Aggie Brand Con 2024 - Agenda, Sessions, Speakers

Adam Morgan | Senior Director of Brand & Creative, Splunk

Keynote The Science Behind Creative Content

Adam Morgan headshot

Adam Morgan is Senior Director of Brand and Creative at Splunk. His experience spans 24 years of creativity, strategy, and storytelling. In 2020, AdWeek named him one of the “Creative 100”—the top inspiring creative minds in marketing, media, and culture—in the world. He’s the author of the book Sorry Spock, Emotion Drives Business that proves the value of creativity and design with hard science. He’s a keynote speaker at conferences and events on the topics of creative leadership and content creation. And the is host of the podcast, Real Creative Leadership, that offers inspiration and guidance on the day-to-day job of being a creative leader.

Prior to joining Splunk, Adam was Executive Creative Director at Adobe, as well as being creative director at several international ad agencies, and delivering award-winning advertising and campaigns. He was named a 40 under 40 business leader by Utah Business Magazine, and Utah Ad Professional of the Year in 2014. And he’s one of the few creative leaders to have a master’s degree in marketing strategy from Northwestern University. To read one of his articles on data-driven creativity, you can visit his magazine The Creative Machine on Medium.

Adam created The Real Creative Leadership webinar series and is building a community to address the issues, challenges, and benefits of creative leadership.

Kerri R. Davidson | Vice President of Institutional Affairs & Chief of Staff

General Session Amplifying Our University President's Voice: Strategies for Effective Communications from the Office of the President

Kerri R. Davidson headshot

Kerri R. Davidson is the Vice President of Institutional Affairs and USU President Elizabeth Cantwell's Chief of Staff. She is dedicated to the advancement of higher education and brings over 25 years of experience successfully translating visionary ideas into strategic, actionable plans through dynamic organizational leadership, business operations, and enterprise development.

Davidson joined USU from Arizona State University, the largest R1 university in the U.S., where she served as the first executive director and chief of staff of the ASU Public Enterprise and concurrently led its Office of the Executive Vice President and served as chief operating officer.

Davidson is a native Utahn and a first-generation college graduate. She began her career at ASU a decade and a half ago at the Biodesign Institute, a premiere scientific research entity. During her ASU tenure she successfully advanced the mission with deep focus on strategic business growth, operational and administrative optimization, and institutional advancement, as well as leading national and international projects, and corporate partnership development.

She was named a 2023 Champion of Change in the state of Arizona by Az Business, recognizing “leadership, visionary thinking and philanthropy.” In 2021, Davidson was named the 2021 Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal for “integrity, values, vision and commitment to excellence.”

Davidson earned a master’s degree in healthcare innovation from ASU in 2015 and a master’s in organizational leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2019, building on a bachelor’s in business management.

Heidi Adams | Director of Trademark Licensing, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Learn and Play within the USU Brand Box
Track Animated The Power of Canva

Heidi Adams is the Director of Trademark Licensing at Utah State University, with over 15 years of experience. She is passionate about fostering brand integrity and strategic partnerships, playing a pivotal role in elevating the university's visual brand presence. In her free time, Heidi enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends.

Aimee Brunson | Trademark Coordinator, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Learn and Play within the USU Brand Box
Track Animated The Power of Canva

Aimee Brunson is the trademark coordinator for University Marketing and Communications at Utah State University. She has 20 years of design experience with 18 years designing for USU organizations. In her current role, she oversees the creation and management of the university logo library and assists the Trademark Licensing director to ensure logo quality and brand consistency. In her free time, Aimee loves playing board and PC games with her friends and family.

Danielle Bosco | Senior Programmer/Analyst, IT Web Team

Track Bold Omni CMS and You: Tips & Tricks, Updates, and Web Life Hacks

Danielle Bosco is an OU Campus/Omni CMS veteran and a staunch believer in "less is more on a website". She's been at USU for eight years and has survived two migrations of university-wide web content. As the Omni CMS platform developer, she would love to know what to build next so send her an email! She reminds you to always "future proof everything", or at least die trying.

Joshua Clason | Senior Videographer, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Shoot your Shot: Video for Social

Josh is in his second year at Utah State having previously worked shooting car content and stop motion animations. He brings a fresh perspective to University Marketing and Communications in delivering excellent work as a Senior Videographer.

