A Conference for Higher Ed Marketers

Feb 17-19, 2020

The Kimpton Brice Hotel, Savannah, GA


Featuring an all-new format, Stamats 2020 is the total recruitment package: Attendees will explore innovative strategies for reaching and converting non-traditional and adult students, learn best practices for recruiting traditional students, and discover how to engage with each of these audiences using the latest tools and research.

The full conference is $850 with options to select attendance for one, two, or three days. Optional workshops available on day one.

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Dr. Harold Lee Martin, Sr.

Chancellor of North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical
State University


Richie C. Hunter

Vice President, Strategic Communications
& External Relations
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


John McLoughlin, MPA

Senior Director of Enrollment
Concordia College-New York

Who Should Attend

Any higher ed professional who’s involved in the planning and implementation of marketing and programming directed at traditional (first-year freshmen, transfers) and non-traditional (undergraduate, graduate) students.

This Includes

  • Undergraduate/degree completion programs
  • Graduate programs
  • Continuing education programs
  • Certificate programs
  • Online/hybrid degree programs

Schedule at a Glance

Monday, February 17 – Conference Day 1

Registration Open 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

8:00-11:00 a.m.

Workshop: Developing a Powerful Brand (Optional)

Beatrice Szalas, Vice President for Client Services, Stamats

Jim Brown, Marketing Director, Marywood University

It all starts with a powerful brand. Join Beatrice and Jim for this popular and proven brand workshop. Explore important research and relevant strategies to reinvigorate your brand. This is a great opportunity to network with your colleagues and shape a plan to assess your institution’s brand health.

8:00-11:00 a.m.

Workshop: What Thriving Institutions Look Like in 2020 and Beyond (Optional)

Bob Sevier, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Stamats

Help your institution thrive in these turbulent times. Bob will share the most up-to-date information on critical issues such as institutional vision, leadership, revenue diversification, academic portfolio management, recruitment best practices, and more!

8:00-11:00 a.m.

Workshop: Admissions Training (Optional)

Ryan Trout, Founder and CEO of Admissions Counselor Training

Designed for admissions leaders and their teams, this session goes beyond the process side of admissions to focus on the importance of relationship-development. You’ll leave with the information you need to provide year-round professional development.

1:00-1:50 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Dr. Harold Lee Martin Sr.

Chancellor of North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University

2:00-2:50 p.m.

Agile Marketing

Amy Luethmers, Chief Marketing Officer, University of Wisconsin – Stout

Now more than ever before, marketing and recruitment success depends on having a strong project management framework. In this session, you’ll be introduced to the Agile Marketing movement and learn how you can incorporate this approach to deliver winning results.

A Case Study: Creating Successful Recruitment Communications

Trista Wdziekonski, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Using a shared services model, the University of Michigan-Dearborn moved from a decentralized to centralized graduate admissions operation. Since then, trust has grown, a CRM has been implemented, and the university is working on a graduate communication plan designed to cultivate relationships with prospects at every stage of the admissions funnel.

3:00-3:50 p.m.

Inspired Collaboration: Three Agencies, One System

Terri Giltner, System Director of Marketing at Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Eric Sickler, Vice President for Client Services, The Thorburn Group

Imagine being asked to align the brands of 16 community colleges plus the system they form, while making sure each maintains its distinctive personality. Learn how three agencies collaborated with KCTCS to successfully meet this massive branding challenge.

One Message, Three Audiences

Jenny Carrick, Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The message matters. At a new graduate school, a team of two went from repurposing content for their prospective student, donor and alumni audiences to developing unique content for each. Learn how they did it using strategic calendars, themes, and more.

4:00-4:50 p.m.

Using Facebook & LinkedIn to Increase Lead Quality and Conversion

Cody Watson, Associate Director of Marketing, William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business

A case study from William & Mary’s Flex MBA Program, illustrates how to apply the data gathered through marketing channels to increase conversions. Focusing on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn we’ll examine how to leverage each platform’s strengths to get your message to the right candidates at the right time.

Achieving the Dream: Interdepartmental Team Success

Dr. Tracy Duncan, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Program Development, Pillar College

Strong intra-and inter-departmental collaboration is linked to higher student enrollment and greater student success. In this session, we’ll explore how to tear down the silos that undermine institutional effectiveness and nurture a culture that’s united by a common vision.

Evening: Networking & Dinner Opportunities

Tuesday, February 18 – Conference Day 2

Registration Open and Breakfast 7:00 a.m.-7:50 a.m.

8:00-8:50 a.m.

