Topics & Speakers
Keynote Address: Developing an Innovator's Mindset
Jeremiah Nelson, Director, Enrollment Management, Wake Forest University School of Business, Charlotte, North Carolina Campus
As Graduate Enrollment Management professionals we are uniquely positioned to impact the future of graduate education on our campuses. We are often so busy executing on endless tactics that we fail to recognize opportunities to influence change to improve our programs and our student experiences in them. This interactive session will offer participants a framework to connect with colleagues, identify shared challenges, and explore potential solutions.
Jeremiah Nelson currently works for Wake Forest University School of Business as Director of Enrollment Management for the Charlotte, North Carolina Campus. With more than 20 years of higher education experience, Jeremiah’s responsibilities have spanned a wide range of leadership roles in Graduate Enrollment Management including strategic recruitment, admissions, retention, career and professional development, diversity and inclusion, and student services. He has more than 15 years of experience teaching online, in-person, and hybrid undergraduate and graduate courses in management, leadership, business ethics, and innovation. His most recent teaching adventure was serving as an inaugural faculty member developing and teaching Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice in Higher Education for the online EdD program at Bay Path University.
Jeremiah holds a BS and MS from Central Connecticut State University and MS in Human Resources from Western Carolina University. He earned his PhD in Leadership Studies at North Carolina A&T State University with dissertation research focused on the perceived influence of HR managers on innovation in their organizations. Jeremiah is also currently serving as President of NAGAP, leading the strategic planning initiatives for the organization and editing the recently announced Handbook of Graduate Enrollment Management. His love language is chocolate chip cookies, he’s running half marathons in all 50 states, and he has an unreasonable obsession with dachshunds.
Sustaining Inclusion: Beyond Diversity Correctness
Luis Paredes, Director, Office of Institutional Diversity, Bridgewater State University
In this session, we will engage in a conversation about identity politics in Higher Education. We will pay close attention to the social dynamics that often misinform us about the experiences of different communities. The goal is to begin discussing the inclusion process and how it looks in our daily operations. In other words, we will focus our discussion on creating and implementing data-informed diversity work to advance equity and the closing of achievement gaps.
Dr. Luis F. Paredes is a cultural anthropologist and researches how the performance of marginalized and oppressed bodies conveys identity, embodied memory, and cultural history. Dr. Paredes is the Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Paredes earned his PhD in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York. His work centers on diversity and inclusion best practices with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry; having particular skill in establishing rapport with people from diverse backgrounds. He is an active educator, consultant, and resourceful trainer of diversity and inclusion competencies to support campus-wide initiatives and structural organization. Dr. Paredes envisions a campus community that extends beyond a static definition of diversity and inclusion. Instead, he offers crucial stratagems to acknowledge the changing demographics and cultural paradigms of the larger society. He strategizes to create a community where faculty, students, and staff engage with intercultural dialogue to understand cultural differences and human similarities, and in turn, creates a solid foundation for inclusivity and in the process achieve equity. Dr. Paredes works cross-divisionally and collaboratively with all campus constituencies to enhance campus climate and with campus members in implementing data-informed programs and initiatives and works diligently to meet the goals focused on diversity, equity, and the elimination of achievement and opportunity gaps to further Bridgewater State University’s mission of inclusive excellence. In addition to leading the Office of Institutional Diversity, Dr. Paredes serves as a Visiting Associate Professor in the School of Social Work/MSW program, Dr. Paredes currently serves as a member of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Design Team and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA); he was a fellow at The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy and coached by Dr. Damon A. Williams; he studied at the Intercultural Communication Institute and worked with Dr. Kathryn Sorrells; he was a Visiting Residency Artist at the Duke University Dance Program; and he is the Historian and Archivist of the dance and music company, Perú Negro, nominated one time to the Grammy Awards and four times Latin Grammy Awards.
Promote Me! Successfully Building a Career in GEM
Marcus Hanscom, Director of Graduate Admission, Roger Williams University
Getting a job in graduate admissions or enrollment management can be pretty straightforward. But what if you want to take the next step on the proverbial GEM ladder? Join this session to talk more about a job versus a career in GEM and tips for how you can position yourself for the best opportunities for growth in the field.
Marcus Hanscom is an established higher education marketing and enrollment management professional and consultant, having served in a variety of roles working with undergraduate and graduate students for nearly 15 years. He currently serves as Director of Graduate Admission at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, where he helped facilitate new and continuing student growth and has built graduate student community and services with the University’s first graduate student fees and the inaugural Graduate Student Association. He previously worked in progressive roles in undergraduate and graduate admission at the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT.
