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Presenter Bios

Megan Korns Russell

Executive Director, External Relations, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University

Megan Korns Russell is a business professional with more than 20 years of experience leading global marketing, communications and business strategy across companies and industries experiencing extreme change internally and from external sources. She delivers high quality, creative expertise in persuasive communication, skilled ability to build and manage complex relationships, and a natural talent for developing and educating others and encouraging their best work from them. Before pivoting into higher education Megan worked in Hollywood entertainment technology at companies including Warner Bros. and Activision, leading campaigns for franchises including Batman, LEGO, and The Lord of the Rings universe. In her early career, Megan worked in the nonprofit and music industries. She is currently Executive Director of the External Relations department at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from TCU and an MBA from USC's Marshall School of Business.

Morgan

Taylor Precure

Manager, UX & CRO , Education Dynamics

Taylor Johnson currently leads the User Experience division for EducationDynamics. In her role as Manager of UX & CRO, Taylor is responsible for identifying and understanding prospective student needs, goals, and pain points so she can create positive web experiences. She also coordinates all website optimization efforts by brainstorming, presenting, and implementing A/B tests to improve site conversion rate.  Her passion for user experience started 8 years ago which led to a bachelor’s degree, 3 certifications, and hundreds of completed tests. She is eager to share her knowledge and continue learning with those who love to nerd out on all things UX/CRO.

Jesse Homan

Senior Solutions Architect, Education Dynamics

Jesse has worked in Higher Education for the past 15 years, both at the school level and later transitioning to the private sector in sales and account management. He is heavily focused on the power and capabilities of the right data at the right time to make the right decision. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide), and currently works from home in Cincinnati. In his spare time, he is usually playing outside with his three children, trying to remember the rules to the games that they are always creating.  

EducationDynamics

Cassandra Razzi

Senior Industry Partner, Orange142 

Cassandra Razzi is a business development specialist and account director at Orange142, a digital advertising agency based in Austin, specializing in both higher education and travel and tourism verticals in the north east/mid-Atlantic region. With a decade of marketing and advertising experience, she started her career in News and Sports radio in Philadelphia and expanded to an expertise in digital and social tactics. 
 

Cassandra has worked with hundreds of organizations, ranging from large universities to community colleges and church-based schools to non-profits and CVB’s. She possesses an understanding of the unique challenges and demands faced by the higher education sector, allowing her to tailor her approach to suit the specific needs of each institution.

Wesley Rupar

Senior Industry Partner, Orange142

Wesley Rupar specializes in business development for Orange142, a boutique digital advertising agency based in Austin, specifically for the Higher Education arm of the company where she specializes in enrollment marketing. With a decade of experience under her belt, Wesley has become a driving force in the field, consistently delivering exceptional results and forging strong connections with clients.


Throughout her professional journey, Wesley has worked with hundreds of educational institutions, ranging from prestigious universities to community colleges, helping them achieve their enrollment goals through innovative digital marketing strategies. She possesses an acute understanding of the unique challenges and demands faced by the higher education sector, allowing her to tailor her approach to suit the specific needs of each institution. 

Orange

Jason Simon

CEO, Simpson Scarborough

Jason Simon became SimpsonScarborough’s CEO in 2020 and has led the agency’s growth while championing the value of higher education and ensuring our work has a lasting impact.

 

Before joining SimpsonScarborough, Jason served in marketing communications leadership roles for the University of California and NC State University. He was honored as the American Marketing Association’s Higher Education Marketer of the Year in 2013 and is regularly invited to speak at and lead industry events and training. 

 

Jason lives in Oakland, CA, and if he's not working, he's likely on a tennis court. His favorite movie is Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and his favorite song is Clem Snide's "Love the Unknown." If you're familiar with either, you can figure Jason out pretty easily.

JasonSimon

Seth Odell

Founder & CEO, Kanahoma

Seth Odell is Founder & CEO of Kanahoma, a San Diego-based education marketing agency. Widely considered one of higher ed’s leading enrollment marketing experts, Seth brings over 15 years of education marketing experience at some of our industry’s top organizations, including Southern New Hampshire University, UCLA, National University System, and more. Seth's work is Emmy-award winning and has been heralded by the Chronicle of Higher Education as "Exhibit A of marketing success."

Seth

Erica Colaianne
Interim Director, Social Media and Public Engagement, University of Michigan

Erica Colaianne, Interim Director for Social Media and Public Engagement from the University of Michigan, has agreed to present in place of Carol Keese for the Marketing and Branding track. Please reach out to her immediately so that she can make proper arrangements to attend. She will forward the title of her presentation later this evening.

