Association News

HighEdWeb welcomes new members and officers to board of directors

HighEdWeb is excited to welcome new leaders to the board of directors to help advance our mission of educating digital professionals who work at higher education institutions.

New and renewed directors

Tisha D. Arnold

Tisha D. Arnold

Term: June 1, 2024-May 31, 2027

When asked about what she does, her answer starts with who she is. Tisha D. Arnold describes herself as a helper at her core, an observer and thinker by nature and a strategist when it’s all said and done. This has manifested in different ways, with each experience teaching her something new about herself.

Tisha is the director of strategic communications and marketing at Grambling State University. There, she leads a team of five creatives, manages licensing and trademarks, oversees the university website and serves as a thought partner campuswide and in the community.

With two decades of industry experience spanning web development, graphic design, brand management and strategic planning, Tisha has helped individuals and organizations across multiple industries create solutions and workflows that produce memorable, measurable results.

“I’ve had multiple touchpoints with HighEdWeb since 2016 and always valued the uniqueness of the organization and its comprehensive approach to the digital experience,” she said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”

Tisha values the impact of serving others and brings more than a decade of board involvement to the organization. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Mark Nakamura

Mark Nakamura

Term: June 1, 2024-May 31, 2027

Mark Nakamura is the senior web manager in the Financial Management Services (FMS) organization at Stanford University.

Starting out as a web designer in higher education in the early 2000s, Mark took a break to work in the corporate world where he pivoted into doing website management for e-commerce and banking organizations. He returned to higher ed 10 years ago by leading the development of Stanford’s HR and financial websites.

With now over 15 years of working in higher education, Mark is appreciative of the opportunities and experience he has gained and is excited to give back to the HighEdWeb community.

Michael O'Neill

Michael O’Neill

Term: June 1, 2024-May 31, 2025, filling vacated term

Michael O’Neill, director of web strategy at the University of Iowa, brings a wealth of experience in web technologies, digital marketing, content marketing and agile transformation to the HighEdWeb board.

A certified Scrum Master and Product Owner with additional credentials as a Certified Agile Leader (CAL-1), Michael is passionate about building high-performing teams and fostering cultures that thrive on collaboration and innovation. His diverse background, ranging from startups to Fortune 50 companies, enables him to offer strategic insights into enterprise web strategies, IT/marcom alignment and WebOps. He is excited to bring his expertise to HighEdWeb to help shape the future of digital strategy and engagement across higher education.

“When I left agency life for higher education, HighEdWeb helped me get my bearings,” O’Neill said. “It connected me with a community of experts who helped me orient myself to digital strategy in higher education and invited me into a community built on collaboration and sharing.”

Michael is the chair of HighEdWeb Leadership Academy and a past presenter on web strategy, leadership, agile transformation and organization design.

Seldom found far from a coffee shop, Michael is never one to turn down an invite to meet over a cuppa. If the geography doesn’t work out, you can also connect with Michael on LinkedIn, the HighEdWeb Slack community or wherever else you find him.

Brian Piper

Brian Piper

Term: June 1, 2024-May 31, 2027, renewed to second term

Brian Piper is an author, international keynote speaker and consultant. Brian has been optimizing digital content since 1996. He is a volunteer and board member for HighEdWeb, a member of Ed3DAO and a mentor for the Content Marketing Institute. He focuses on data analytics, content marketing and content strategy. He is also an AI and web3 enthusiast.

He authored “Epic Content Marketing in Higher Education,” co-authored the second edition of “Epic Content Marketing” with Joe Pulizzi and is a contributing author of “The Most Amazing Marketing Book Ever” and “The Content Entrepreneur.”

When he’s not creating data visualizations, he teaches wingsuit skydiving and spends time with his wife and six children.

New and re-elected officers

Janice Cheng-McConnell

Secretary Janice Cheng

Janice Cheng was reelected as secretary for a second term June 1, 2024-May 31, 2026.

Janice works in instructional design at Cornell University. She grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, and earned both her Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and Master of Public Administration from Binghamton University.

For nearly a decade, Janice worked in enrollment marketing and communications at schools both public and private, big and small. She led multi-platform, multimedia admissions marketing and student retention campaigns. In 2020, she decided to pivot (along with the rest of the world) and left admissions to pursue a career in instructional design and user experience.

Robert Heyser

Treasurer Robert Heyser

Robert Heyser was reelected as treasurer for a second term June 1, 2024-May 31, 2026.

Robert is a long-time annual conference attendee and presenter from Tarrant County College (TCC), the community college system serving greater Fort Worth, Texas. At TCC, he is a former programmer and manager of web development turned director of digital strategy. In addition to overseeing websites and social media, he assists the college in all things accessibility. In other duties as assigned, he supports the college board of trustees, works frequently with college legal counsel and serves as a leader on his campus.

Robert was also renewed to the board of directors for a second term June 1, 2024-May 31, 2027.

Eric Sembrat

Parliamentarian Eric Sembrat

Eric Sembrat was elected as parliamentarian for a term June 1, 2024-May 31, 2026.

Eric is the director of digital learning technologies for the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, he spearheads the research and development at the cutting edge of instructional technology in higher education. He has over a decade of experience in higher education and leads the web development community-of-practice at the Institute. 

Eric has deep ties to neighboring communities-of-practice. He served as Higher-Ed Summit lead for DrupalCon North America from 2017-22, committee lead for HighEdWeb since 2019, conference lead for WPCampus from 2016-19 and served on the WPCampus board of directors.

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