Marcus has presented widely on enrollment management and marketing strategies for adult and graduate students at national and regional conferences for Aslanian Market Research, Carnegie Communications, NAGAP, NEGAP, STAMATS, TxGAP, and others, and recently completed his third term on the NAGAP Board of Directors. He was awarded the Future Leader Award by NAGAP in 2012 and was the founding president of NEGAP, the New England Association for Graduate Enrollment Management.
In Their Own Words: What Prospective Grad Students are Saying About Their Search and Decision-Making for Today and Tomorrow
Mark Cunningham, EVP, Business Development, Carnegie Dartlet
In this session, we will review the results and insights from our most recent survey of prospective graduate students and how their graduate school research and selection process is evolving based on the impacts of COVID-19.
We’ll review a number of topics and themes from the survey, including:
- Students' overall mindsets surrounding COVID-19 and their graduate education, including delays in their plans and confidence in being able to afford it
- Preferences for communication and information, both specific to COVID-19 and in general, including channels, frequency, and content
- Potential impacts on their decisions to attend a school they haven't visited, geographic factors for where they’re willing to go, and considerations to attend grad school on campus versus online
- Unfiltered and qualitative responses to what they would describe is the most significant impact COVID-19 is having on their graduate school decision-making process, plus what they would like to see from schools
Mark Cunningham works as the EVP for Carnegie Dartlet. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Mark’s primary focus is helping to ensure we’re developing successful partnerships with clients and organizations. As part of that, Mark oversees Carnegie Dartlet’s Regional Director team and their work to provide college and university clients with the solutions and services that will help them reach their goals.
Mark's background encompasses almost 20 years in recruitment services and marketing, and his expertise revolves around helping clients reach, engage, and convert the audiences that are most important to them.
He lives in the western suburbs of Boston and spends most of his time enjoying everything New England has to offer with his wife and two sons.
Strategic Digital and Organic Marketing Initiatives – How a Blended Approach Can Enhance Brand Awareness and Conversion
Katie Beczak, Associate Director of International Enrollment, Rochester Institute of Technology
Ashley Hurley, Marketing Advisor, School of Graduate Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland
As institutions adapt to an environment where virtual outreach is necessary to reach students without travel, effective marketing strategies are particularly essential. This presentation will provide an understanding of best practices and ideas to share information with prospective students via paid campaigns, social media outreach, and other forms of digital marketing. Attendees will learn how to reach their target audiences via a variety of different methods, and understand how to best reach different populations through a multi-pronged approach.
Katie Beczak is Associate Director of International Enrollment at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she directs outreach and recruitment efforts throughout South and Central Asia and overseas marketing and admissions for undergraduate and graduate international students. Before joining RIT she worked in graduate enrollment management for the University at Buffalo and the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Katie is currently NAGAP’s Marketing Chair, having served in the past as Chair of Professional Development and President of CAPGAP (NAGAP’s Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter.)
Ashley Hurley is the Marketing Advisor for the School of Graduate Studies, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. She develops and executes marketing and communications strategies, and recruitment and retention initiatives, and manages social media platforms, departmental websites, event planning and communications. Ashley currently serves as a member of NAGAP’s Professional Development Institute (PDI) Committee as Marketing Liaison, and is a member of CAGAP, the Canadian chapter of NAGAP.
Separating Fact from Fiction in Post-Pandemic Graduate Enrollment Management
Robert Ruiz, Vice President of Strategic Enrollment, Liaison, and Managing Director, BusinessCAS community
During this interactive presentation, admissions expert Robert Ruiz will facilitate a “true-or-false” quiz covering several topics graduate leaders must navigate as we look toward a post-pandemic world. From evolving recruitment strategies, to innovative pricing models, to modernizing admissions technology, attendees will explore current and potential disruptions across the graduate enrollment management (GEM) field. Ruiz will challenge conventional wisdom, and share research and real-world examples that highlight necessary changes graduate programs will grapple with in order to thrive in the aftermath of COVID-19. Participate to gain insights into what GEM will look like in fall 2020 and beyond.
Robert Ruiz currently serves as Liaison’s vice president of strategic enrollment and managing director of the BusinessCAS community. He specializes in diversity-based admissions, emerging technologies, operational efficiencies and process management. He has held senior admission roles at Tulane University and Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and served as vice president of application services for the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Most recently, he worked for 10 years as the director of admission at the University of Michigan Medical School. Robert has an M.A. in Higher Education Administration and a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Michigan.
