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Saturday, April 2 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Keynote Panel: Radical Education

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This opening keynote panel will discuss the current state of higher education, the rapid evolution of modern education with social media and technology, and the radically new and innovative ideas being promoted by some of those in the social media world, including the AU Social Media Club.


  • Moderator: Sarah Kessler, Reporter, Mashable (@sarahfkessler) - Sarah Kessler is a reporter at Mashable, a top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. Before joining Mashable in 2010, she was the editor-in-chief of global education magazine Abroad View. Her articles have appeared in Sierra Magazine, Inc. Magazine, CNN.com, and USAToday.com.
  • Patrick Foster, Digital Solutions, USA TODAY College (@mrpattyfoster) - Patrick Foster works on digital solutions for the USA TODAY College and Business Development teams. He has a deep background in journalism and music as well, having spent more than a decade contributing to publications like The Washington Post, Time Out London and SPIN. He runs the Twitter accounts@USATODAYCollege and @mrpattyfoster.
  • Jon Hussey, Manager of Web Communications, American University (@auwebmanager- Jon Hussey, Manager of Web Communications, American University (@auwebmanager) - Jon Hussey is in charge of the American University Facebook, Twitter (@AmericanU), and Foursquare accounts and manages the university's social media strategy. He recently published a chapter on the use of Twitter in higher education in the book, "Higher Education Administration with Social Media." Before coming to American University, Hussey was a sports journalist with the Boston Globe. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Interactive Journalism from American University's School of Communication. 
  • Yong Lee, Acting Director, SMCEDU (@yongclee) - Yong Lee is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he received a B.S. in Information Systems. A former software developer, he currently directs Social Media Club for Education (SMCEDU), an initiative that seeks to advance social media in higher education. He hosts a weekly Twitter chat on these topics every Monday at 12:30pmET under the #smcedu hashtag. Yong also serves as a project assistant in the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University.
  • Andi Narvaez, SMCEDU Advisory Board Member (@andinarvaez) - Andi Narvaez is a social media and public relations professional. She currently serves on the advisory boards of Social Media Club DC and Social Media Club Education Connection, she is public relations chair for DC Twestival and works for Citizen Effect, a philanthropy startup dedicated to providing citizens with the tools and support they need to work directly with communities in need around the world. She is originally from Quito, Ecuador but moved to Washington, DC in 2009 to pursue a masters degree in Public Relations at University of Maryland. You can read her blog at andinarvaez.com and follow her on Twitter @andinarvaez.
  • Alex Priest, President and Founder, AU Social Media Club (@alexpriest- Alex is the founder and president of the AU Social Media Club. An American University senior, Alex is pursuing a dual-degree in marketing and public communications, with a minor in statistics. Alex has a passion for not only social media, but for learning and for finding innovative ways of improving higher education. In the past, he’s worked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the American Legacy Foundation, MS&L PR, the Consumer Electronics Association, TechChange, and the United States Institute of Peace.
  • Scott Talan, Assistant Professor, AU School of Communication (@talan) - Scott Talan, MPA, has worked in media, PR, and communications in four distinct fields: TV News, Politics, Nonprofits and Higher Education. Scott worked at the United Nations, Harvard University and the New Mexico Legislature. He recently served as the Director of Communications for the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs. Before news, Talan was as an elected city council member and Mayor of Lafayette, California. His first career was in nonprofit communications working for the March of Dimes. Talan received his Master in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, studied broadcast journalism at Stanford after getting his BA from the University of California at Davis.
  • Rhonda Zaharana, Assistant Professor, AU School of Communication - Dr. Rhonda Zaharna is an associate professor of public communication in the School of Communication. She has been teaching full time at the university level since receiving her doctorate from Columbia University in 1987. This semester, she experimented with hosting her International Public Relations class on Facebook during a snow day, and her story was featured in The Washington Post and on Facebook's twitter feed.

Saturday April 2, 2011 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
SIS Founder's Room 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

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