Megan Cox | Caption Program Coordinator, Digital Accessibility Services

Track Dynamic Sharing Inclusive and Accessible Messages with the Masses

Track Bold Best Practices to Ensure Your Video is Inclusive

Megan Cox was hired as Utah State University’s (USU) first ever Caption Program Coordinator in December 2022. She has been a vital part of USU’s efforts to professionally caption over 85% of our videos across 76 active university YouTube channels (her goal is to get to 100%). She loves to find ways to make that goal more efficient and attainable and see progress made. Megan has also been involved in developing caption training resources, overseeing the USU Accessibility website, and having a hand in many other accessibility related projects.

Andrea DeHaan | Communications Editor, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Track Captivating Longform Writing with the Utah State Magazine

Having worked at USU for more than a decade, CHaSS Communications Editor Andrea DeHaan has had the opportunity to share student, faculty, and alumni stories; create original digital media; develop outreach initiatives; write grants; plan events; and help reopen the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, twice. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and earned her bachelor’s at Colby College. An Ohioan by birth and at heart, Andrea loves introducing people to Cincinnati chili, using cat memes to land jobs, and previously masquerading as “DJ Mitochondria,” which is how you can remember to pronounce her name.

Amanda DeRito | AVP for Strategic Communications, University Marketing & Communication

Track Captivating Media Panel

Amanda DeRito is the Associate Vice President for strategic communications at Utah State University, overseeing media relations, crisis communications, Utah State Today, and Utah State Magazine. Amanda began working in USU’s central communications team 10 years ago as the social media coordinator for USU’s accounts. Since then she has served in various communications roles, particularly related to reputation management. She completed a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public policy and administration from USU, as well as a master’s in natural resource and agricultural economics from Washington State University.

Andrew Diamond | Director of Photo & Video, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Edit with Andrew

Andrew has worked at Utah State creating video content for the last 10 years. As the Director of Photo and Video within University Marketing and Communications, he leads the team responsible for creating institutional commercials, capturing photos for the magazine, and supporting recruitment efforts in Logan and across statewide campuses.

Julie Duersch | Manager, IT Web Team

Track Bold Website Vitals & Your Web Stewardship

Julie has a master’s degree in management information systems from the Huntsman School of Business and serves as the manager, CMG (chief meeting goer) and official extravert for the IT Web Team. When not enjoying the human interaction from her many meeting opportunities, she likes to learn about "how things work" by reading, Googling, and talking to the many smart people that are part of her "web" of connections!

Taylor Emerson | Digital Journalist, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Shot on (your) iPhone: Video Production Tips

Taylor Emerson is an avid videographer whose passion lies in the process of crafting video and audio together to create an interesting and engaging visual story. His work has crossed disciplines from working with beavers and bear cubs to the cutting edge of medical and scientific research. When he's not working on his storytelling, he likes to work in live sports production, as the team atmosphere and fast pace keeps him challenged and engaged. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Utah State University.

Ricky Flores | Strategic Enrollment Marketing Manager, USU Statewide Campuses

Track Bold AI Task Force Panel Discussion

Ricky Flores has been with Utah State University since 2018, working with Statewide Campuses and University Marketing and Communications as the Strategic Enrollment Marketing Manager. Ricky manages strategic marketing for the USU Brigham City, Wasatch, and Tooele Regions. He received is BA in Film Studies from the University of Utah and earned his MBA from Utah State University in 2021.

Aaron Fortin | Multimedia Specialist, Office of Research Communications Team

Track Dynamic No Budget, No Problem: How to Use Your Phone to Crush Your Marketing Budget

Aaron has been photographing professionally for 8 years. He currently works for the university as a multimedia specialist for the Office of Research Communications team. Aaron has a wide range of multimedia skills. He produces photo and video content that highlights USU's exceptional research efforts for websites, social media, and major events. He also creates professional headshots, and manages photo/video production for major events. 

