PRSA 2022 Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit

PRSA 2022 Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit
Reflecting on the Past. Reframing the Future.

August 10-11, 2022
Washington, D.C. and Virtual


Sponsored by
RW Jones

Join us for the nation’s premier event for higher education communication and marketing leaders from across the country and around the world. We invite you to join us for learning, networking and fun in Washington, D.C.!

Designed by higher education communicators for higher education communicators, the Summit’s program is developed by the PRSA CHE Section. You’ll hear big ideas that will help you make a big impact on how to address your campus’ communications and marketing initiatives and issues.

Register Now!



Wednesday, Aug. 10

8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

8:45 - 9 a.m.
CHE Summit Welcome

Sheena McFarland, chair, Counselors to Higher Education; director of marketing and communications
David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

9 a.m. - 9:45 a.m
Opening Session: Higher Education in 2022 and Beyond: Meeting the Challenges Ahead

The U.S. Supreme Court next year is expected to rule on race-conscious admissions. Many of our former students and their families struggle with loan debt and current and prospective students weigh the value of a college degree against the cost. Congress and the executive branch say our campuses can do a better job guarding against national security threats. Institutions need to, once again, reassess how they handle campus sexual assault investigations as the Department of Education works on new Title IX regulations. ACE President Ted Mitchell, a former college president and top federal policymaker, will discuss some of the key challenges facing our institutions and take your questions during the Summit’s opening session.

Ted Mitchell, president, American Council on Education (ACE)
Interviewer: Jon Riskind, vice president, public affairs and strategic communications, ACE

9:50 - 10:45 a.m.
Navigating Frozen Success: A Conversation With HBCU Presidents

With Historically Black Colleges and Universities receiving more media and philanthropic attention than ever before, college presidents are now grappling with how to simultaneously extend the national spotlight and overcome the phenomenon of “frozen success.” This session will detail this phenomenon and explore the communication and engagement strategies HBCU college presidents are taking to maintain the nation’s attention in ways that honor their legacies, highlight their histories, and sustain their relevance. 

Invited college presidents include:

  • Shaw University President Paulette R. Dillard
  • RPH President Stillman College Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Ph.D.
  • Benedict College President Roslyn Clark Artis
  • Lane College President Logan Hanpton

This session will be moderated by Ashley Northington, vice president and managing director, RW Jones Agency.

10:45 - 11 a.m.

11 - 11:45 a.m.
Maximizing Good News at Your Institution

This session will be moderated by John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, Quinnipiac University. 

Lance D. Kissler, Associate Vice President of University Relations, Eastern Washington University
Andrea Boyle Tippett, Senior Director, External Relations, University of Delaware

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
What Makes Gen Z Click: 5 Critical Factors for Marketing to and Recruiting Gen Z 

We’re in the midst of Generation Z heading to college, considering or attending grad school, or simply thinking about all of the different education paths they can take. They grew up in a different world, have new expectations, and demand different things from higher education. In order for marketing and admission teams to find success with this generation, understanding and adapting communication styles to their high-tech needs are crucial. From web, mobile, and social media behavior, to personality and behaviorally based factors, in this session, we’ll review 5 critical considerations for reaching and communicating with GenZ as you’re assessing your marketing and recruitment strategies for the coming year. 

Rachel Semigran, Director of Enrollment Marketing and Communications, Swarthmore College 
Jaime Oleksik, AVP of Enrollment & Marketing Strategy, Carnegie 

12:30 - 2 p.m.
Neighborhood Lunch Break 

2 - 3 p.m.
Hard-Won Lessons: Perspectives From Before, During & After a Crisis

Whether reckoning with antiracism, diversity, equity, or inclusion-related issues, the upheaval of a pandemic, battles surrounding academic freedom and free expression, or calls for divestment, higher education offers no shortage of challenges for communications and marketing professionals. Ideally, we can all see around the corners in advance and chart our course successfully. Lessons come fast during a crisis, as do opportunities not to be wasted afterward. We'll share case studies and expertise from respected colleagues, identify areas for improvement and focus on how to stay true to values when asked to lead through the worst of times.

