Environments for Humans
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.eduGuru Summit 2013 logo

The online, live higher ed internet marketing & web dev conference

In-kind Sponsors

New Riders

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in and for an all-new, two-day online conference, the .eduGuru Summit 2013! Bring the experts to your desktop March 27-28, 2013 from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

Strategy Track \\ Mar 27, 2013 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Donna Talarico mugshot

How to Create a Culture of Sharing 9am CT

by Donna Talarico, Integrated Marketing Manager at Elizabethtown College

Sharing is nice. We've known that since kindergarten, right?

Yet, why are so many things still siloed in higher ed? Generating fresh content and sharing accurate, up-to-date information is pivotal to a college website's success, and sharing said content through social media and other marketing channels is equally important.

In this session, Donna will show you how to share content and coordinate story ideas and information across campus?and give tips on motivating others to get in the habit of sharing.

Also, she will show you examples of how she and her colleagues at Elizabethtown College use features from within their CMS to create and manage sharable content--from a single figure like tuition to page content and forms--which makes everyone's lives easier.

About Donna Talarico

Donna Talarico works in Office of Marketing Communications at Elizabethtown College as integrated marketing manager. She was an adjunct faculty member at Wilkes University, where she designed and taught a course in PR and Social Media; she frequently presents in classrooms and boardrooms on the same topic. From 2007 to 2010, Talarico worked in sales and marketing at Solid Cactus, a leading eCommerce developer.

She?s also worked in the continuing education field as a career school admissions representative and in various aspects of radio, including promotions and on-air. Until she relocated to Central Pa., she was a long-time contributing writer for Wilkes-Barre?s highly popular alternative weekly, The Weekender, landing dozens of covers stories. She is the founder and publisher of Hippocampus Magazine, a online monthly literary magazine dedicated to creative nonfiction. She has an MFA in creative writing and a BA in communication studies, both from Wilkes University.

Matt Herzberger mugshot

Building a Successful Web Team 10am CT

by Matt Herzberger, Director of Web Communications at FIU

Matt will talk about the importance of building the right web team for your organization.

He will help identify the common needs of organizations and discuss the importance of picking the right blend of talents and personalities. He will also dicuss how to keep your team motivated and driven.

About Matt Herzberger

Matt is the Director of Web Communications at Florida International University. With over thirteen years higher ed experience. He has worked as a designer and strategist for various higher ed institutions.

Matt is active in the higher ed and local Miami communities in advocating for the use of web technologies as a speaker and community leader. He is also a co-founder of the BlogHighEd blog network.

Michael McCready mugshot

Establishing a Social Media Program 11am CT

by Michael McCready, Manager, Marketing & Web Development at NorQuest College

Social media has been adopted by many (if not all) higher education institutions, but is still in it's infancy.

Social media is more than tweeting and wall posts.

In this session you'll learn how to develop a sustainable social media program which includes crisis management, governance, training, strategy development and more.

In addition, we'll discuss techniques for generating buy-in for the social media nay-sayers on campus.

About Michael McCready

Biography forthcoming.

Jeff Stevens mugshot

What Robocop Can Teach Us about Alumni Engagement 1pm CT

by Jeff Stevens, Web Content Optimizer at UF&Shands

Today's economy puts alumni foundation and development officers in a unique position: creating a model of engagement for an increasing number of college graduates who will not be able to provide recurring gifts for decades.

Building on examples from non-profit and Web 2.0 businesses, this TED-style talk will present a model for reaching this demographic and making them involved and eager members of the larger campus community, and look at institutions taking this model into practice.

About Jeff Stevens

Jeff Stevens has worn many hats in his 12 year higher education career: graphic designer, web developer, content manager, social media coordinator, writer. Having served as webmaster for University of Florida Student Financial Affairs and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he now acts as Web Content Optimizer for UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, where he plans content strategies and advises on analytics, search engine optimization, usability, accessibility, information architecture and social media metrics. Jeff is also the Creative Director for Union Design & Photo, a freelance web communications agency.

Tim Nekritz mugshot

How Student Blogs, Video and More Can Help You Meet Goals and Provide Solutions 2pm CT

by Tim Nekritz, Director of Web Communication at SUNY Oswego

We all know current students are great ambassadors—colleges use them for campus tours and donor communication—but what about empowering their creativity for the social media space?

This is what we've done at SUNY Oswego, where student blogging has moved beyond "this is what I did this week" to dynamic multimedia series tackling such strategic topics as college transition ("Alyssa Explains It All") to what to do around the college and community ("Kwame Belle's Bucket List") to health and wellness ("Head2Toe Health with Heather").

What don't you need? A huge budget.

What do you need? Willingness to empower students to carry out creative ideas.

This presentation will include examples, takeaway suggestions and some of our active, creative student video bloggers.

About Tim Nekritz

Biography forthcoming.

Amanda Costello mugshot

I Don't Have Your Ph.D.: Working with Faculty and the Web 3pm CT

by Amanda Costello, Lead Content Strategist at University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development

How do you make sense of and promote faculty research if you have no background in their subject area, let alone an advanced degree? How can you work with difficult faculty personalities, from the complete technophobe to the extreme early adopter?

This session will draw from Amanda's experience as a web designer and content strategist at the University of Minnesota, one of the country's largest research institutions. Learn how to channel your faculty's expertise into great web content, and build their trust in your knowledge and skills. Bring your questions, triumphs, and war stories!

About Amanda Costello

Amanda Costello is the lead content strategist in the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), and the director of MinneWebCon, a grassroots knowledge-sharing web conference in Minnesota.

She has worked for the University in various departments since 2002, and joined CEHD in 2007. A former English teacher in Japan, she values clear communication and having a plan (plus a couple of back-ups).