Carol

Raman Bhalla

Assistant Vice President, University Web Services, Rochester Institute of Technology

Raman Bhalla is AVP of University Web Services at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In this role, he’s responsible for the strategic vision, design, development, and maintenance of the university’s web properties. Among his many accomplishments, Raman led the first-ever comprehensive deployment of RIT’s web presence. 

 

Raman is a seasoned MarTech leader with 15+ years of experience managing creative and technical teams towards delivering exceptional user-centric digital experiences. His interests are UX, web accessibility, SEO, and web governance. With an MBA from LaTrobe University, Australia, and an MS in IT from RIT, Raman enjoys leveraging data and technical solutions to deliver on business goals. 

 

https://twitter.com/raman_bhalla

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bhallaraman

Raman

Ned Jones

Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, Siena College

Ned is an experienced sales and marketing professional with 35 years of leading teams and creating change that have advanced Siena College.  Ned has held several leadership positions at Siena College in Admissions, Marketing, and Financial Aid. Since 2009, he has been the vice president for Enrollment and Marketing.  Ned has served the Admissions and School Counseling in a number of leadership roles at the local, state and national levels and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees, at LaSalle Institute, in Troy, NY.

Kathleen Fenlon

Director of Financial Aid, Siena College

Kathleen Fenlon, MBA, is the Director of Financial Aid at Siena College. She has worked in Enrollment, and specifically Financial Aid for the past 8 years. She holds a Master's in Business Administration with a focus on data analytics, and a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Siena College.

Allison Turcio

Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Marketing, Siena College

Allison Turcio, Ed.D., is Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Siena College. She leads college-wide marketing, market research, and enrollment communications efforts. Her work has won numerous awards and has presented at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and other conferences. Allison was selected for the Albany Business Review 40 Under 40 and Siena College’s Excellence in Administration award in 2020. She holds a doctorate degree in higher education leadership from Northeastern University, a master’s in communications and bachelor’s in English.

Siena

Fredrick Martin

Senior Director, Change Management, University of Virginia

Fredrick

Jason Smith

Senior Industry Expert, CallTrackingMetrics.com

Jason Smith brings more than 20 years of telecommunications experience to the CallTrackingMetrics team. In his current role of Sales Engineer, Jason partners with both the sales and engineering teams to match customers with a customized solution to meet their business needs. Jason has extensive experience in the telecom and UCaaS space with a primary focus on cloud hosting solutions and global private network solutions.

JasonSmith

Jonny Holsten

Messaging Strategist & StoryBrand Guide, South Mountain Messaging

Jonny Holsten is the founder of South Mountain Messaging. Based out of Phoenix, AZ, South Mountain Messaging helps brands find the right words for their marketing and empowers marketing teams to create compelling content with the StoryBrand Framework. South Mountain Messaging loves helping educational institutions create dynamic messaging that boosts enrollment and community engagement.

Jonny

Carrie Phillips

Chief Communications and Marketing Officer; University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Carrie
CEOUplift
Jack

Kader Sakkaria

CEO, Uplift Array

Jack Brzezinski, Ph.D.

AI and Analytics, Uplift Array

Kris Hardy

Director of Web and Digital Marketing, Messiah University

Kris Hardy is passionate about making the web a better place for prospective students and their families during the college search process. Hardy currently serves as the director of web and digital marketing at Messiah University and works part-time as a consultant.

He specializes in user experience, information architecture and web analytics. He has recently presented at the Higher Ed Analytics Conference, EduWeb, HighEdWeb, the RNL National Conference and the Slate Summit.

Hardy

Kati Pratt

Executive Director of Brand and Marketing Strategy, Purdue University

A Boilermaker to her core, Kati received a BA in communications from Purdue University. She also holds an MS in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University. Her marketing career throughout the Midwest has spanned several industries including manufacturing, financial, and retail until Purdue called her back home.

 

Kati’s team of brand and marketing experts identifies the opportunities that can amplify Purdue’s outstanding stories, reaching an audience of millions and leading to Purdue’s growing reputation locally, throughout Indiana, the nation, and the world. Kati was the key architect and leader of Purdue’s new brand launch in January 2020. Kati was a leader in messaging and implementation for Protect Purdue, helping drive the beliefs and behaviors that made Purdue one of the few universities able to quickly return to campus during the pandemic and thrive. Kati now leads brand development and awareness for Purdue Global. 

