Social Media Magic: Inaugural Higher Education Summit a Success
By Hayden Bergman
If you watch the evening news or read the paper, you’re likely familiar with the notion of a summit, a gathering of heads of state, or, as Winston Churchill put it, “a parley at the summit.”
Last week, the heads of social media accounts at several higher education institutions parleyed at the College of Sciences and Technology (CST) for the inaugural Higher Education Social Media Summit to share knowledge and refresh their commitment to best practices, with a specific focus on how to use social media to engage with prospective students.
Emceed by Ruben Dominguez, a UHD alumnus and Fox 26 reporter, the event was an all-day affair, beginning with networking at 8:30 a.m. and closing with an awards ceremony that wrapped at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon. Between these bookends, attendees were treated to a Zumba and yoga warmup plus workshop and panel sessions, with topics such as inclusivity (presented by Executive Director of Marketing Laura Waits), governance, and the public good being broached, among others (see link above for a full list of topics covered).
Current UHD students contributed as well—several Gators were able to share their experiences of how social media impacted their higher education journey, from choosing a school to connecting with student organizations and finding internship opportunities. Given that UHD has achieved record applications for fall, the attendees from other institutions certainly took note.
The summit organizer, Dr. Daniel Villanueva, Vice President of Enrollment Management, thanked the more than 200 attendees, and noted the event’s “relevant content, dynamic presenters, and energy.”
"Our university believes in providing cutting-edge resources and knowledge to empower professionals in the field of social media. The success of this summit reaffirms our commitment to staying at the forefront of social media trends and strategies to engage a new era of students," he noted.
Other key UHD community members who helped organize the summit and provided social media secrets included Antre'chelle Nova, Enrollment Management’s Digital & Social Media Manager, and Beatriz Alvarado, Coordinator of Digital Customer Service. The entire Enrollment Management team, including Courtney Lundgren, Executive Director of Student Communications and Transition Programs, and Princess Ephriam, Manager of Enrollment Management Operations, put in long hours to ensure the success of the summit. According to Nova, "The summit provided a space for creatives to connect with like-minded professionals and share best practices. I gained invaluable insights that will continue to enhance our social media outreach efforts to increase enrollment."
Watch the video below to get a sense of the energy and dynamism of the event. Oh, and see you next year at the Second Annual Social Media Summit!
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.