KEYNOTE: Richie C. Hunter

Vice President, Strategic Communications and External RelationsRensselaer Polytechnic Institute

9:00-9:50 a.m.

How a Call-to-Action Strategy Can Improve your Marketing ROI

Mariah Obiedzinski, Director of Content Services, Stamats

Implementing a call-to-action (CTA) strategy is a simple way to improve the user experience, simplify enrollment, and improve conversion. In this interactive session, you’ll learn the uses and benefits different types of CTAs and how to develop an effective strategy for your website

In a Digital World, One Size Does Not Fit All

Cory Cozad, Account Executive, Stamats

Americans are exposed to a staggering 4,000-10,000 ads every day. This session highlights ways colleges and universities can cut through the competing noise. We’ll examine how to use digital advertising strategically, engage users through personalized content, and continuously optimize campaigns for greater results.

10:00-10:50 a.m.

How To Conduct Your Own Content Audit

Joan Benson, Associate Vice President, Creative and Digital Strategy, Stamats

This is the ultimate DIY guide to auditing your website’s content, complete with definitions, strategies, tools, and tactics. You’ll learn about the three main types of audits, what situation each one serves best, software tools to speed you along, and steps for conducting each type.

The B.S. without the B.S.*

Kelly Paul, Assistant Director of Marketing, UNC Greensboro Online

Get an inside look at how UNC Greensboro designed and launched an unexpectedly bold marketing campaign for a new online degree. Discover how they developed and tested key messages and creative, and the steps they took to build campus buy-in.

*Big Sacrifice, Big Spending, Being Stuck, Being Scared, Brutal Schedule

10:00-10:50 a.m.

Digital Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Sandra Fancher, Chief Innovation Officer, Stamats

While digital trends are constantly in flux, it’s imperative that institutions rise to the challenge and keep pace. With an eye toward better navigating the future, Sandra will explore what changes we can expect in 2020 and beyond.

10:50-11 a.m.

Coffee Break

12:00-12:50 p.m.

Making Movies

Jason Jones, Award-Winning Photographer & Filmmaker at JonesFoto

From the Cineplex to the phone in your pocket, moving pictures are everywhere. This presentation explores best practices to reach audiences of all ages through a variety of video production and post-production techniques. We’ll also discuss how to use video to elevate your institution’s brand.

Lunch Provided

1:00-1:50 p.m.

Creating Demand for the Win

Randy Burge, Vice President, Stamats
Peter Glanville, Marketing Automation Manager, Cornell University SC Johnson School of Business

In the world of elite business schools, enrollment decisions are often based upon incremental differences in rankings. This detailed case study examines how the MBA programs at Cornell’s Johnson College of Business beat formidable competitors using the techniques of demand generation marketing.

2:00-2:50 p.m.

System, Meet Reality: How to Make Your CMS Work for Your Campus

Lin Larson, Digital Strategist, Stamats | Kelly O’Brien, Digital Strategist, Stamats

The question isn’t should you have a content management system (you must), but what are you doing with your CMS. In this session, two former Big 10 communications and marketing pros will explore new ways your CMS can keep your SEO, accessibility, and content strategy running efficiently.

Maximizing The Leverage of Your Brand

Bill Thorburn, Executive Creative Director and CEO, The Thorburn Group

In this dynamic session, Bill Thorburn discusses his firm’s work with Polaroid, Coke, National Geographic and other iconic brands committed to creating deeper brand experiences. Join us as we explore how colleges and universities can apply lessons from some of the top consumer brands in the world.

2:50-3:00 p.m.

Coffee Break

3:00-3:50 p.m.

Six Tips to Doom Your Brand Transformation

Darren White, Brand Consultant, D. White & Company

Here’s higher ed marketing’s dirty little secret: College and university rebrands fail every day – and not for the reasons you might expect. Explore the hidden pitfalls that sink campus rebrands – and learn how to avoid them. For those launching or revamping a new brand soon, this session is a can’t-miss.

Is Email Dead – Or Did College Admissions Kill It?

Hayley Wolf, TargetX

What happens when you're a prospective college student? Turns out, you get a lot of emails. Last year a student on Reddit posted his analysis of the 2,374 emails he received from 115 different institutions during the college search process. So what can we learn from this? We'll look at what schools are doing wrong when it comes to email marketing (from the student’s perspective) and share our 10 tips for adjusting your email strategy to minimize email fatigue and build credibility and interest with prospective students.

4:00-4:50 p.m.

