(Banner graphic of PRSA 2018 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit logo)

PRSA 2018 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit

The Forum for Leaders in Higher Education Communications

April 11–13 | Nashville, Tenn.

The 2018 program is still in development.

For interest in submission requirements, please click on the CFP button
on the top of the home page.

Download Final Presentations

Wednesday, April 5

11 a.m.7:30 p.m.Registration
12 p.m.

General Session I: “Turn Off Your Twitter: A Closed Door Discussion With Senior PR Pros”

Bring your toughest questions and biggest PR issues to this session. Senior PR pros from the CHE Advisory Group will provide their perspectives on topics including presidential/leadership transition, the state of PR in higher education, crisis management and other topics.


2:153:15 p.m.

General Session II: “Brand Z: The Next Generation of Undergraduate Recruitment Strategies”
Tom Klug, Associate Vice President of Marketing, Virginia Commonwealth University
Nathan Hanger, Creative Director, Virginia Commonwealth University

3:304:30 p.m.

General Session III: Presidential Transitions
Jeff Weiss, President, Lesley University
Hilary A. Douwes, Director of Marketing, Mount St. Mary’s University
Erin A. Hennessy, Vice President, TVP Communications

5:307 p.m.

Welcome Reception
Join newcomers, the Counselors to Higher Education Executive Committee and other conference attendees for networking over cocktails and appetizers as we kick off this year’s Senior Summit.

79 p.m.

Patrick Jackson Lecture and Dinner
“Proving the Value of Public Relations”
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, Ph.D., President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Sponsored by Merit

Thursday, April 6

7:30 a.m.5 p.m.Registration
8–8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45–10 a.m.

General Session IV: “Arm Wrestling With Your Lawyer: How to Win Every Time”
Mark R. Weaver, Founder & President, Communications Counsel
Joe Brennan, Vice President for Communication & Marketing, The University at Albany – SUNY

10:15–11:15 a.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session I: “Strategic on a Shoestring”
Nancy E. Collins, APR, Communications Strategist, Collins Communications
Melissa Farmer Richards, Vice President for Communications, University Communications, St. Lawrence University

Breakout Session II: “Tips to Make Scientific Research Sound Sexy and Secure Results”
Jeremy Katzman, M.B.A., APR, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications, Nova Southeastern University College of Allopathic Medicine and NSU Research Initiatives
Joe Donzelli, Associate Director, Public Relations, Nova Southeastern University

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Keynote Luncheon: “From Rescue to Revival: Reframing the Story of Sweet Briar College”
Joelle Ziemian, Director of Media, Marketing and Communications, Sweet Briar College
Sponsored by Dick Jones Communications

1–1:45 p.m.Break
1:45–2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session III: “A Cultural Shift: New CCO Boot Camp”
Sean Rossall, CEO/Managing Partner, Dick Jones Communications
Renell Wynn, Vice Chancellor for Communications & Marketing, University of Denver
Ray Betzner, Associate Vice President, Executive Communications, Temple University

Breakout Session IV: “Building Reputation Through Controlled Messages”
Elizabeth Sullivan Roseman, Director, Media Relations, New York Institute of Technology
David White, COO, Keybridge Communications

3:15–4:30 p.m.

General Session V: “Lightning Round: Five Minutes of Fame”
Anne Sroka, Chief of Staff, Becker College
Michael Hagearty, Director, Campus Communications, Georgia Institute of Technology

5:00–6:00 p.m.

Sponsor Reception
Join us for hosted drinks and colleague networking before you head off to a dine-around or out to an evening free in Washington, D.C.

6:30 p.m.

Dinner Out*
Join a group of colleagues at one of the many terrific Washington, D.C. restaurants* or enjoy a free evening on your own. Sign up at the registration desk. Groups will meet in and leave from the hotel lobby.

*Attendees are responsible for the cost of their own dinner.

Friday, April 7

7:30 a.m.–1 p.m.Registration
7:30–8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and Networking
Participate in small group discussions with Summit attendees and connect on the most pressing issues facing your work in higher education communications.

8:30–9:45 a.m.

General Session VI: “You Are the Key: Prevent Harassment & Discrimination BEFORE a Crisis Erupts”
Mike McCall, Principal, MJ Consulting
Lisa Cutter, President, Cutter Communications
Cathy McCall, Managing Director, Hamilton Hill Associates

10–11:30 a.m. 

General Session VII: “Surviving a Scandal With Your Reputation and Integrity Intact”
John N. Diamond, President/Executive Director, University of Maine Alumni Association

Noon–1:30 p.m.

Closing Luncheon: “National Media Panel on Higher Education”
The gathering, reporting and consumption of news by students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the community come from a variety of sources and at an unprecedented speed. Join a lively panel of national journalists for a conversation on what news landscape changes mean for our colleges, universities and the future.
Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed
Scott Smallwood, Managing Editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Libby Nelson, Associate Editor for Policy & Politics, voxdotcom

1:30 p.m.Summit Concludes