Plenary Sessions

Most, but not all, speakers are confirmed at this point—please check this site regularly for additions.

Sharpening Your Traditional and Social Media Toolkit
Preconference • Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25

12:30–1:30 p.m.
Covering News in the Digital Age
Media representatives discuss the impact of social media and digital technology advances on today’s print and online news organizations.
Nick Anderson covers higher education for the Washington Post. He moved to the Post in 2005 after serving as Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

Chad Lorenz is the news editor of Slate magazine. A Washington, DC, resident, he previously worked at the Washingtonian magazine and the Washington Post.

MaryBeth Marklein, education reporter, has covered higher education for USA Today since 1997.
Bill Schackner has written for newspapers in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. He joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1993 and is the paper’s higher education writer. He is a recipient of the National Headliner Award for Outstanding Education Writing.

1:45–2:45 p.m.
Maximizing Digital Media Benefits
College and university communicators who have an extensive digital media background—or none—can learn how to maximize the benefits of digital media in their daily work. Many communications professionals today are expected to manage websites and social and digital interaction with the press without any real training or experience—or digital specialists on staff. Designed with ample time for participant interaction, this session will explore how to meet and exceed those expectations and find new ways of engaging digital journalists and integrating social media with traditional news and story-telling.
Ben Sharbaugh is associate director for digital strategy at Harvard University. He works with a wide range of business stakeholders and faculty members providing online content. Sharbaugh led the initial development of Harvard’s online media vehicles, expanding the university’s iTunes U, YouTube EDU, and SoundCloud channels into industry leaders that reach millions of people around the world.

3:15–4:15 p.m.
Becoming an In-House Media Trainer for Your Campus
Campus executives and faculty members today realize that video is the fastest-growing communications medium for colleges and universities, but they often don’t know how to present themselves well on screen, whether for a video message to alumni or an interview with a local TV station. Campus PR officers understand the need to increase the use of video, but budgets often don’t allow for the hiring of professional media trainers. In this concentrated, interactive session a top-notch media trainer will guide participants through setting up their own on-campus media-training program and getting results that will enhance the reputation of their institutions and offices.
Candace Smith is executive director of media relations for George Washington University. A communicator with more than 20 years of experience in broadcast, print, and crisis messaging, she was previously spokesperson and executive communications advisor for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).

4:30–5:45 p.m.
The Art of Gaining Science Coverage and Building Institutional Reputation
Panelists in this session will discuss presenting science news in print, online, and on air, with a special focus on the stories and individuals that best fit their formats and audiences.

Tim Appenzeller is news editor for Science Magazine. He has worked 30 years as an editor and writer specializing in science and the environment for magazines including Nature, Scientific American, U.S. News & World Report, and National Geographic.

Alan Boyle is NBC News Digital’s science editor. He also is the author of The Case for Pluto, a contributor to A Field Guide for Science Writers, the blogger behind Cosmic Log, and an occasional “talking head” on MSNBC news and NBC’s TODAY and Nightly News.
Eva Emerson is editor in chief of Science News magazine, where she manages print, digital, and online content. She was named editor in chief in 2012, after serving as managing editor and associate editor. She joined the Science News staff in December 2007. Emerson is the coauthor of a book of classroom activities, Naturescope Kit: Habitats, published by the National Wildlife Federation.

6:00–7:30 p.m.
(Sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education)
College, Reinvented

Higher education’s harshest critics accuse it of being outdated, ineffective, and fundamentally broken. A panel including seasoned Chronicle of Higher Education reporters and two college and university presidents peels away the rhetoric and busts the myths to offer insights into today’s challenges and potential solutions for the future. Participants will be encouraged to join the debate with questions and commentary.
Goldie Blumenstyk is a senior writer at the Chronicle where, since 1988, she has covered a wide range of topics including distance education, the Internet boom and bust, state politics, university governance, and fundraising.

Ángel Cabrera is president of George Mason University. Before joining George Mason two years ago, Cabrera was president of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona for eight years, where he pioneered efforts to educate women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. In 2011 the Financial Times rated him among the top 20 business school leaders in the world.

Scott Carlson is a senior writer who joined The Chronicle in 1999. He writes about buildings, campus planning, energy, architecture, sustainability, and college management, particularly at small colleges.