Amanda is an award-winning speaker on working with content specialists and the web, content strategy, building web teams, and sharing ideas to do good work. She enjoys filling out forms because it feels like taking a test where she knows all the answers.


Technical Track \\ Mar 28, 2013 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)


SEO for the Modern College Newsroom 9am CT

by Kyle James, Co-Founder, nuCloud

Search Engine Optimization is commonly shortened to SEO.

SEO is a complete industry with expected spending in 2014 to reach $5 billion dollars.

The thing is SEO is not rocket scientist no matter what those spammy SEO marketers who promise #1 ranking tell you.

It's also not snake oil or pixie dust.

SEO is all about usability and accessibility and in this presentation we will discuss actionable items that you can take back and apply to your newsroom.

About Kyle James

Kyle is the CEO & Co-Founder at nuCloud and formerly the webmaster at Wofford College.

He also spent almost 4 years at HubSpot doing a range of jobs including inbound marketing consulting, sales, management, and product management.

Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media.

He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.


WordPress FUNctions 10am CT

by Lacy Tite, Director of Vanderbilt Web Communications

This session will be entirely about the magic of the functions.php file in your WordPress theme. Eliminate bulky plugins with a few lines (customize login page, expand user profiles, adding new user roles, altering user role permissions, including thumbnails in RSS feeds, etc.).

Discover the power of shortcodes and how they can be used to simplify your user experience.

You'll leave this session with a lot of examples of things you can add into the functions.php file and how to then use that throughout your theme files, or inline in posts and pages.

About Lacy Tite

As Director of University Web Communications here at Vanderbilt, Lacy is responsible for the development of the top level pages of vanderbilt.edu (including the Vanderbilt homepage) and the main news/communications websites, as well as providing web development services and consulting for the VU community. She builds web applications, determines information architecture, curates 365@VU and helps manage Vanderbilt?s social media presences


WordPress Themes 101 11am CT

by Curtiss Grymala, Webmaster at University of Mary Washington

On first glance, the WordPress theme API can look like a large, unwieldy beast, but with that size and scale comes an unparallelled flexibility.

During this session, we'll run through a brief overview of the theme API and some of the handiest tips and tricks for developing your own WordPress theme.

We will briefly review the differences between frameworks, parent themes and child themes, and how you can use each to your advantage.

About Curtiss Grymala

Curtiss Grymala is the University Webmaster at the University of Mary Washington.

He is also the president and main principal behind Ten-321.

He has more than 15 years experience working in the field of website development and management.

He is formally trained in PHP and MySQL, with expert level experience in HTML and CSS.


Designing Responsively from Mobile to HD 1pm CT

by Philip Zastrow, Web Designer at Notre Dame

Responsive web design has revolutionized how we design sites at Notre Dame. Very early in our adoption of responsive web design, frustrations cropped up as we struggled with our typical design and development process.

For years our team has had a silo approach to design and development: a designer entrenched in Photoshop created a design, then the Photoshop file was given to a developer to build the website. Taking a step back and looking at this process, it didn’t work.

Responsive design requires an expanded understanding of our medium. The design process has to change, in a big way, to take advantage of the opportunities provided by responsive web design.

About Philip Zastrow

Philip is an Ohio-born, transplant in the Hoosier State. He is the front-end web designer for the University Communications web team at the University of Notre Dame where he dances at his adjustable-height desk whipping up designs big and small. When not making great websites on tight deadlines, Philip is usually working on his prohibition-era house with his lovely wife to make way for their firstborn, due this spring.


Rebuilding a University Homepage to be "Responsive." Twice. In Less than a Year. 2pm CT

by Erik Runyon, Manager of Interactive Development at Notre Dame

There's no doubt Responsive Web Design is a hot topic in the web community. You know you should be considering RWD, but where do you start?

Is hacking your current site to make it "responsive" enough? What about "mobile first" and "RESS"?

Should you hide content from your mobile visitors? What pitfalls can you expect throughout the process?

In the past year, Notre Dame has faced and worked through all of these questions with two redesigns of ND.edu and numerous client projects.

During this overview of RWD we'll cover terminology, approaches, best practices, the issues we faced while building a mobile-first ND.edu and the solutions we implemented.

About Erik Runyon

A full-time web developer with University Communications at the University of Notre Dame, Eric's days are spent with my acronym laden friends HTML, CSS, JS, RoR and PHP. His evenings are spent with his wonderful wife, three kids and two vomit-happy cats.


Making Analytics Reporting Actionable 3pm CT

by Becky Vardaman, Digital Strategist at Converge Consulting

Your Google Analytics account is set up on your college web site and the data is coming in.

What gets measured improves, right?

But what should you measure?

In this presentation Converge Consulting will take a closer look at five of the most valuable reports and discuss how to make the data actionable for Higher Education marketers.

Move beyond reporting pageview counts and start making strategic, data driven decisions about your marketing efforts.

About Becky Vardaman

Becky Vardaman, our Senior Digital Strategist, brings nearly ten years of digital marketing experience to Converge Consulting. Before joining Converge, Becky created and measured integrated marketing campaigns for the leading local media organization, a Fortune 500 Corporation and a startup software developer.

Becky?s focus is to not only to help clients create effective campaigns integrating email, social media, content strategy, SEO, and traditional methods, but to arm marketers with the data and analytics to prove ROI and make confident decisions on where to spend precious marketing dollars.

Becky earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa and is an active alumni, living just steps from campus.


speakers from:

many fine organizations and companies

About the .eduGuru Summit 2013

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in Higher Education Internet Marketing and Web Development for an all-new, two-day online conference, the .eduGuru Summit!

Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets


Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.