Before You Recruit: Using Data to Design a Strategy
Kathryn Kendall, Senior Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Online Programs, University at Buffalo School of Social Work
This introductory session will equip participants with basic knowledge and advisement around designing and implementing a recruitment strategy. Emphasis will be placed on where to find available data, establishing trend data, and use data analyses to inform a variety of decision making challenges across the enrollment cycle.
Kathryn Kendall is the Senior Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Online Programs at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She earned a Bachelor degree in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University at Buffalo, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Rochester specializing in Higher Education Leadership. Kathryn has been a Clinical Social Worker practicing in New York State since 1995. She has been in higher education for over 17 years, and currently oversees enrollment management, strategic marketing, and admissions for the School of Social Work. She additionally oversees the logistical coordination of their DSW and MSW online degrees. Kathryn is a graduate of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) (previously known as Penn State/SLOAN-C) Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL), appointed to the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP) professional development institute (PDI) and education committees, past Vice President and Treasurer of New York Graduate Admissions Professionals Chapter (NYGAP), and currently the Co-President for the National Deans and Directors of Graduate Social Work Admissions (NDDSWA). Kathryn resides in Buffalo, NY with her partner, and in her personal time competes in Highland Games throughout the year.
Is There Hope for Enrolling International Students?
Steven Shaw, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of International Admissions, University at Buffalo
In these very turbulent times, it may seem like we are tilting at windmills to recruit and enroll international students. There seems to be no end to the obstacles we face: the COVID-19 global pandemic, difficulty obtaining visas, travel restrictions, potential quarantines, slumping economies, threats against optional practical training (OPT), and increasing sentiments of inhospitableness. In this session we will review the current international enrollment landscape; we’ll look at current and near-future trends; and we’ll share and discuss ideas to ameliorate the hurdles our international students are facing.
Steven Shaw is the Assistant Vice Provost and Director of International Admissions at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Steven has more than 30 years' experience in the field of international education and has lived and worked in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand. As Assistant Vice Provost and Director of UB’s Office of International Admissions, Steven oversees all aspects of international undergraduate and graduate admissions and is responsible for developing and reviewing all international admissions policies and procedures; in addition, he travels and recruits extensively around the world. Steven regularly presents lectures, workshops, training, and consultations both nationally and internationally. He serves on numerous boards and advisory councils for national and international bodies.
You Can Handle the Truth: Legal Issues in Graduate Enrollment Management
Carrie Ryan Gallia, Senior Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, University of Minnesota
A discussion of legal issues doesn't need to inspire fear or dread. Instead, in this session, we'll demystify issues related to admissions that raise legal concerns and give you the tools to identify when you should call your general counsel for advice. Among other things, we'll discuss sound general principles to guide your enrollment management approach, legal issues in the application process, how to handle tricky cases, the ins and outs of FERPA, and the role of race and other diversity factors in recruitment, admissions, and retention.
Carrie Ryan Gallia joined the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Minnesota in 2016. She practices in the areas of litigation and student affairs, and she advises on a variety of issues, including admissions, constitutional issues, and Title IX. Prior to joining the University, Carrie was an attorney at Lindquist & Vennum and, before that, at Fish & Richardson, both in Minneapolis. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in English Literature and earned an M.F.A. in dramaturgy from the Columbia University School of the Arts. In 2008, Carrie received her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she served as a Managing Editor of the Minnesota Law Review, was a member of the Order of the Coif, and won the William B. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, and Service. After law school, Carrie served as a law clerk to Judge Carlos T. Bea on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Graduate Marketing Best Practices or Current Practices? A Review of Survey Findings
Scott Jeffe, Vice President Graduate and Online Research, RNL; Charles Ramos, Vice President and Account Executive, RNL
In late 2019, RNL and NAGAP conducted a national survey of graduate level marketers and recruiters. We were seeking to understand current practices related to marketing to, recruiting, and cultivating graduate students. Key findings from this survey (of close to 100 institutions) will be presented, with an ensuing discussion focused on whether current practices are likely to be adequate to confront the challenges and opportunities that we all face today in higher education.
We will provide some context on the state of graduate education, then go on to discuss program formats and schedules and compare with other national research showcasing what graduate students themselves say they want. From there we will review: the state of specific marketing and communications plans for the graduate audience; the details of marketing and advertising; and finally the details of communications/cultivation plans. At each step, we will leverage the work we do with hundreds of graduate programs each year to help attendees determine how best to ensure that their operations are ready for what comes next.
Scott Jeffe is Vice President of Research – Graduate and Online. Over more than 20 years, Scott has worked with more than 200 institutions in 40+ states to apply market data on nontraditional audiences to strategic decision making. With a focus on profiling the demands and preferences of working professional graduate students, undergraduate adult degree completers, and online students, Scott has developed a unique sensitivity to ensuring that programs align with student demand while upholding institutional mission and values. Scott was Carol Aslanian’s research partner for 23 years, first at the College Board, then at Aslanian Group and EducationDynamics.
