatives from across campus to participate in the university’s marketing mission.

Sponsored by Canto

Emily Haase Edgar

University of Wyoming

Ariana Keil


Fireside Chat

Top 10 Challenges of Higher Ed: The MarComm Solutions Edition

Embark on a thought-provoking journey with Scott Jaschik, a prominent voice in higher education, as he delves into the challenges facing our industry. In this fireside chat, Scott will explore marketing and communications strategies poised to unlock potential solutions. Don’t miss this opportunity to become an active participant in shaping the future of higher education.

Scott Jaschik

Inside Higher Ed

Kin Sejpal

University of Redlands

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Generation Alpha is Coming Keynote Panel

Although Gen Z continues to dominate today’s headlines, Gen Alpha is on the way: a group that will number 2 billion by 2025. It’s time to start talking about this cohort with your colleagues so that you can ask the right questions, identify better opportunities and set the stage for the largest and most diverse generation in our lifetimes — because you’ll be sending communications to these kids before you know it. This panel discussion will cover the opportunities and implications for higher ed as the oldest Alphas embark on their teenage years.

Kathryn Bezella

University of Pennsylvania

Lesley-Ann Brown-Henderson

Northwestern University

Dayana Kibilds

Strategy Director, Ologie

Diana Toole

Shady Side Academy

11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Closing Remarks

The AMA is excited to partner with Promotional Products Work (PPAI) to bring a brand new award to this year’s Symposium: the Best Branded Merch in a University Marketing Campaign! See who wins this school spirit swag award during Spirit Day, Wednesday, November 15 at the Closing Remarks.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thought Leaders


Innovation Showcase Sponsors





160over90 • Archer Education • Akero • Atmosphere TVBeacon Technologies • Bowstring Studios • Campus 360CCA • Concept3D • Cygnus Education • Datawrkz • Digital WaveDME DeliversEcho DeltaEducation Dynamics • Effectv, A Comcast Company • Element451 • Encoura • Halda • Hannon Hill • Hanover Research Council • High School Counselor Connect • idfive • ihire • Inside Higher Ed • Truly Engaging • Magellan Promotions • MediaCross, Inc.The Morning ConsultNew CityNicheOHO • PPS • Primacy • Riipen • Ring Digital • Rowan Education Partners • RW Jones • Simpson Scarborough • Spark451 • SquizTerminalfourTondro Consulting • Unibuddy • UPCEA • VisionPoint Marketing • ZAG Creates

Further Invest in Your Future with Interactive Workshops

November 12, 2023 | Chicago, IL

Imagine how much more you could achieve with the latest tools and strategies! The pre-conference workshops are interactive and focused on tangible takeaways to implement into your daily work.

Choose two of the six available workshops*, all built around today’s most pressing trends. You’ll learn practical techniques to elevate your marketing strategy and gain the confidence you need to succeed.

Learn more about Pre-Conference Workshops and see the options offered in the Higher Ed Agenda tab.

*Your selection occurs on-site.