2015 Communications Conference for Senior Professionals: Speakers

Lori Croy

Lori Croy - BWSince 1996, Lori Croy, director of web communications at the University of Missouri, has been a strong and pioneering advocate of the Web in higher education. Her vision has guided MU’s website from a small, underfunded endeavor to a major presence central to the communication and marketing efforts of the university. Croy manages online student recruitment, fundraising, external relations, social media, and many special projects including online crisis communication. 

A frequent conference speaker, Croy brings a wealth of hands-on experience, clear thinking, communication prowess, and a highly-necessary and unfailing sense of humor.

Deborah Gonzalez

Deborah GonzalezDeborah Gonzalez is the founder of Law2sm, LLC, a legal consulting firm focused on helping its clients navigate the legal and security issues relating to the new digital and social media world. She is the author of Managing Online Risks: Mobile, Apps and Social Media Security and has authored and instructed a series of online webinars focused on helping faculty, administration and staff in higher education avoid legal landmines.

Hal Legg

Hal Legg Hal Legg is a 16-year veteran of higher education, a former typography and design instructor, one-time elected municipal official, and founder of the Office of Communications at SUNY Oneonta. Hired there in 2010, he has established key indicators for communications performance, authored the college’s style guide, and developed institutional social media content strategy, including the launching of the college’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, and the crafting of the college’s social media policy. Legg administers video, photo and graphics studios, editorial and web services, and a print shop at SUNY Oneonta. He also is the campus spokesperson and media liaison, and a facilitator within the college's diversity education program.

George L. Mehaffy

George L. MehaffyGeorge L. Mehaffy serves as AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change. His division is responsible for developing and managing programs for member institutions in areas such as organizational change, civic engagement, leadership development, undergraduate education, technology, international education and teacher education.  He works closely with university presidents and chief academic officers on a variety of national initiatives.  Each year, his division organizes a number of conferences, including two annual national conferences for AASCU chief academic officers.  He has directed a series of innovative projects, including international programs with China and Liberia; a technology transformation annual conference with EDUCAUSE and the University of Central Florida; and two major national studies of student success.  In 2003, he launched the American Democracy Project, a civic engagement initiative involving 240 colleges and universities, in partnership with The New York Times.  Most recently, he organized the Red Balloon Project, a national initiative to transform undergraduate education. Before coming to AASCU, he had more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education in Texas, New Mexico, and California. For 33 years, Mehaffy served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, retiring in 2000as a captain.  In l994 his unit was the recipient of Vice President Gore’s Award for Reinventing Government, which recognized the innovative program in San Diego to combine active duty and reserve units, resulting in significantly greater effectiveness and efficiency.  That program was subsequently adopted throughout the United States, and has been emulated in other countries as well.

Suzanne Mettler

Suzanne MettlerSuzanne Mettler is the Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests include public policy (including social welfare, tax, health, and education policies), American political development, political behavior and civic engagement, and inequality. Mettler’s newest book is: Degrees of Inequality: How Higher Education Politics Sabotaged the American Dream. Mettler’s research has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a fellow at the Century Foundation, and on the board of the Scholars Strategy Network. She is the past president of the Politics and History section of the APSA and the president elect of the association’s Public Policy section. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a master’s degree from University of Illinois, Urbana, IL and a Ph.D. Cornell University.

Robbin Phillips

Robbin PhillipsRobbin Phillips gets out of bed each morning inspired by a single focus: to make a positive, meaningful change in the world. As one of the founders and Courageous President of Brains on Fire, Phillips has recruited a highly talented team of kindred spirits committed to the belief that marketing has the power to truly touch lives. Having begun her career as a graphic designer, Phillips remains involved in the creative development of client identities, while tapping into her keen business sense to facilitate strategy.

Inspired by the power of purpose, passion and people, Phillips and her team rally daily to deliver innovative, impactful solutions that elevate and celebrate a diverse range of clients including Love146, Foundations Recovery Network, Anytime Fitness, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, BMW, DeVry University, GreenDot Public Schools, Fiskars Brands, Perception Kayaks, Ryobi Tools, Colonial Williamsburg, the National Center for Families Learning and Best Buy.

During Phillips’ tenure, Brains on Fire has received numerous national awards including a GOLD EFFIE and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s WOMMIE Award. She is co-author of the books Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, World of Mouth Movements, and The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing.

Bill Smith

Bill SmithBill Smith is the executive director of marketing and communications at Arkansas State University. He joined A-State in 2013 after two years in a similar role at Northwestern State in Louisiana. His creation of compelling content marketing for universities earned regional and national awards at NSU and A-State from CASE, PRSA and NACMA. Previously, Smith was an associate athletic director for two decades at the University of Arkansas. There he provided media relations support for national champion, Final Four and bowl teams, along with pioneering in online athletic communications with websites in the mid-1990s, social media content in the mid-2000s, and mobile apps in the current decade. Smith brings additional perspective from FEMA Advanced PIO training and volunteer work with local and state EM/911 organizations to the impact of social media in crisis communications. He earned his doctorate at the UA in American history in 1999, and served as an instructor at four institutions.

Kindra Strupp

Kindra StruppKindra Strupp joined the University of Southern Indiana (USI) as assistant vice president for marketing and communications in January 2013. In preparation for USI’s 50th anniversary in 2015, Strupp led campus-wide efforts to evolve the brand, including new academic and athletic logos and a refreshed mascot. Prior to USI, Strupp was employed by Eli Lilly and Company, a Fortune 500, global pharmaceutical company. She served in a series of high-profile U.S. and international marketing communications positions at Lilly, working alongside the marketing and agency teams that created the iconic Cialis “bathtubs” campaign. Strupp began her career as a television news anchor and reporter. She co-hosted a two-hour, live morning news show and won awards for feature news reporting from the Associated Press. Recently, Strupp’s USI staff received a platinum award in The Pride of CASE V for exemplary branding efforts. Strupp holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and psychology from Indiana University.

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2015 Communications Conference - Committee