Past Events 2018-19

June 6, 2019

29th Annual Conference – UNITE: Lifting Up the Diverse Voices of Our Community

May 22, 2019

Amplifying Impact Through Effective and Creative Storytelling

Jamie Millard talked about identifying, producing, and amplifying good storytelling. Millard is executive director of Pollen Midwest, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit focused on building better-connected communities. In 2009, she co-founded the literary arts magazine Paper Darts. She was recognized in the Huffington Post as one of four millennial leaders “doing important work to move us toward a more just and equitable society.”

View 5/22/19 Presentation Recording

April 18, 2019

Propelling Coca-Cola into the Digital World

A peek inside how The Coca-Cola Company is reigniting its brands in the age of social, eCommerce, and augmented reality.

Ellen DuncanIn her role as Group Director for Digital Platforms, Ellen Duncan is responsible for developing marketing technology solutions that empower all of Coca-Cola’s brands–from Simply to Smartwater to Sprite–with the ability to deliver connected, personalized, and real-time brand experiences across channels and throughout the consumer journey at scale.

Previously, Ellen was a digital transformation lead at Accenture Digital where she oversaw global marketing accounts like General Motors and Southwest Airlines. Ellen is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and proud mom to two young girls.

View 4/18/19 Presentation Recording

March 7, 2019

Amplifying Unit Stories for U-wide Audiences

Panel discussion on what communicators can do to amplify their college or unit stories for U-wide audiences. The panelists, Elizabeth Foy Larsen from the U of M Alumni Association, Rick Moore from University Relations, and Amy Sitze from the U of M Foundation, discussed their audiences, the types of content they feature, and what makes a good story.

February 27, 2019

Communicating Diversity

Dr. Amina Jaafar is the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives at the Office for Equity and Diversity, as well as instructor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Dr. Jaafar hosted an open forum to discuss questions around how to integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion in communications practices. This session started off with a series of moderated questions by UMCF Board Chair Emerita JoAnne Makela and had a significant amount of time for Q & A. 

January 14, 2019

Perspectives on Storytelling

Panel discussion from different perspectives on storytelling to showcase faculty research and advance university goals. Gina Rumore speaks from her experience in proposal preparation for the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI). Phyllis Moen speaks about her experience speaking to the media about her own research work. Michael Winikoff speaks from his experience mentoring undergraduate student writers and designers. 

December 19, 2018

Digital Storytelling: Minnesota Youth Story Squad

Professor Jigna Desai shares her work in digital storytelling. If you are looking for examples of creative digital storytelling and working with issues of equity, advocacy and academic engagement, this session is for you.

Jigna Desai, Professor in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies department, is the co-founder/leader of Minnesota Youth Story Squad (MYSS). MYSS is an organization that amplifies the voices of young people in the Twin Cities by mentoring youth, leading discussions on social issues, and reflecting together on their schools, families, communities, and futures. Its innovative digital media curriculum uses storytelling to enhance learning and harness young people’s creativity through spoken word poetry, zines, protest posters, and video-making.

November 16, 2018

So You Want to Be a Communicator. Now What?

We did something a little different this time—invited new student members to a panel discussion about what it means to be a communicator. Our panelists spoke and answered questions about their career stories and current roles. This was a great panel for new communicators and anyone who wanted the inside scoop on what their colleagues do.


  • Matt Kucharski, president at Padilla
    Matt Kucharski is a seasoned public relations, strategic communication, and marketing professional, helping clients across a wide range of industries build, grow and protect their brands and reputations. Throughout his nearly 30 years in the field, he has been a continuous trend watcher, learner, educator and innovator – helping the agency and clients stay ahead of “what’s next.” More info on Matt
  • Rebecca A. Moss, College of Liberal Arts, LATIS (Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services)
    Rebecca A. Moss is a librarian by training, with a background in art history. Her current role is Assistant Director for Enhancing Learning. She is interested in innovative thinking, emergent technologies and incorporating play into work. Helping CLA engage more broadly with the community is a big driver. She says adopting sketchnotes into her daily work has allowed her to process ideas more thoroughly, and retain more information.
  • Lacey Nygard, University Relations
    Lacey Nygard joined the University of Minnesota in 2014 and works as Assistant Director of Public Relations. In her role she works with administrative and academic units to uphold the reputation of the University system. Before joining the University, she worked in an advertising and marketing agency serving the public relations needs of clients across several industries. She believes that relationships—both internally and externally—can make or break the reputation of an organization.
  • Steve Wehrenberg, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Steve brings more than 35 years of professional strategic communications experience to the journalism faculty, including the last six as CEO of advertising agency Campbell Mithun. Starting in public relations, he shifted to copywriting, but then spent nearly 30 years in account, strategic and agency leadership positions.

October 25, 2018

Creative Workflows with Adobe CC Mobile + Desktop

Lisa Anderson was such a hit at the conference in June that we brought her back to present a further workshop on Adobe CC for mobile applications.

Whether using the full or free Creative Cloud membership, see how easily you can create your assets and share with other designers or across your various mobile and desktop apps. We will go over a brief overview of Adobe’s mobile software and how it works with Adobe’s desktop applications. Then we will work on a number of demos in which you can take part using Adobe’s mobile apps (easy to use with the free Creative Cloud membership).

We will also demonstrate how easily you can collaborate with your communications team by sharing assets created or captured using your mobile device. Watch as we pass files between user accounts and software. Join in as we walk through the process starting a flyer on an iPad and passing it on to a designer using InDesign for final edits and preparing for print.

No design experience is necessary. Don’t have Adobe CC? No problem. Get a FREE Adobe ID and start working right on your mobile device.