Regional Conference

New ideas, inspiration await March 18 at HighEdWeb New England

“As with any HighEdWeb event, what I look forward to the most is being with the people who attend. Every single time I develop and deepen friendships that enrich my professional life, as well as my personal one.”

A day packed with speakers, ideas and connections awaits those bound for HighEdWeb New England, March 18, at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

The day’s schedule features a fast-moving series of presentations, including lightning-talk sessions, set to appeal to a wide range of professionals working in the web, social media and digital communications in higher education.

Attendees can expect an inspirational keynote from Dave Cameron, lead web producer and content strategist for enrollment and recruitment marketing at Ithaca College. Cameron earned Best of Conference at HighEdWeb 2014 with his presentation “Human at Work: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Better at My Job.”

What else can people look forward to and why should they should they register for the conference?  We asked the conference’s organizers — Sven Aas of Mount Holyoke College; Ebru Kardan of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Sarah Ryder of Hampshire College.

Why should we consider attending HighEdWeb New England?

Sven Aas: “For those who haven’t been to a HighEdWeb event before, HighEdWeb New England is a perfect opportunity to get to know a vibrant community of your peers. We can certainly promise excellent content: you’ll come away with ideas and tools you can put to work in your own job. But even more importantly you’ll come away with connections to other people facing the same challenges you do, and as a result you’ll find these challenges easier to deal with.”

Ebru Kardan:Something I personally have gained through the HighEdWeb association and conferences is a sense of community and solidarity in the work that we do. We have so many shared experiences and challenges, and I am constantly learning from this community while feeling extremely supported. I came away from my first regional conference feeling unbelievably inspired and reinvigorated in my work. I see higher education marketing as a relatively new field, and this community is shaping the best practices needed to make our field truly great. There’s so much valuable knowledge sharing that happens at these events, and I can honestly say I learn more in one day than I do over the course of months of independent research.”

Sarah Ryder:The most valuable thing I’ve gotten from attending HighEdWeb annually since 2008 is the connections I’ve made with colleagues and friends. We share and help each other out so much even when we’re not together at the conference. The awesome benefit of the New England regional in particular is that we’re able to connect with colleagues even closer to home, which can spawn some awesome collaborations between institutions, especially amongst the Five College Consortium (Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, UMass, Smith, and Amherst).”

What are YOU most looking forward to with this conference?

Sven Aas: “As with any HighEdWeb event, what I look forward to the most is being with the people who attend. Every single time I develop and deepen friendships that enrich my professional life, as well as my personal one.”

Ebru Kardan: “There’s the heweb mantra of ‘just try to incorporate ONE of the ideas you learn here when you return to work,’ and that to me is like trying to eat one potato chip. There are just too many amazing ideas being shared. I’ve heard these sentiments echoed from others who go to our conferences, so I know I’m not alone. In a nutshell, that’s why I think people in the area should attend hewebNE, and the experience I’m looking forward to having.”

Sarah Ryder: “One of the major things I’m looking forward to this year is being able to share the HighEdWeb experience with my other two developers who were hired at Hampshire recently, as well as with our student worker who is doing some great programming work with us. They’re all super excited about the sessions and I think they’re going to love their first HighEdWeb experience.”

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By Tim Nekritz

Tim Nekritz is Link's Chief Editor and the communications director for SUNY Oswego, where he also teaches a class on blues history. In his spare time, he is an active musician, booker and promoter who leads a monthly Songwriters Circle.