Bill Faust

Managing Partner, Ologie

Bill works with colleges and universities to help them uncover market insights and effectively evolve their brands. With a unique background in design and business, he spends most of his time developing strategies that positively impact enrollment and institutional advancement. He has worked with a wide range of institutions including William and Mary, Virginia Tech, University of Pittsburgh, Denison University, Occidental College, Purdue University, and West Virginia University. 

 

Prior to joining Ologie, Bill spent 12 years at global branding agency Fitch Worldwide, his last as North American CEO where he oversaw more than 300 consultants in offices from Boston to Seattle. Early in his career, he held marketing roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Eastman Kodak Company.

Kati
Ologie

Matt Bennett

Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, American University

Bill works with colleges and universities to help them uncover market insights and effectively evolve their brands. With a unique background in design and business, he spends most of his time developing strategies that positively impact enrollment and institutional advancement. He has worked with a wide range of institutions including William and Mary, Virginia Tech, University of Pittsburgh, Denison University, Occidental College, Purdue University, and West Virginia University. 

 

Prior to joining Ologie, Bill spent 12 years at global branding agency Fitch Worldwide, his last as North American CEO where he oversaw more than 300 consultants in offices from Boston to Seattle. Early in his career, he held marketing roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Eastman Kodak Company.

Matt

Kelly Kautz

Lead UX Strategist, Paskill

Kelly leads the creation, execution, and maintenance of digital experiences for higher education. She established Paskill’s digital strategy practice in 2021. Since then, she has created web solutions for clients such as Harrisburg University, Cambridge College, and Reinhardt University. She was recently awarded a grant to perform primary research on first-generation college students and what they need from higher education websites.

Kelly leads digital marketing webinars for Paskill and speaks about UX trends and best practices at conferences nationwide. A former journalist, she has written for publications such as New York Times, Forbes, Salon and Target Marketing Magazine. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

Kelly

Cristina Craig

Director of Marketing, NJIT

Craig

Tony Proudfoot

Vice President Marketing and Strategic Communications, Western Michigan University

Proudfoot

Lyndsey Hicks

Web and Digital Media Strategist, Enrollment Marketing and Enrollment Management; Rochester Institute of Technology

Lyndsey Hicks is a dynamic marketing professional with a decade of experience in web design, digital marketing, experiential events, and marketing strategy. She currently leads the Enrollment website strategy for Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where she strategizes, produces, measures, and maintains complex and compelling digital experiences that are part of integrated, multi-channel marketing plans. With a deep understanding of the user journey and a design thinking approach, Lyndsey actively applies research, ideation, prototyping, and testing skills to create user-focused experiences that improve engagement and conversion rates.

LinkedIn

Hicks
Jaime

Jaime Oleksik

VP of Business Development, Carnegie

With more than 12 years of experience in recruitment and enrollment marketing, Jaime Oleksik is passionate about her partnerships with clients. She has an affinity for finding unique solutions to enrollment challenges and uncovering new ways of reaching key audiences. Jaime previously worked in undergraduate admission at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she held roles in international student recruitment and visit programming. She holds a BS in Business from the Pennsylvania State University as well as an MBA in Finance from the University of Baltimore.

 

Abby Zimmerman

Digital Strategist, Ologie

Abby shapes compelling user-centric digital strategies for a broad range of clients, fueling strong web experiences that tell a meaningful story. She draws on research and expertise to connect the dots between the analytical and the empathetic — understanding the data and the experience to better understand the needs of both her clients and their key audiences. Her clients have included Purdue University, the University of Nebraska Foundation, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Iowa State University Alma College, Claflin University, and Trinity College.

Fernando

Cam Ferguson

Brand Partnerships Manager

Cam Ferguson is a Brand Partnerships Manager at TikTok specializing in the education vertical. As the most tenured TikTok rep in the vertical, Cam works directly with a wide range of institutions across higher education and guides them to success with both branding and enrollment-driven campaigns. Prior to working at TikTok, Cam handled marketing and business development for an education consulting company, which helps inform his conversations with marketing teams across the industry. Whether you're looking to launch a student ambassador/creator program at your school or just drive more efficient leads, Cam is eager to answer all your TikTok-related questions!

