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Excellence and Expertise

Miami University launches "Accelerating Ahead" virtual conference

Excellence and Expertise

Miami University launches "Accelerating Ahead" virtual conference

miami's focus on the future “Accelerating Ahead: Miami’s Focus on the Future,” a virtual conference, was launched this week at Miami University. The nine-session conference features 62 university administrators, faculty, and staff offering insight into what they’ve done to engineer success during the pandemic and after. 

The TEDTalk-style presentations seek to inspire, transform, encourage, and re-energize the campus community and other Miami stakeholders. In addition to facilitating an idea exchange, the conference seeks to inspire all across campus to reaffirm their commitment to the advancement of student success and building human capital on a regional, national, and global scale.  

"COVID-19 has impacted Miami University and higher education institutions around the world for more than 18-months," said Miami University President Gregory Crawford. "The purpose of this virtual conference is to share insight into how Miami and Miamians have persevered throughout the pandemic. The Miami community bonded together and showed great fortitude while developing new and forward-looking strategies to remain a vibrant, innovative, enduring, and compassionate learning community dedicated to our mission of providing academic excellence and an inspiring environment that cultivates student success." 

speaker stands on the accelerating ahead stage

Vicka Bell-Robinson presents her talk at the Accelerating Ahead conference.

Each session will explore how Miami has persevered despite a global pandemic, acquired new knowledge, developed new initiatives, and established best practices. Topics range from nostalgia and Oxford as the quintessential college town, to building multi-institutional research teams and leveraging strategic partnerships, to data literacy and creativity.

“This virtual conference unites some of the dynamic scholars and thought leaders across Miami University," said Ashlea Jones, director of executive communications and conference organizer. “It is our hope that viewers will conclude each presentation with a desire to know more and this project can serve as a blueprint to help other colleges, universities, and organizations discover innovative ways to thrive amid this global pandemic.” 

“Leveraging Vision to Thrive”

The first session features talks about strategies for our future success: brand, fundraising, finances, enrollment, career, and alumni engagement. 

  • Understanding and Owning the Market - Brent Shock, vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Success
  • The Future of Fundraising - Tom Herbert, senior vice president and president of Miami University Foundation
  • Higher Education and Career Mobility of Miami Grads: COVID, Equity and ROI - Jennifer Benz, assistant vice president, Center for Career Exploration and Success
  • Public Higher Education’s Changing Economic Model - David Creamer, senior vice president, Finance and Business Services, Treasurer
  • Creating a Name Brand - Jaime Hunt, vice president and chief communications officer, University Communications and Marketing
  • Alumni Deserve More than an Association - Kim Tavares, association vice president, executive director of the Alumni Association
  • Resilience to Renaissance - Gregory Crawford, president, Miami University

New sessions released every few weeks through February 

  • September 22 - Session 1: Leveraging Vision to Thrive
  • October 6 - Session 2: Creating Innovative Ecosystems
  • October 20 - Session 3: Building Community 
  • November 10 - Session 4: Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • November 24 - Session 5: Advancing Academic Excellence
  • December 8 - Session 6: The Deans Speak
  • December 20 - Session 7: Elevating Scholarship and Discovery
  • January 26 - Session 8: Advocating and Living in the New World
  • February 9 - Session 9: Accelerating Transdisciplinary Research
A full list of speakers and talks can be found on Miami’s Accelerating Ahead webpage here.