From Online Activity to Enrolled Student

Drew Miller Director, College Partnerships

When you understand how students prefer to connect and engage with the schools they’re considering, you can drive conversion. This session explores how traditional, adult, online, and international students communicate with institutions across all devices, channels, and major social media platforms.

A Future That Matters: Telling Your College’s New Story in a Period of Rapid Change

Lisa Brosky, Vice Chancellor, External Relations, Pima Community College

In our current higher education landscape change is coming, whether we want it or expect it. Using Pima Community College's rapid transition from a failing institution to premier community college, learn to recognize when change demands a new story and how to adapt to shifting expectations.

Evening: Networking & Dinner Opportunities

Wednesday, February 19 – Conference Day 3

Registration Open and Breakfast 7:00 a.m.-7:50 a.m.

8:00-8:50 a.m.

KEYNOTE: John McLoughlin

Senior Director of Enrollment, Concordia College, NY

9:00-9:50 a.m.

Top 10 Marketing Miscues and Remedies

Bob Sevier, Senior Vice President, Stamats

What are the 10 most common marketing mistakes in higher education? What are they costing you? How can you correct them? In this session, you’ll learn how to focus departmental resources, get the most out of research, communicate with purpose, and grow enrollment.

Making the Shortlist: Reach, Recruit, Convert Transfer Students

Becky Morehouse, Senior Vice President, Stamats

The term “transfer student” is exasperatingly imprecise. Whether they’ve taken a single class or accumulated 90 credits, a new transfer student offers colleges and universities opportunities . . . and challenges. In this session, we’ll reveal three activities to turn any type of transfer prospect into a student.

10:00-10:50 a.m.

Connecting the Dots with Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Data Studio

Dave Olsen, Professional Technologist, WVU University Relations – Digital Services

"Data-driven marketing" is more than a buzz-worthy term – it's a proven success strategy you can achieve with the right tools. In this session, learn how West Virginia University implements dashboards and workflows to meet data-driven marketing goals.

Critical Knowledge for Website Accessibility

Joan Benson, Associate Vice President, Digital & Creative Strategy | Stamats Mariah Obiedzinski, Director of Content Services, Stamats

Ensuring that your site is accessible to all engages every web discipline. Together, everyone has to make it work. This session covers the basics, ongoing practice, and the emerging challenges in accessibility for college and university websites, no matter your role.

11:00-11:50 a.m.

The Best of: Web, Mobile, and Design Strategies

Sandra Fancher, Chief Innovation Officer, Stamats

Your website is the core of your marketing and recruitment efforts. In this session, well take a look at who’s getting it right by touring top websites in higher education and other related industries. Learn how to handle complex site challenges through real-world examples.

Transforming the College Visit

Alicia Kornowa, Director of Admissions, Western Michigan University

Since the campus visit is most trusted source of information for prospects, it’s crucial to make sure your campus is presented authentically and effectively. Join us as we discuss what to consider when developing and refining the campus visit.

12:00 pm

Conference Concludes


Kimpton Brice Hotel | The Southern Belle of Hotels in Savannah GA

The Kimpton Brice Hotel is like any good Southern belle — beautiful and poised on the outside, a bit sassy and rebellious on the inside. Enjoy the boutique hotel’s urban resort vibe right in the center of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, filled with museums, churches, gardens, monuments, mansions and more. In fact, The Kimpton Brice Hotel is centrally located in the historic district, just a cobblestone’s throw away from the famed River Street and walking distance to City Market. No need to choose between storied and modern when you can get both at The Kimpton Brice Hotel.

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"Savannah's Coolest Hotel"

- Fodor's Travel 2018

"Best Hotels in the South, 2018"

- Southern Living


Directions from the Savannah Airport

  • When leaving the Savannah airport, head south on I-95 South.
  • Take I-95 South until you come to Exit 99 A/B (I-16).
  • Take I-16 East until it ends and merges with Montgomery Street.
  • Stay on Montgomery Street until you reach Bay Street.
  • Turn right on Bay Street and continue 10 blocks.
  • We are on the right at the corner of Bay and Houston Streets.

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The dining scene in Savannah is as varied as the cuisine. From Southern cuisine to more down-home establishments to upscale New American, you will have a virtual smorgasbord of dining and food options here. Check out just some of the many great places to eat in Savannah, Georgia!

Restaurant Options »

Things to See in Savannah

Walk or Ride to Nearby Attractions from The Kimpton Brice Hotel.

Emmet Park (1 block)
Savannah History Museum - 1.2 miles
Savannah Riverboat Cruises - 0.4 miles
Savannah Theatre - 0.7 miles

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