He is a regular presenter at national conferences focusing on both the surfacing of market data and the strategic application of such data to enrollment growth. He is the author, co-author, or contributor of numerous reports and presentations focusing in recent years on “post-traditional” undergraduate and graduate students. He has recently presented findings of RNL research on marketing best practices for adult undergraduates as well similar research at the graduate level. Other presentations include: findings from a national study on the demands and preference of post-traditional graduate students at the AMA Higher Education Symposium, findings from the 2018 Online College Student report at the CALEM conference, and leveraging market data to inform strategic program development at the RNL national conference.
Charles Ramos has spent the better part of this 24 year career consulting for, and affecting positive change that has equated to increased enrollment and sustainable revenue growth in the undergraduate, graduate, online and non-traditional markets for over 100 institutions across the United States and Canada.
GEM Hot Topics with the NAGAP Board of Directors
Jeremiah Nelson, Director, Enrollment Management, Wake Forest University School of Business, NAGAP President; Kristen Sterba, Associate Provoste for Students and Administration, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, NAGAP Vice President; Keith Ramsdell, Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Enrollment, Bowling Green State University, NAGAP Immediate Past President; Naronda Wright, Administrative Specialist, Georgia Southern University, NAGAP Secretary; Andrew Kim, Director of Graduate Enrolment Services, Memorial University of Newfoundland, NAGAP Treasurer
Jeremiah Nelson currently works for Wake Forest University School of Business as Director of Enrollment Management for the Charlotte, North Carolina Campus. With more than 20 years of higher education experience, Jeremiah’s responsibilities have spanned a wide range of leadership roles in Graduate Enrollment Management including strategic recruitment, admissions, retention, career and professional development, diversity and inclusion, career and professional development, and student services. He has more than 15 years of experience teaching online, in-person, and hybrid undergraduate and graduate courses in management, leadership, business ethics, and innovation. His most recent teaching adventure was serving as an inaugural faculty member developing and teaching Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice in Higher Education for the online EdD program at Bay Path University. Jeremiah holds a BS and MS from Central Connecticut State University and MS in Human Resources from Western Carolina University. He earned his PhD in Leadership Studies at North Carolina A&T State University with dissertation research focused on the perceived influence of HR managers on innovation in their organizations. Jeremiah is also currently serving as President of NAGAP, leading the strategic planning initiatives for the organization and editing the recently announced Handbook of Graduate Enrollment Management. His love language is chocolate chip cookies, he’s running half marathons in all 50 states, and he has an unreasonable obsession with dachshunds.
Kristen Sterba has been working in GEM for over 16 years with experience in admissions, recruitment, policy, institutional research, accreditation, grants, and student services. Kristen Sterba currently serves as Associate Provost for Students and Administration at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She oversees the Departments of Enrollment Services, Institutional Research, Policy and Accreditation, Campus Life, and Title IX/ADA accommodations. Kristen has been involved in NAGAP in numerous capacities including service on the NAGAP Governing Board as Research and Global Issues chair, Secretary, Special Projects chair, and currently as Vice President. She currently serves on the NAGAP Experts Bureau and Leadership Cultivation and Elections Committee. Kristen has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Keith Ramsdell has nearly 25 years of progressive leadership experience in higher education and enrollment management. For the past 14 years his focus has been in graduate enrollment management. Since 2014, Keith has served as Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Enrollment at Bowling Green State University. In this capacity he has been involved in all aspects of graduate education, from marketing, admissions, and new student orientation to new program development, curriculum review, and strategic planning. Keith is also involved in NAGAP and is currently serving as immediate past president of the association. He has presented at national conferences on topics including data-informed decision making, selecting and implementing a CRM, engaging faculty, and GEM best practices.
Naronda Wright is an Administrative Specialist at Georgia Southern University. She currently serves as NAGAP Board Secretary. Naronda has participated in NAGAP as Conference Planning Committee Chair for the past two years as well as served as a member Conference Planning Committee in various roles.
Andrew Kim is Director, Graduate Enrolment Services for the School of Graduate Studies. He holds a BSc in biochemistry and an MBA, both from Memorial University. He is a past board member of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS), a current board member for the Association for Graduate Enrollment Management (NAGAP), and the founding President of NAGAP’s Canadian Chapter. Andrew’s work in graduate education and enrolment management is acknowledged through multiple industry awards, including the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) SEM Award of Excellence. He has published and presented widely on topics related to graduate student success.