Emily Fredrick | Social Media Coordinator, Space Dynamics Laboratory

Track Bold Social Media Panel

Emily Fredrick is the Social Media Coordinator at Space Dynamics Laboratory, where she has dedicated over a year to crafting and executing SDL's refreshed social media strategy. With a bachelor's degree in Interactive Web Management from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Emily brings over seven years of diverse digital marketing experience to her role. Part of her experience includes managing all digital efforts for three national hair and beauty companies, honing her skills in content and inbound marketing. IRL, Emily finds joy in outdoor adventures like hiking and mountain biking, and loves to experiment with film photography.

Lael Gilbert | Public Relations Specialist, S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Track Captivating Longform Writing with the Utah State Magazine

Lael Gilbert is Public Relations Specialist for the Quinney College of Natural Resources. She has more than two decades of experience in professional and academic writing, and loves ridiculous words like spleenwort and piffle. Probably due to a background in print journalism, she doesn’t believe in the Oxford comma, but will capitulate when required.

Lindsi Glass | AVP of Digital Strategy & Analytics, University Marketing & Communication

Track Bold Social Media Panel

Lindsi Glass, CDMP, oversees the implementation of various digital initiatives, provides recommendations and direction for data-driven decisions using Google Analytics, and has oversight of web and social media within University Marketing and Communications. Before her time in higher education, Glass worked in professional sports for Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Florida Panthers. She holds a master’s degree from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. When she’s not working in google or coaching her son’s basketball team, she’s creating epic Spotify playlists for UMAC department gatherings.

Jeff Hunter | Senior Writer, Utah State Magazine

Track Captivating Longform Writing with the Utah State Magazine

Currently the senior writer for Utah State magazine, Jeff Hunter has been a professional writer, editor and photographer for more than three decades. The USU graduate served in a variety of journalism positions over 25 years at The Herald Journal in Logan, and he’s spent 10 years covering Aggie athletics for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City as a freelance sportswriter. He also served as the editor of Cache Valley, Today’s Playground and Houseboat magazines before returning to the USU campus in 2018 as a writer and Public Relations Specialist.

Marcus Jensen | News Coordinator, University Marketing & Communication

Track Captivating (Inverted) Pyramid Building Without Drudgery

Marcus studied Multimedia Journalism at Weber State University and has worked in university communications since 2015, working in both university athletics and strategic communications. He works closely with Statewide Campuses to facilitate communications and media outreach as well as the odds and ends of communication and marketing needs across the university and its various colleges and departments. He handles media monitoring and also serves as the backup editor for Utah State Today, whenever the need arises. He has worked at USU since 2020.

Ashlee Karren | Art Director, University Marketing & Communication

Track Animated Learn and Play within the USU Brand Box
Track Animated The Power of Canva

Ashlee Karren is the art director for University Marketing and Communications (UMAC) at Utah State University. She has over 18 years of design, branding, and marketing experience, and leads UMACʼs core design teamʼs efforts in creating the universityʼs visual identity and branded materials. In her free time, Ashlee is an avid foodie who enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Steven Kent | Editor, Utah State Today

Track Captivating (Inverted) Pyramid Building Without Drudgery

Steve (he/him) is the editor for Utah State Today, which publishes university-wide news releases as well as stories from all USU’s colleges, divisions, campuses and centers. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Journalism & Communications and has worked with local writers as an editor in print and web media since 2011.

Tyler Knowles | Assistant AD of Marketing & Creative Content, USU Athletics

Track Bold Social Media Panel

Tyler Knowles is the Assistant AD of Marketing and Creative Content for Utah State University Athletics. He’s been with USU Athletics for over 7 years and has posted, tweeted, and storied everything from Big Blue to March Madness. If he’s not at a game, he’s probably getting ready to be at a game, or preparing something for a game. Just kidding, he’s always at a game. When he’s not creating awesome content for athletics, he’s somewhere in the canyon, far from people, fishing.

Olivia Lee | Admissions Specialist, USU Wasatch Region

Track Bold AI Task Force Panel Discussion

Olivia Lee currently is the Admissions Specialist for Utah State University Wasatch Region’s statewide campuses, which includes USU Heber, Park City, Orem and Salt Lake. Olivia graduated from USU in 2020 with her bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

Daniel Lenhart | Program Assistant, Office of Research Communications Team

Track Dynamic Experiences that Resonate: Harnessing the Power of Small-Scale Events

Daniel has been an events professional for 7 years and has a passion for creating memorable experiences. His experience ranges orchestrating and executing event plans from intimate gatherings to large-scale, high-level events. Whether a simple workshop or training, or a large gala, Daniel is equipped with the creativity and meticulous planning skills to leave memorable impressions for attendees.

