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 New Orleans will take place on January 14, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the Propeller Incubator.
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
Associate Vice President & Dean of Students at Louisiana State University
Dr. Fuentes-Martin joined the LSU staff on August 24, 2015, and serves as the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. As the official second-in-command to the Vice President for Student Affairs, she is the chief administrator for the Office of the Dean of Students, which advises Student Government and oversees the departments of Campus Life, Disability Services, Greek Life, and Student Advocacy & Accountability, Transfer Student Programs, and the William A. Brookshire Military and Veterans Student Center.
Fuentes-Martin received Bachelor’s degrees in History and Business Administration and a Master’s degree in not-for-profit administration, both from the University of Notre Dame, and received a Doctorate of Education from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Prior to LSU, Fuentes-Martin held positions at the University of Texas-Pan American, as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students from 2013-15; and Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley from 2014-15. She has also held positions at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, as Dean of Students from 2000-04 and Associate Vice President and Dean of Students from 2004-13; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, as Assistant/Associate Dean of Students from 1994-2000; and the University of Notre Dame, Assistant Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs from 1991-94, Assistant Director of Alumni Clubs from 1990-91 and Minority Student Recruiter from 1986-89.
Fuentes-Martin is also the proud mother of three sons: Jacob and Zachary graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2018; and her youngest son, Michael, is attending LSU this Fall. She and her husband Randy have been married for 23 years. Randy is an LSU police officer.
Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dillard University
Dr. Yolanda W. Page is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Dillard University, a position she has held since 2013. She earned both her master's of arts and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and completed her undergraduate studies at Dillard. She has served for more than 20 years in academia as an instructor, director, department chair, assistant dean and dean. She is married to David Page, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Dillard. They have two children, Brooke, and William.
Dean of the School of Professional Advancement and Vice President for Academic Innovation
Suri Duitch is dean of the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement. Dr. Duitch also holds the additional title of vice president for academic innovation, and plays a leadership role in the development and deployment of new digital courseware and learning platforms for the university as a whole. Under her leadership, the school is taking a fresh look at how it (and Tulane University) can best meet the needs of working adults and employers in New Orleans and beyond, through both classroom-based and online courses and degree programs.
She joined Tulane from the City University of New York, the nation’s largest urban public university system, where she was an administrator from 2004 to 2016. At CUNY, she was University Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, as well as the deputy to the senior university dean for academic affairs. Her portfolio there included continuing education, workforce development, adult literacy and language courses, programs for students on public assistance, several student employment initiatives and special projects, such as CUNY’s Early Childhood Professional Development Institute as well as its Creative Arts Team. The total annual enrollment in all these endeavors was over 250,000 students.
Prior to joining CUNY, she held policy and program oversight positions in New York City government agencies, and worked with nonprofits and private foundations to conduct applied research in areas such as the arts and economic development, children’s health services and nonprofit advocacy.
Her passions relate to opening up higher education, and the life-transforming benefits of the knowledge, skills and credentials gained from college, to people who wouldn’t otherwise have that access. She is also deeply committed to helping adult students gain knowledge and skills to advance in their careers and to further develop as members of their families and communities.
Dr. Duitch holds a B.A. in English literature from Columbia College, Columbia University, an M.S.W. in community organizing from Hunter College–CUNY, and a Ph.D. in urban education from the CUNY Graduate Center.
She lives in New Orleans with her husband, Neil Kleiman, a political scientist and urban policy expert on the faculty at the New York University - Wagner School of Public Service, and their two children.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.