University of Virginia (January 2017)

Thursday, January 12, 2017 — Preconference

5:30 pm

Informal Gathering

Join us for drinks and dinner before the conference!

Kardinal Hall, 722 Preston Ave., Charlottesville

Friday, January 13, 2017 — Conference

8 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

3rd floor, Newcomb Hall

9 am

Keynote: Examining the Debate over Safe Spaces in the Ivory Tower

Allen Groves, dean of students at the University of Virginia, will walk us through the current issue of "safe spaces" in colleges and universities. The term has led to passionate debate from both sides, with proponents arguing "safe spaces" are needed in a modern, multicultural campus, while critics question the resilience of today's students and argue that higher education has lost its way.


Allen W. Groves has served as University dean of students at UVA since 2007. He oversees Student Activities; Housing & Residence Life; Fraternity & Sorority Life; Orientation & New Student Programs; Newcomb Centers & Services (student union); and Peabody Hall. Groves received his juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, and he holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from Stetson University. Prior to joining UVA, Groves held a partnership in the national law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where he served as Atlanta office litigation practice group chair and hiring partner. In 2014, Mr. Groves received the "Outstanding Virginian" award from Equality Virginia, an LGBT advocacy organization. He has also received the 2013 "Outstanding Administrator" award from the Black Student Alliance and UVA NAACP. He is a strong advocate of students' rights to freedom of speech and association, and was instrumental in helping the University achieve a "green light" free speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in 2010.

10:30 am

Networking and snack break


10:45 am

Concurrent Sessions
There Is No Creative Process: Keeping Your Work Fresh, Finding New Inspiration, and Raising Your Standards (Without Defying Your Brand's Standards)

Where does the best creative work come from? Nobody really knows, but most of us will admit that it doesn't come from a strictly enforced set of rules, structures, and templates. And where do the strongest brands come from? Often they come from that thing about having a bunch of rules. But what if they didn't have to? The best expression of any brand should be—above all—clear, compelling, and consistent. In this session, you'll explore ways to make your brand more compelling by pushing the constraints of consistency. We'll discuss how having a solid set of brand elements, graphic standards, and voice guidelines can be exactly the right sandbox to play in when you want to unleash breakthrough creativity and innovation. Through discussion and interactive exercises, you'll find new ways to spark inspiration and try something new. (Plus, there'll be a part about how there's no such thing as a creative process. It'll all make sense later.)

Kaleidoscope Room

Download slides (31.2 MB PDF)

A smart and versatile writer, Nathan Thornton develops compelling, authentic stories that make brands matter and audiences care. As creative director, he also manages a talented team of designers and writers, guiding their work toward excellence and effectiveness. He has created innovative, successful communications for University of Georgia, Saint Anselm College, Pratt Institute, Sewanee: The University of the South, and many others.

Ask the Audience

Join us for a moderated discussion on marketing and communications featuring you! Bring your questions, observations, ideas, and insights to bounce off colleagues and expand your network in the process.

Commonwealth Room

Media Panel

Come talk with reporters and editors who specialize in covering higher education. Discuss best practices on everything from embargoed pitches and working with the editorial desk to responding to reporters during breaking news or sensitive situations. Bring all your questions on how best to get noticed by local and national media. Participants include representatives from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Daily Progress. The panel will be moderated by Brian Whitson, a former higher education journalist and current chief communications officer at William & Mary.

South Meeting Room

Paige Mudd is executive editor and vice president for news at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She has worked at the RTD full time for 16 years after interning for the newspaper while attending Syracuse University. Paige previously served as managing editor, metro editor, breaking news editor and reporter. She's a native of Wilmington, Del., and she now lives in Hanover County with her husband, Brian, and three kids – Beau, 8; Whitney, 6; and Campbell, 2.

Derek Quizon covers higher education for the Daily Progress in Charlottesville. He joined the paper in 2013, after a brief stint with the News and Observer in North Carolina. An Arizona native, he has worked as an intern for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and the Arizona Republic.

Rick Seltzer covers business and management for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in 2016 after working as a money and general-assignment reporter for The Baltimore Business Journal. Previously, he was a business reporter for the Bloomington Herald-Times, and he covered small business and health care for the Central New York Business Journal. Rick, a native of South Central Pennsylvania, started his career as a local beat reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 after interning at the Patriot-News and the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez is a breaking news reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C. She also writes the Chronicle's daily briefing, a subscriber-exclusive newsletter. Before the Chronicle, Fernanda was an online news editor at the Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a student at LSU, she was editor of the campus paper, The Daily Reveille.

11:45 am

Lunch and networking

Main Lounge and Ballroom

1:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Longwood's Long Shot – and How It Paid Off

While teaching a class on the American presidency, Longwood University President W. Taylor Reveley IV was asked by a student, "Could a presidential debate ever happen here?" And President Reveley thought, "Well, why not?" During every campaign cycle, about 75 colleges and universities pitch themselves as a site for a presidential or vice presidential debate, and only about 16 make the first cut. How did Longwood become the site of the 2016 vice presidential debate? And what has life been like for the university's communications operation since that day in September 2015 when Longwood got the nod? Sabrina Brown, associate vice president for brand marketing, and Matthew McWilliams, assistant vice president for communications, will provide an inside look.

Kaleidoscope Room

Sabrina Brown is associate vice president for brand marketing and university publications at Longwood University. She came to Longwood in 2011 after serving as director of marketing at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. She has worked in marketing and communications for more than 30 years at public and private universities including Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Santa Clara University. She began her career as a reporter for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., after graduating from the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism.