Logan Loertscher | Programmer/Analyst, IT Web Team

Track Bold Website Vitals & Your Web Stewardship

Logan serves as the IT Web Team Programmer/Analyst focusing on analytics reporting. During the transition from Google Analytics Universal to Google Analytics 4, he spearheaded the implementation of data collection, consumption, and reporting to provide meaningful analytics reports for all levels of website managers. This focus also included incorporating Google Search Console results into the Looker Studio analytics report to help end-users better understand what our audiences searched for to find the content on our web pages.

Jeff Lofland | Senior Graphic Designer

Track Bold AI Task Force Panel Discussion

Jeff Lofland is a Senior Graphic Designer for Utah State University. He wants to do his part to make this planet a more beautiful place. To that end, his current life goal is to save the world from Comic Sans, one flyer at a time.

Kimberly McClellan | Business & Communications Manager, Utah County Extension

Track Animated C.R.A.P. Design

Kimberly McClellan is the business and communications manager for the Utah State University Extension Utah County office. She graduated from USU with two bachelor's degrees, one in agriculture communication and the other in journalism. Much of her time is spent designing flyers, brochures, and social media graphics. Horses, agriculture, and communication are her passions.

Loren Miller | Marketing Manager, USU Eastern, Blanding & Moab

Track Bold Making Social Content Count

Loren Miller has worked for Utah State University since 2016 in various roles. Since 2019, he has worked for University Marketing & Communications as a marketing manager for Eastern, Blanding, and Moab.

Mary-Ann Muffoletto | College Writer & Public Relations Specialist, College of Science

Track Captivating Strategic Storytelling: Writing to Advance University Objectives

Mary-Ann Muffoletto is a hard-working, sometimes-irreverent, in-the-trenches public relations specialist with 20 years of experience at Utah State.

Tim Olsen | Managing Editor, Utah State Magazine

Track Captivating Longform Writing with the Utah State Magazine

Tim Olsen is the managing editor for the Utah State magazine, and has been a USU employee for nearly 10 years. Prior to working in higher education, Tim held various positions in media and journalism throughout the state of Utah. After earning a master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, he returned to Cache Valley and started an online sports magazine called Cache Sports Media. That endeavor led him to the Cache Valley Media Group where he oversaw cachevalleydaily.com and often participated on KVNU’s “Full Court Press” show. From there, Tim traveled to Southern Utah where he worked as the Digital and Sports Editor for The Spectrum and Daily News before returning home to Cache Valley and Utah State as the advisor over USU’s student newspaper, The Utah Statesman. Following a foray in the Student Affairs and Statewide Campus realm, Tim returned to the communications world in 2023. Along with his master’s from Syracuse in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism, Tim earned a bachelor’s in print journalism from Utah State (’09) as well as an MBA from USU’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business (’18).

Christopher Phillips | Digital Accessibility Officer, Digital Accessibility Services

Christopher Phillips is the Digital Accessibility Officer at Utah State University within the newly created Digital Accessibility Services department. He loves helping people work to create more inclusive and accessible digital experiences for everyone. He comes to USU with a background in web development, special education, and product management.

Ben Renard-Wiart | Director of Web Strategy, University Marketing & Communication

Track Bold From Your Target to Your Student: Degree Finder Optimization

Ben Renard-Wiart is the Director of Web Strategy at Utah State University. During his 19 years at USU, he’s been instrumental in the success of usu.edu.  Including overseeing the strategy for high-priority and highly-visible pages, website branding, and four major website redesigns since 2005, he was also responsible for the development and implementation of multiple web applications such as USU’s degree finder, campus calendar, faculty experts, and Utah State Today.  Prior to Utah State, Ben held positions as an online course designer and web development instructor while also working as a freelance web designer.   Although a native of La Rochelle, France, Ben calls Logan, Utah, home and spends his weekends mountain biking in the various canyons of Cache Valley.