Eileen Brangan Mell, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Brian Whitson, Senior Associate Vice President for Communications and Chief Communications Officer, William & Mary
Renell Wynn, Vice President for Communications, Wesleyan University
Moderator: Maggy Ralbovsky, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, RW Jones Agency

3 - 3:45 p.m.
Demonstrating the value of higher education

Those of us in higher education have no doubt that education has the power to change not only the life of an individual, but of a community. But how do we show that in the face of declining trust and questions of whether a degree is worth it? 

Join Brian Flahaven and Andrew Schall of CASE to learn about the Discover the Next initiative, and how to build your institution’s voice to demonstrate the value higher education provides in personal achievement, scientific innovation, economic advancement, and community connection.

3:45 - 4 p.m.

4 - 5 p.m.
CHE Advocate for Higher Education Award and Patrick Jackson Lecture

Gregory L. Fenves, President, Emory University
Jasmine G. Hoffman, MBA, APR, Assistant Vice President, Internal Communications Communications & Marketing, Emory University

6 p.m.
Networking Mixer at The Ven Hotel, sponsored by RW Jones Agency

Thursday, Aug. 11

8 - 8:45 a.m.

8:45 a.m.
Head to Seats

9 - 10 a.m.
DEI Communications: A Data-Driven Approach

Kevin Swartout, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia
Pamela Bishop, Director, Marketing and Communications - Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, University of Utah

Sheena McFarland, chair, Counselors to Higher Education; director of marketing and communications
David Eccles, School of Business, University of Utah

10 - 10:45 a.m.
Lightning Round 

Do you have a short case study, topic or best practice to share? Without using technology, take center stage for 5 minutes to share your ideas with fellow conference attendees. This fast-paced session is back by popular demand and driven by attendees. (To sign up,  please contact Katie Drake at

10:45 - 11 a.m.

11 a.m. - 12 noon
There Are Influencers on Your Campus. Are They Working With or Against You?

The most important video about your campus this year probably won't come from your PR team. Instead, it will come from a student with three million TikTok views or a visiting high schooler with a large Instagram following. Sarah Goldfarb will describe how the University of Delaware created an influencer program, what success can look like, and how to think through strategies for dealing with the other influencers at your college. 

Sarah Goldfarb, Digital Communications Director, University of Delaware

12 Noon - 1 p.m.
Lunch served

1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Journalists Notebook: Covering Higher Education During a Time of Uncertainty

This session will be moderated by Jamie Ceman, vice president for strategic marketing and communications, Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
Journalists: We hope to invite three national journalists from either national trade publications or national publications to join us in D.C.

This session will be moderated by Jamie Ceman, vice president for strategic marketing and communications, Chapman University in Orange, Calif.  

Scott Jaschik, Co-founder, Inside Higher Ed
Sarah Brown, News Editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education

2- 2:30 p.m.
Summit Concludes

Final wrap-up activity
Sheena McFarland, chair, Counselors to Higher Education; director of marketing and communications
David Eccles, School of Business, University of Utah


Note: Schedule, topics and presenters subject to change.


In-Person Conference Registration 
PRSA CHE Member$399
PRSA Member*$499
   Virtual Conference Registration    
PRSA CHE Member$199
PRSA Member*$299


Venue & Hotel

Summit Venue

University of Utah Carriage House in Washington, D.C.
1527 and 1529 18th Street NW (near Dupont Circle)
Washington, DC 20036

Note: The venue may be difficult to find in Google Maps. We will send you directions prior to the event start.

Summit Hotel

We have secured a discounted room block at the Ven at Embassy Row. Call and ask for the PRSA CHE Summit rate.

The Ven at Embassy Row
2015 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Rate: $179.00/night
Phone: (202) 265-1600