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Attendees can now register for the first-ever HighEdWeb North Carolina regional conference. UNC-Chapel Hill will host the conference on June 18 at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The Higher Education Web Professionals Association, commonly known as HighEdWeb, is an international nonprofit that aims to educate digital professionals who work at colleges and universities. Regional conferences like this one offer participants a low-cost way to network and learn about digital issues in higher education.

The High Ed Web association logo, which is a tilted globe

Interested in attending? Register early. Organizers expect the conference to reach capacity well before the registration deadline of May 31.

Opportunity to engage

The conference bills itself as a fit for everyone from “programmers, marketers and social pros, to managers, designers and writers (and all team members in-between).” Conference co-chair Rachell Underhill, who has attended 14 HighEdWeb conferences since 2006, hopes to see that diversity reflected in the attendees.

“I hope we have a mix of attendees from all levels and areas of expertise,” said Underhill, director of information technology systems at The Graduate School. That mix “is what creates the most exciting and dynamic experience,” she said. “Some of us are quite siloed by job categories, so this is a great opportunity to engage with professionals outside of your own specialty.”

Underhill is optimistic about what attendees will get from attending the conference. “I hope all attendees are excited to try out a new strategy or solution to address common issues in our industry. I hope attendees will expand their professional networks and have new colleagues who understand their challenges. And finally, I hope all attendees will leave feeling invigorated and inspired in their daily work and validated in their choice to work in higher education,” she said.

A room full of conference-goers watch a presentation
Attendees listen to a presentation about Google Analytics at a HighEdWeb event in 2022. Courtesy of HighEdWeb, via Flickr

Institutional membership confers benefits

Earlier this year, UNC-Chapel Hill became an institutional member of HighEdWeb. ITS Digital Services is sponsoring the institutional membership for 2024, which means staff, faculty and students at UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to join HighEdWeb at no cost.

HighEdWeb members can register for the first-ever HighEdWeb North Carolina regional conference, or any other HighEdWeb event, at a reduced rate.

Underhill said that the institutional membership is a demonstration that the work and expertise of digital and web professionals are valued on campus. “It is an acknowledgement that websites and other digital communications and services are critical to the success of this institution,” she said. “When we excel at our work, everyone at this University benefits.”

Existing members can connect their accounts to the institutional membership and new members can join for free.

Institutional membership includes more benefits than a discount on conference registration. When you join HighEdWeb, you gain access to additional resources, including communities of practice, training and recordings of past events.

Conference schedule

The daylong conference on June 18 will feature eight sessions and a keynote. The presentations include:

Conference will be Carolina Blue

Carolina will be well-represented in every part of the conference. The conference committee includes members from multiple UNC groups, including ITS, University Libraries, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and The Graduate School.

As a presenter, Brenna Green of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School will share how she and colleagues “transformed our Instagram presence from a passive, one-way communication channel to an active student-centered community.”

Underhill is excited about making new connections at Carolina and beyond. “The best part about professional gatherings like these is that they can facilitate new connections and collaborations that would never happen otherwise,” she said.

“I’m excited to learn from digital professionals from universities across North Carolina. This may surprise you,” she added, “but I am also excited about the chance to meet new colleagues from UNC-Chapel Hill.”

“My co-chair in planning this conference, Jackie Vetrano, also works at UNC-Chapel Hill,” Underhill continued. “Ironically, I would have never met her had we not both attended the 2017 HighEdWeb annual conference.”


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