Bryon Grigsby was appointed president of Moravian College in July 2013. Prior to working at Moravian, he served as senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Grigsby is a 1990 graduate of Moravian College. He received a master’s degree in English literature from Wake Forest University and a PhD from Loyola University Chicago in medieval literature, early modern literature, and the history of medicine.

Louis Soares, vice president, Center for Policy Research and Strategy at the American Council on Education, joined ACE in June 2013. He most recently served as the director of the postsecondary education program and fellow at the Center for American Progress. Soares was appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve on the National Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in November 2011.

Connecting across Media Boundaries: Gaining Access, Making News
Conference • June 26–27, 2014

Thursday, June 26

8:30–9:30 a.m.
Coping with the New Campus State of Constant Crises
What happens when an institution works hard to build a culture of transparency—and a crisis makes it impossible for the institution to participate in the public conversation? How should PR specialists respond when multiple narratives—most of them wrong—flood social media? And how should PR professionals prepare to cope with the crisis that won’t go away, over months and even years? Two experienced communicators talk about managing the unmanageable—crises large and small—in the Twitter era.

Patricia E. Dempsey is director of communications for St. John’s College, in Annapolis, MD.  She is a seasoned media relations and marketing strategist, and former editor and journalist.

Ben Jones is vice president for communications at Oberlin College. Previously, he was director of communications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Office of Admissions and was a founder of the web strategy firm Blue Coda.

9:30–10:45 a.m.
The Changing Face of Broadcast News
The constantly-changing nature of broadcast news today means that producers are always looking for ideas to keep their content fresh and compelling. Three seasoned professionals from network and cable TV share tips on what they are looking for and how to work with them most effectively on both in-depth stories and breaking news.

Gina Garcia is a producer of CBS This Morning Saturday. She was formerly associate producer of CBS This Morning and was a booker, researcher, and field producer with the Today Show.

Katie Hinman is a supervising producer for CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. She was formerly with ABC News.

Karen Travers joined ABC News in 2000 and is currently a Washington-based correspondent for ABC NewsOne. Since joining ABC News, Travers has covered Washington and national politics, including three presidential elections and the Obama and Bush administrations.

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Fresh Approaches to the Education Story
New, specialized, and traditional media outlets are looking at the education story from fresh perspectives today.

Tyler Kingkade is an associate editor at The Huffington Post, based in New York City, covering higher education and millennials. He previously covered Congress and Occupy Wall Street from HuffPost's DC bureau, and worked for the National Journal, KCCI TV-8 and the American Independent.

Libby Nelson
is an education reporter at Vox Media. Recently, she was an education reporter for POLITICO Pro and writer of its daily Morning Education policy newsletter. Before joining POLITICO, Nelson was a reporter at Inside Higher Ed, where she covered federal higher education policy and religious colleges, and a regional reporter at the Times-Tribune.

David Pluviose is executive editor of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Previously, he was editor at Bulletin News, LLC.

2:00–2:30 p.m.
Public Policy and the Year Ahead

Tim McDonough
, vice president for communications and marketing, has been with the American Council of Education since 1998. Previously, he was vice president for public affairs at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Winning Placements: Pitching Successfully to the Media
Michael Smart, president of MichaelSmartPR and former national news director at Brigham Young University, has trained more than 4,000 PR professionals from Frankfurt to Tokyo on how to boost publicity results. He previously spent 14 years in campus media relations.

4:15–5:30 p.m.
The Business of Covering Higher Education
Business columnists and reporters are among the most prolific writers about higher education today. Learn what piques their interest and how to work with them on a variety of financially-related issues, from helping parents navigate tuition and financial aid to looking at national and global business trends.

Jon Marcus is higher education editor at the Hechinger Report and North American correspondent for the Times (U.K.) Higher Education magazine.

Josh Mitchell is a Washington-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal. In addition to covering the U.S. economy, he writes frequently about higher-education policy and student debt. He previously served as a metro-news reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the Palm Beach Post.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy authors the popular blog the The College Solution to help guide families and students; she also is a frequent contributor to CBS MoneyWatch.

Friday, June 27

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
On the Education Beat
Three long-time education journalists with major media outlets will offer their take on the issues and topics of greatest interest on the education beat, tips on successful pitching, and advice on interacting effectively with them.

Richard Pérez-Peña, a journalist with the New York Times since 1992, specializes in covering higher education.

Claudio Sanchez, education correspondent for National Public Radio, has a special focus on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy, and pedagogy.