HIGHER is a series of professional development conferences designed to create space for conversations and connections that empower women in higher education to push through barriers to reaching their career goals and to pull other women up along the way.
Offered in cities across the US, each year HIGHER equips hundreds of women in higher education with the resources and relationships to reach senior leadership positions.
This is not your standard big-box conference. If you are eager to expand your local and national network of women in higher education, are questioning whether you want to build a career in higher education, or could simply use a burst of inspiration, HIGHER is for you.
Join the national movement of women in higher education by participating in the unique, attendee-guided programming at HIGHER. Regardless of which city you attend, you'll walk away with a strong network of supportive women (and potential mentors!) in your field, increased clarity on the strengths and expertise you currently bring to your role, and a plan for how to take the next step in your career.
Our day together is divided into 3 main sections:
Coupling space for individual reflection with structured partner sharing, this workshop will have you identifying the values, strengths, and interests driving your career. Gain insights about what types of environments you thrive in, share stories with fellow attendees, and define what success looks and feels like to you.
Hear from 3 women leaders on what they've learned about navigating careers in higher ed. How have they cultivated their own unique leadership styles? What advice would they give to their younger selves? Learn what these outstanding women think the next generation of higher ed leaders needs to know.
Take professional development into your own hands by writing your ideal future performance review, receive flash mentorship on a specific area you'd like to develop, such as negotiating a raise or requesting an opportunity to develop a new skillset, and leave with a concrete action plan for reaching your next professional goal.
HIGHER Atlanta will take place on January 28, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Georgia Tech's Bill Moore Student Success Center.
Regular admission costs $80 and includes the full day of programming, workshop materials, access to an online network of all previous HIGHER attendees, a healthy lunch, and refreshments. Discounted Early Bird and Team tickets are also available. Register here.
HIGHER is intentionally capped at 55 attendees, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to shape the conversation, form meaningful relationships, and share your perspective.
8:30 AM — CHECK IN
9:00 AM — WELCOME + KICK OFF
9:30 AM — REFLECT WORKSHOP
10:45 AM — BREAK
11:00 AM — INSPIRE SPEAKER 1
11:20 AM — INSPIRE SPEAKER 2
11:40 AM — INSPIRE SPEAKER 3
12:00 PM — LUNCH + NETWORKING
12:45 PM — INSPIRE PANEL Q+A
1:15 PM — BREAK
1:25 PM — HIGHER + BEYOND: Resources to Continue the Conversation
1:45 PM — ACT SOLUTION WORKSHOP
3:00 PM - BREAK + BUSINESS CARD SWAP
3:20 PM - ACT PLAN
3:40 PM — RESOURCES + FEEDBACK
3:45 PM — CLOSING REMARKS
President at the University of North Georgia
Bonita Jacobs is President of the University of North Georgia, which serves about 20,000 students across five campuses and offers a range of degree programs from the associate to doctoral levels.
Jacobs took office as the seventeenth president of North Georgia College & State University, prior to its consolidation with Gainesville State College to become UNG, in July 2011, becoming the University’s first woman president and only the second woman to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges.
She has been named by Georgia Trend magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians" and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the "Top Education Leaders in Atlanta" and to its list of “Women Who Mean Business.”
Jacobs currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Council on Economic Education, and the BB&T Georgia Regional Advisory Board.
Previously, Jacobs served as Executive Director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (2009-2011), Vice President for Student Development (1998-2009), and as a tenured professor of counseling and higher education at the University of North Texas. She also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Development at Western Carolina University and in student development positions at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Jacobs received bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and history and a master’s degree in counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned her doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University.
A recipient of multiple awards for leadership in higher education and student development, Jacobs is a frequent speaker on transfer and student success issues. Jacobs is the former editor of The Journal of College Orientation and Transition and has served on three other editorial boards. Her publications include The College Transfer Student in America: The Forgotten Student and Starting From Scratch: Your First-Year Experience, as well as numerous chapters, journal articles and reviews.
Jacobs is originally from Huntington, Texas, and she and her husband, Glenn, live in Dahlonega.
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Affairs at Emory University
Pamela Scully is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Professor of African Studies, at Emory University. She has held a number of administrative roles at Emory, including directing the Institute of African Studies, chairing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and directing the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence. As Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, she also led Emory’s Academic Leadership Program, which included Emory faculty as well as faculty from Atlanta universities and colleges. In her current role, she works across the university to ensure student success and thriving, paying particular attention to the experiences of first-generation students and students from under-resourced backgrounds.
Vice Provost Scully is an expert on women’s leadership both through her professorial and administrative roles. As chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Scully led global initiatives through partnerships with Ewha Women’s University in South Korea, and with the Gender, Diversity and Migration Research Unit at Goethe Institute at Frankfurt University. Her academic work focuses on women’s and gender history, and she has published numerous articles and books. Her book Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio University Press, 2016), examines the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s leadership style from her time as a student in the United States, to assuming the presidency of Liberia.
Vice Provost Scully is on the advisory board of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Young African Scholars Program, which mentors PhD students from the African continent. She is also on the board of Step Ahead Scholars, an Atlanta-based non-profit which aims to eradicate college inequality and empower underserved students to access, enroll, and graduate from college.
Deputy Chief of Staff at Georgia Gwinnett College
Dr. Jennifer H. Stephens serves as the deputy chief of staff in the Office of the President. She provides strategy formulation and operational support to the chief of staff, president and executive leadership team.
During the 2015–2016 academic year, she participated in the American Council on Education Fellowship Program, a leadership development program that focuses on identifying and preparing the next generation of senior leadership for the nation’s colleges and universities.