Matthew McWilliams is assistant vice president for communications at Longwood University. He was the media team leader for the 2016 Vice Presidential Debate, overseeing outreach and concierge services for the more than 2,500 journalists who attended the debate. He was instrumental in developing successful story pitches for national media, coordinating logistics for the four networks who broadcast the day of the debate outside the security perimeter, served as spokesman for the university in dozens of interviews, was a primary liaison to the Commission on Presidential Debates, and oversaw media volunteers. Before joining Longwood in 2012, he was a newspaper journalist. He lives on a Charlotte County farm with his wife and three children.

Panel: Workflows & the Design Process

A common challenge for creative teams is managing the creative workflow. From project intake to managing client expectations to follow-up after a project is completed, most creative teams are better at creating than juggling timelines and approvals. Implementing an effective workflow process can be the difference happy creative teams (and clients) and utter mayhem. Come talk with two veteran creatives and bring your questions about how to create the most effective project workflow for your shop.

South Meeting Room

Amy "AJ" Newell is the director of design services and brand coordinator at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. Deciding early on between a career in pharmacy or visual communications, she chose Pantone swatchbooks over a mortar and pestle and graduated with a BFA in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also holds an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University. AJ and her team have garnered recognition and awards from CASE and EDU Digital Marketing.

Justin Schoonmaker is Associate Director of Design in University Communications at William & Mary. He leads a team of design professionals who have executed hundreds of projects over the past several years, including the web design of and branding and print communications packages for dozens of departments, offices, and programs. Justin chaired the team that designed William & Mary's new logo in 2014 and served as the primary author of the university style guide. After publicly releasing William & Mary's core visual brand assets, Justin worked with many campus units to adopt the new guidelines while helping them preserve their sense of identity and unit-level brand equity. Justin is a graduate of William & Mary has presented on design, branding, and internal higher-ed diplomacy at past CCA conferences, HighEdWeb, Hannon Hill Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Developer's Association Conference.

Marketing Budget Setting & Measurement

Feel like you never have enough budget to accomplish your goals? Always being asked: what does it cost to acquire a student, what should we be spending on marketing and what are our competitors spending? Regardless of the organizational arrangement within the institution, the answers to these questions and the need to establish appropriate marketing budgets, measure effectiveness and showcase the return on investment is more critical than ever. This session will share some best practice examples that will help you build a business case for the right marketing budget and ways to measure the return on your investment.

Commonwealth Room

Bill Campbell, is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Chatham University. In this role, Bill provides strategic leadership and manages the university's branding, marketing and communications activities in support of enrollment, fundraising, alumni engagement and more. Bill has helped lead the successful coed transition of Chatham's 145-year-old undergraduate women's college, and also served as the Vice President of Enrollment Management until 2013. His efforts at Chatham were recognized in 2015 with his selection as the American Marketing Association's Higher Education Marketer of the Year (Innovator Award). He has also earned a Top 40 Under 40 Leadership Award and presented at a number of conferences around the country.

2:15 pm

Networking and snack break


2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Snapchat & Instagram Stories

If you haven't added these to your social media toolbox, what are you waiting for?

Kaleidoscope Room

Jamie Goodin, Digital Engagement Manager, Washington and Lee University

Kelly Kauffman worked as a Social Media Specialist at a marketing agency in San Diego before jet-setting to Costa Rica to work as a freelance writer and social media strategist. Since then, she's moved to Charlottesville to work as a Social Media Associate for the University of Virginia.

Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Georgetown

Join Georgetown's Erik Smulson and Rachel Pugh as they share the university's strategy for addressing the news that the Jesuits running Georgetown in 1838 sold 272 slaves to help keep the institution afloat. Learn about the president's listening tour with descendants that was featured in the New York Times, the decision behind providing legacy admissions to these individuals, and the working committee that continues to address how to move forward.

Commonwealth Room

Erik Smulson joined Georgetown University in September 2005 after more than 15 years working on Capitol Hill and on political campaigns. At Georgetown, Erik served as Assistant Vice President for Communications from 2005 to 2007. In that role he served as University spokesperson and guided all activities having to do with media relations and internal and external strategic communications. From 2007 to 2011 he served as Chief of Staff to Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. There he was responsible for managing the Office of the President, overseeing all activities including scheduling, speech writing, correspondence, event planning and strategic initiatives, as well as serving as a liaison with senior University leaders and important constituents both within and outside the academic community.

Rachel Pugh, senior director for strategic communications at Georgetown University, has helped mission-driven organizations promote and protect their brand throughout her career. She currently leads the university's communications and media relations team to advance Georgetown's priorities and brand. Pugh provides leadership on messaging, strategic communications, and public relations across the university, and she is an advisor and spokesperson for university leaders. She previously worked with caregivers and researchers, as well as patients and their families, at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard University's premier pediatric teaching hospital. Pugh holds a B.A. from Boston University's College of Communications and an Executive Master's in Leadership from Georgetown.

Lightning Round: Video Toolkit

In the age of mobile phones and social media, digital video is more important than ever. But producing quality video content doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming. Join five higher ed video professionals as they share tips and tricks for filming, editing, scoring, publishing and tracking video success. This session will consist of five "lightning talks" of 5-10 minutes each, and you'll walk away with ideas and tools you can use right away in your work.

South Meeting Room

Jenny Boone, Roanoke College

Diana Williams, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Jim Goodwin, Washington & Lee University

Tiffany Broadbent Beker, College of William & Mary

Lee A. Graff, Shenandoah University