Alicia Richmond | Communications Director, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

A seasoned communications professional, Alicia Richmond has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. She is thrilled with her current role as the Communications Director for the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Prior to joining USU, Alicia worked in the world of broadcast journalism for 15 years. Excited to make the leap to higher ed, she has always been drawn to telling the “ultimate” story. Alicia received her B. S. from Brigham Young University and will start her master’s program in Fall of 2024.

Levi Sim | Photographer, University Marketing & Communication

Utah State is Levi's 47th employer. As the UMAC Photographer, he enjoys the best job on all the campuses.

Ty Smith | Part-time Videographer, Full-time Student

Workshop Video Workshop

Ty ‘Spidey’ Smith is a part-time videographer, full-time student. When he’s not shredding tires in the RC market, he’s running camera, audio, and the mouse.

Thomas Sorenson | Coordinator of Programs, Office of Research Communications Team

Thomas has worked in USU’s Research Communications team since 2018 as the team’s lead writer and project manager. He spearheads the planning efforts for a small team that runs notable programs and events, such as Research Week, USU Research Landscapes, Blue Plate Research, and others. 

Breylen Stallings | Videographer, USU Eastern

Track Bold AI Task Force Panel Discussion

Breylen is a videographer with a passion for crafting visual narratives that engage and move audiences. His expertise in video editing has been recognized at the highest levels, earning him an Emmy nomination for his work on Everest: trek to base camp. He blends technical skills with a creative vision to produce content that is not only visually stunning but also emotionally resonant.

Nathan Stucki | Interim Director & Marketer, Office of Research Communications Team

Nathan has worked in marketing for the last 10 years. He provides leadership for the strategic communication of the Office of Research including newsletters, social media, web, email marketing, photo/video production, and any visual communication. He also leads the team responsible for USU’s premiere research outreach programs, including Blue Plate Research, Research Landscapes, and Research Week.

Jordan Taylor | Programmer/Analyst, IT Web Team

Track Bold [Don’t] Click Here

Jordan Taylor brings extensive experience to the table, having designed nine online Canvas and Brightspace courses and ensuring quality and brand standards across over 59 websites in Omni. Having had the privilege of collaborating with outstanding faculty and staff at USU and BYU-Idaho, as well as working with a remarkable web team at USU (albeit with a touch of bias), Jordan is poised to share insights gleaned from the international HighEdWeb conference in Buffalo, NY, held in October 2023. Jordan and the rest of the Web Team are eager to disseminate the latest tips and tricks acquired during the conference.

Bronson Teichert | Multimedia Marketing Manager, College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences

Track Bold Social Media Panel

Bronson Teichert is the multimedia marketing manager for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. He spends most of his time creating photo/video marketing content for the 8 CAAS departments, including programs at USU's Statewide campuses. Bronson also manages and helps create content for the CAAS social media platforms.

Adam Thomas | Programmer/Analyst, IT Web Team

Track Bold Elevate Your Web UX/UI in No Time

Adam Thomas has his Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from USU and his UX/UI certification from Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g). Adam is a Programmer/Analyst for the IT Web Team and focuses on managing web projects and implementing solid UX/UI principles into the USU websites. Even with his Texan blood, Adam is a life-long hockey player and only survives the Logan winters by skiing up at Beaver Mountain.

Kat Webb | Content Director, ASPIRE Center

Track Bold AI Task Force Panel Discussion

Kat is Cache Valley-native and a Utah State University Department of Journalism and Communication alum. She fell in love with words and stories at a young age and always wanted to be a writer. Following her time as a journalist, she worked in USU’s University Marketing and Communication department, where she was able to leverage her storytelling skills in a variety of forms — from ads and news stories to helping create the president’s new podcast, Future Casting at Utah State, with Utah Public Radio. She is now the content director of the ASPIRE Center, a 4th generation NSF engineering research center, with the marketing and communications team.

Logan Wilber | News Director, Utah State Magazine

Track Captivating Media Panel

Logan Wilber is the newest member of the UMAC team, serving as News Director for Utah State Today. Prior to joining the Aggie family, Logan spent time in the news media working both in front of and behind the camera for tv stations all over the country, including a short stint at KSL. An avid sports fan, Logan named his dog, Maddux, after former Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux. He attributes his superior cooking skills to growing up with an Italian grandmother and enjoys hosting dinner parties for friends. His guilty pleasure is letting his brain rot while watching the timeless art that is professional wrestling.