Prior to the Fellowship, Stephens was the associate vice president of Public Relations at Georgia Gwinnett College, the first four-year, public college created in Georgia in more than 100 years. The College opened in August 2006 with an inaugural class of 118 juniors and an access mission focused on student success. Today, only ten years later, it serves more than 12,000 students. In that role, she provided leadership in the strategy, planning and execution for communications and integrated marketing programs to elevate the college’s reputation and advance its brand. She has been intimately involved in almost every facet of the creation of the new institution and its strategic planning.
Prior to her role at GGC, Stephens served as the chief PR officer at Georgia Perimeter College, the largest two-year college in the state.
Stephens has a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia. She holds an M.Div. in biblical studies from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in psychology and a B.A. in graphic design from Auburn University. She and her husband, Todd, live in Suwanee, Georgia, with their two daughters, Jessica and Emily.
Co-Founder & CEO at Wisr
As a former first-generation college student, Kate is extremely passionate about improving educational outcomes for college students across the country. After working in Admissions and Career Services for the University of Chicago, Kate became interested in how technology can be used to support student outcomes. She returned to Northeast Ohio as VP of Business Development at DecisionDesk before founding Wisr in 2016.
Kate is heavily involved in Cleveland’s entrepreneurial community as the Chair of the JumpStart Leader’s Council. She has been recognized by WYCA Cleveland as a Distinguished Young Woman and Crain’s Cleveland as a Notable Woman in Entrepreneurship.
Each HIGHER conference brings together roughly 50 women who work at nearby institutions of higher learning. We welcome women in faculty and staff positions across all higher education areas and levels to join in this close-knit professional development experience.
In 2019 alone, more than 1,000 women from 300+ institutions attended HIGHER in cities across the US. While a majority of 2019 attendees were Dean or Director-level, attendees more junior in their careers also found the conference highly beneficial for better understanding various career paths in higher education and connecting with similarly ambitious peers.
Wisr welcomes participants of diverse backgrounds, including those of diverse gender identities. We are committed to championing the careers and personal wellbeing of all women, including cisgender and transgender individuals. When we use the term “women” it is wholeheartedly inclusive of transgender women.
The conference will cover issues affecting women's opportunity for advancement in higher education, including negotiation skills, bias and discrimination, pay equity, mentorship and sponsorship, networking, confidence and imposter syndrome, and more. The program is not designed as a lecture. Rather, sessions are highly interactive, allowing attendees to guide the conversation.
Absolutely yes. While HIGHER is organized around the larger umbrella of women in higher education, attendees are encouraged to share their unique intersectional perspectives. This is an opportunity to inform, listen, and learn from one another, even if our experiences may differ.
We believe that the most impactful development experiences come when you have the chance to build relationships with everyone in the room, talk candidly about the challenges that are keeping you up at night, and brainstorm solutions together. You can’t do that if there are 500 people in the room. Each HIGHER conference is intentionally capped at 55 attendees to allow for that close-knit, collaborative environment.
Regular admission for one individual costs $80. A limited number (10) of Early Bird tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cost $50.
We also encourage institutions and teams to take advantage of HIGHER's discounted group rate. The group rate for 5 or more people is $50 per person. One person can register for their team. To take advantage of the group rate:
- There must be 5 or more in the group
- All registrations will be paid with a single credit card
- All email addresses must have the institution’s domain name
Early Bird Individual Registration (10 available tickets): $50
Regular Individual Registration: $80
Group Registration (5+ people): $50
We're thrilled you're ready to join the HIGHER movement! Tickets for each city are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for all upcoming conferences can be found here.
After submitting payment, you will receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email, reach out to email@example.com to confirm that your space has been reserved. (Check your spam folders, too. Those can be pesky!)
If the city you're interested in attending is at capacity, please join the waitlist. We'll notify you as soon as space becomes available.
We were incredibly fortunate to be able to offer HIGHER as a free professional development opportunity in 2019 - its inaugural year. To make the series as sustainable as possible, moving forward, these will be ticketed events as there are many costs associated with putting on a national conference series including facilities, rentals, technology, AV, meals, refreshments, program development, production, printing, labor, and Wisr team travel. We are committed to setting registration fees as low as possible to remain accessible while creating an optimized attendee experience.
Attendees can receive refunds up to 30 days before the conference date. This can be done by re-accessing your online registration. In the unlikely event that the conference is cancelled, travel and accommodation costs will not be refunded.
If you can no longer attend this date but would like to transfer your registration to another HIGHER city, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All travel, including airfare and local accommodations, is the responsibility of conference attendees. Logistics related to public transportation and parking will be shared with conference registrants in the weeks prior to the event date.
Of course, new moms are welcome at HIGHER! We will arrange a private space for pumping upon request. Please contact email@example.com to request a space.
Allow us to introduce ourselves! Wisr is an education technology company based in Cleveland, Ohio. We build networking software that colleges and universities typically use to connect their students with alumni for mentorship. <
As a (female-led) company, we've spent a lot of time reflecting on how technology can democratize access to opportunity. It's why Kate Volzer, our founder, feels so passionate about the potential for Wisr to support the academic and professional careers of first-gen, under-represented, and military students. It's also why, when we learned more about the lack of representation of women in senior leadership positions in higher education, we felt compelled to do something about it.
In January 2019, we launched the HIGHER series in 23 cities across the US. The goal was to impact the careers of 500 women. We were amazed and inspired by the thousands of women who wanted to join the movement. Our role at each conference is not to tell you how to fix the problems in higher education. Rather, we work to create space for women to come together to share lessons learned and strategies with each other. As part of our commitment to women in higher education, we also created the HIGHER Network, the largest digital community of women in higher education. All attendees have access to join the network to share resources, seek mentorship, and expand their national networks.