Anastasia Jones

Brand Development Manager

Anastasia is a Brand Development Manager who specializes in facilitating the growth of new advertisers within the Education vertical. From early learning apps and life-long edtech brands to higher educational institutions and agencies, she is passionate about unlocking educational brands' ultimate potential on the platform. Anastasia will be the entry point for all education advertisers by providing best practices and resources, guiding them through onboarding, and ensuring you are matched with the most compatible account management team at TikTok. She is a seasoned sales advisor with over 10+ years of experience, which helps her understand her clients' perspectives seamlessly. From questions on how to start on TikTok to brainstorming for creative inspiration, she wants you to think of her as an extension of your team and is happy to answer any of your TikTok questions.

Alonda Thomas

Associate Vice President for University Communications, Jackson State University

Alonda Thomas is the Chief Communications Officer and Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Jackson State University. She manages a team of 12 dynamic innovators, and is responsible for university brand and reputation management, marketing, media relations and strategic communications. Previously, Alonda served as director of public relations and interim vice president of communications at Howard University; senior PR manager at TV One; and publicity consultant for Liquid Soul, where her client roster included ABC Network, CNN, Walt Disney Studios and Fox Searchlight. Alonda earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She received her master’s degree in integrated marketing and management communications from Florida State University where she served as a university fellow and taught public speaking. Alonda is a sought-out speaker on media relations, branding and crisis communications. She has received several awards, including PRWeek Hall of Femme Women to Watch Award (2021), and the PRNews Top Women Award (2020, 2023). 

Alonda

Brian Lahey

Vice President of Clients Solutions, Genius Monkey

Brian Lahey serves as the Vice President of Client Solutions at Genius Monkey.  With over fifteen years of expertise in the recruitment and programmatic advertising space, he works with brands around the nation as their trusted advisor, developing programmatic-based digital advertising solutions customized for their needs.  Specifically focused on banner, video, OTT, CTV, audio, and retargeting display-based ads; Brian's cutting-edge and innovative campaigns unlock exceptional results to help businesses reach their full potential in the digital landscape.  His reputation as a trusted partner is built on delivering tailored solutions that drive impactful advertising strategies.

Lahey
Griswold

Kweli Zukeri

Director of User Experience and Web Strategy, Howard University

Kweli Zukeri is currently the Director of User Experience & Web Strategy in Howard’s Office of University Communications and is passionate about supporting Howard’s mission and long legacy of upholding the education of people of African descent. He has been at Howard for 13 years, beginning as a web developer in 2010. He was born and raised in Falls Church, Va. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in social entrepreneurship from UNC at Chapel Hill, as well as an M.S. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Howard University. Both his master thesis and dissertation focused on exploring the impact of school-based programming that included Africana heritage on American African student racial and cultural identity, as well as American African student learning. Additionally, he has been a facilitator of the Egypt on the Potomac Field Trip of Washington, D.C. for more than a decade. He is currently helping raise two children with his partner in Springfield, VA, and enjoys working out and outdoor activities, practices martial arts and meditation, and loves learning about any and everything.

Zukeri

Mrs. Shaikha Al-Emadi

Head of Marketing, Qatar University

Dr. Hitmi Al-Hitmi

Director of Communications and Public Relations, Qatar University

Qatar

Alex Ahlstrom

Associate Director, Data Products, SimpsonScarborough

As Associate Director of Data Products, Alex builds and oversees the maintenance of agency data tools and products to support research operations and client engagements. His time studying development economics at American University and living in Madagascar helped him understand that education is an unrivaled force for good and unparalleled in its ability to expand opportunity.

Alex builds products that are force multipliers for the institutions he works with, allowing educators to make better decisions and focus on what matters most — delivering for students. His approach to data features three guiding principles that set him apart: equity, innovation, and creativity.

Tim Meyer

UX Designer, SimpsonScarborough

As a UX Designer, Tim identifies usability issues with our clients’ web experiences and designs solutions to improve them. He creates diagrams, wireframes, sitemaps, research reports, and other user experience artifacts to help our clients organize their digital content and build websites that are engaging and approachable for users.

Tim has worked in UX design and strategy for over two years, primarily in higher ed. He has an academic background in historical research and sees a connection between that and his current work in UX. He is always digging deeper to better understand what is occurring within a website’s user experience and why it is happening.

Tim grew up in Wheaton, IL, but currently lives in San Antonio, TX, with his wife and their two dogs. He enjoys reading, hiking, going to the movies, and watching the University of Texas football and basketball teams (Hook ‘em Horns!).

AlexTim
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