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SXSW 2024 PanelPicker Now Open

Aug 8, 2023

Who knows what you want at SXSW better than you?

PanelPicker public voting is now open and we need YOUR help! The voting period is open through Sunday, Aug. 20 and allows the community to browse proposals, leave comments, and vote for sessions they think would be engaging for conference attendees. Your input is very important to the look and feel of 2024 SXSW EDU and SXSW sessions. Every “Vote Up” helps WGU’s proposals make it to the stage in Austin, Texas!

Please note that you must create a SXSW account and be logged in to vote. Creating an account is quick, easy, and free, and can be done here: Create SXSW Account

SXSW EDU (March 4-7, 2024) is an annual event that brings together diverse people and perspectives to elevate teaching, learning, and educators across the entire scope of the education industry. 

SXSW (March 8-16, 2024) is an annual event that features sessions, music and comedy showcases, film screenings, exhibitions, professional development, and a variety of networking opportunities.

Western Governors University has submitted seven proposals—six for SXSW EDU and one for SXSW. Please see below for proposal details and to vote for WGU's submissions.

SXSW EDU Sessions

A Purposeful Priority: Conversations on Teacher Well-Being

Teaching is one of the noblest professions, and the wellness of teachers is a critical component of student learning and overall community well-being. During this podcast, expert panelists from state government, higher education, and health care will continue the conversation on the importance of teacher wellness – what it looks like, and what are the steps to implement and sustain educator wellness in teacher preparation programs and in the K-12 classroom. This episode is part of a podcast series launching this year titled “Educator Well-Being: From Principles to Practice". 

Presenters: Stacey Ludwig Johnson (Western Governors University), Mark Milliron (National University), Abby Cox (Office of the Governor of Utah), Dominique Hensler (Rady’s Children’s Hospital)

Navigating a New Era in Higher Ed: Facts About the Future

The biggest mistake we can make in higher education is continually choosing to operate for the era in which we were founded instead of the age in which we currently exist. The skills we need, the ways we collaborate, and the jobs available to graduates are changing. So must we. Learn from higher-ed acclaimed authors and dynamic leaders about embracing a “mindset reset” about the purpose and possibility of modern postsecondary education, putting students at the center of everything we do. Then dig deep into startling new data about navigating this promising new era with eyes wide open.

Presenters: Linda Battles (Western Governors University), Kate Colbert (Commencement: The Beginning of a New Era in Higher Education), Joe Sallustio (EdUp Podcast, Lindenwood Global University)

Tapping Tech to Solve the Student Debt Crisis

The restart of student loan repayments creates unprecedented demand to support student borrowers. The system is already strained, with 43M+ students facing federal loan repayment and an 11% default rate. As EdTech continues to transform higher education, there is a critical need to provide financial aid support at scale for universities and servicers. Led by EdTech and Financial Aid experts, our workshop will simulate the experience of struggling borrowers – and demonstrate how tech solutions can ease the path to repayment. 

Presenters: Betheny Gross (Western Governors University), Aaron Smith (Savi)

Smooth Pathways: Building Belonging and Workforce Readiness

The future of learning transcends academics, emphasizing belonging among diverse students and smooth pathways from study to work. In this workshop, discover strategies for integrating social psychology principles and relevant technologies into higher education for student engagement and explore innovative learning-to-work transition models – including apprenticeships, academia-industry partnerships, and digital career tools.

Presenters: Omid Fotuhi (Western Governors University), Julia Spears (Marshall University), Katy Kappler (InScribe Education)

Diversified EdTech Investing: Creating Progress for All

Diversifying EdTech portfolio investment strategies can tap into unrealized opportunities through impact investing and capital markets. Can this approach also create greater societal and economic progress for all? In this panel, female CEOs and CEOs of color will discuss how their own lived experiences contribute to fulfilling their companies’ mission, while providing a platform to address pressing problems in the communities they serve. 

Presenters: Brad Bernatek (Western Governors University), Sydney Montgomery (Outline It), Parminder Jassal (Unmudl Skills-to-Jobs Marketplace), Demetrius Daltirus (ECMC Group)

Driving Success: The Power of Coaching in Higher Education

Are you overlooking the most potent tool driving student success in higher education? Unlock the transformative power of coaching in this interactive workshop. Join fellow leaders at an interactive workshop highlighting innovative coaching models and outcomes meeting the needs of adult learners and traditionally underserved students. Participants will explore how coaching, including technology-enabled and AI-enhanced methods, can create potent support and move the needle on student outcomes in and out of the academic setting. Leave with practical solutions for your institution.

Presenters: Jennie Sanders (Western Governors University), Karen McGregor (Purdue Global), Rachel Cohen-Ford (University of Texas at Austin)

SXSW Session

An Inconvenient Truth: How Talent is Being Overlooked

Looking for talent in all the wrong places? We often build talent pipelines with an implicit bias toward certain individuals or groups, but doing so results in talent gaps that hurt us all. What if we start to redefine talent, realizing that it comes in every shape and size? When we recognize that every individual is innately gifted and worthy, our task changes to discovering how an individual’s skillset may meet our organization’s existing needs. Only then can we begin to design more inclusive work cultures that benefit from greater diversity and the contributions of well-placed individuals. 

Presenters: Scott Pulsipher (Western Governors University), Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. (Society for Human Resource Management)

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