Regional Conference

HighEdWeb Regional Preview: Alabama – June 29 & 30

“I believe this is the first HighEdWeb Alabama!” exclaimed Rachel Carden, Web Communications Specialist at The University of Alabama and lead organizer of the 2015 HighEdWeb Alabama Regional Conference.

HighEdWeb Alabama will be hosted at The University of Alabama in Russell Hall on June 29th and 30th, 2015. Registration is open online for $75, which includes a full day and a half of presentations, Monday lunch, an incredible keynote speaker, and more!

Although it’s taking place in Alabama, the conference represents a wide spread of regional institutions including:

  • Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas
  • The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • The University of Alabama in Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama
  • University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama
  • Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama
  • University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky
  • The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida
  • The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi
  • University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee
  • University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina

Presenters from across the country will be appearing, including Joshua Palmeri from Stony Brook University in New York, presenting A Fresh Perspective on Responsive Web Design. “I LOVE when web designers and developers recognize that responsive design is about so much more than just screen size,” Rachel said.

But, this conference isn’t just about web design. Rachel clarified, “the majority of our content is aimed towards those who are responsible for a higher education web presence. But, who knows, you may come to HighEdWeb Alabama from outside higher education and realize this is where you need to be!” Anyone who is inside, or outside of education who is focused on web design or development, content writing or strategy, marketing, news or public relations, and even social media or system administration is encouraged to attend.

Of roughly 40 presentation proposals, 16 sessions were selected over four different thought categories:

1432859716_Windows_View_DetailMarketing/Communications/Social Media

Targeted for social media managers and marketers, these presentations will feature a range of topics. All I Ever Needed to Know About Social Media I Learned from the Muppets, presented by Tonya Oaks Smith dives into the personality of different social media accounts, while Carrie Philips and Brent Passmore will be discussing, “the best camera is the one you have with you,” in You’re shooting video on an iPhone?.  “We all work on these beautiful campuses where we’re constantly walking through amazing visual content. We might also work with limited resources where we can’t afford nice, sometimes expensive, video cameras with high tech software. So the opportunity to learn some tips and tricks for how to take advantage of this piece of equipment that’s always on hand to create rich media content for my users? Yes, please!” Rachel said.



“Accessibility is so important and, thankfully, becoming bigger and bigger in the world of web” Rachel said when describing these presentations. Two of them (Carrots and Sticks: Making the Case for Accesibility by Rachel Thompson, and Evaluating the Accessiblity of Web Content with Free, Web-Based Tools by Melissa Green and Kim Smalley) focus on accessibility. “This will be for the front-end designers and developers” Rachel said, but of course, it’s also a chance for attendees to move outside of their comfort area and learn something new!


1432859716_Windows_View_DetailManagement/Professional Development

Any conference attendee can benefit from these presentations, web and marketing alike. “Being a better human means being a better professional” Rachel said. How To Cultivate Your Own Campus Web Community will share how to enrich your campus and yourself by sharing your experiences and knowledge and learning from your peers within your own campus web community while Making the Case for Web Professionals by Andrew Richardson will define how higher education web professionals should think of themselves as a part of the higher education system, as well as how others should view them.


1432859716_Windows_View_DetailTechnical/Development/Project Management

“This final category has the most sessions but it will have a little something for everyone! Project management is just as important to the process as the code or design, because an unhealthy workflow is only going to hold you back.” Rachel explained. These presentations will span from an explanation of how one university migrated a 50,000-page, static, Dreamweaver-maintained website into a 6,000 page, responsive web design, accessible, searchable, content management system with only a two-person web unit (Big Project, Small Staff, Tight Deadlines: How to Create the Perfect Storm for Institutional Web Migration by Jay Massey) to web productivity tools to assist with workflow (Web Productivity Tools To Make You More Efficient by Ryan Marks).

James Spann

HighEdWeb Alabama will welcome James Spann, Chief Meteorologist for ABC 33/40 as the opening keynote speaker for the conference. “James Spann is pretty well known around here and for good reason. The man knows what he’s doing. He’s an amazing communicator with an amazing heart” Rachel explained.

“We believe community, professional development, and being open to the fact that we can all learn from each other are really important to help each of us grow as people and professionals.” Rachel said. “We’re really excited for folks to come and share their worlds with us! Or, as we like to say, share your brain with us!”


Register today for HighEdWeb Alabama, and help to inspire collaboration, education, and inspiration!

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By Jackie Vetrano

Jackie Vetrano is the assistant director of MBA prospect management & marketing at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She manages and implements the lead-nurture strategy using email as well as other important touchpoints to encourage prospective students to apply to the top-ranked MBA program. Outside of work, you’ll find Jackie participating in hot yoga, out on a run, or watching reality television. She also enjoys traveling, petting her cat, and spending time with her partner trying new foods and experiences.