Kellogg On Growth Conference

By Mike Curtis on 10 Nov 2015 – 9:45 am
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November 10th, 3 months in the making, is the full day of the Kellogg On Growth Conference. The event, quite unlike any other on campus since I’ve been here (9 years), and probably many more years than that, is an event encompassing over 1500 students, faculty and staff all on the same day.  Beginning at 9am and wrapping up after 9pm, in 6 locations across campus, with corporate sponsors, high profile guest speakers and a fully organized student group involved in putting this event together – this is the Kellogg on Growth Conference.

Growth Forum Space Plan overview

Northwestern Information Technology’s role in the event covers the video capture of the opening session, live streaming (opening and closing session), support for track sessions in Cahn, Pick Staiger, Galvin Hall and Welsh-Ryan auditorium. and oversight of the technical components for the presentations throughout the day.


Right now I’m in the Cahn booth with Stephen Poon in AMPS and will be heading over to Welsh-Ryan to get setup for closing session later this evening.  In Welsh-Ryan, they’re using the the jumbotron for the presentations and a 4′ stage on the basketball court.  I’ll update with a photo later this afternoon.


Our Posters for the 2015 Oncofertility Conference

"Critical Conversations in Oncofertility: Pediatrics and Beyond"

By Harlan Wallach on 3 Nov 2015 – 6:01 pm
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Besides supporting the AV needs of the conference, NUIT A&RT participated in this evening’s poster session for the 2015 Oncofertility Consortium. We’ve been supporting Dr. Woodruff and attending the conference for nine years. This year we have a poster for describing the upcoming consortium web site redesign, and a poster of the just launched Introduction to Reproduction mooc (massive open online course).

A&RT ‘s Alex Miner and Nick Gertonsen manned the poster for the web site redesign.




Heather Hasely, lead instructional designer and Megan Castle, our Woodruff Lab content specialist were on hand to discuss the development and features of the mooc.


Screenshot 2015-10-29 16.23.08(1)



It’s a real honor to be able to  support the great work of the Woodruff Lab and our long continuing collaboration with Dr. Woodruff.



A New Home on Arts Circle Drive

By Stephen Poon on 24 Sep 2015 – 6:58 pm
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Today, NUAMPS recorded the dedication ceremony for Northwestern’s new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, where students and faculty will find a new home for recitals, concerts, practice rooms, and more. The original Music Administration Building was first founded in 1874 as the Woman’s College of Northwestern University. This new building, for the Bienen School of Music and the School of Communication, is sure to stand for at least another 141 years!

NUAMPS/A&RT Launch MOOC Specialization: “Social Marketing – How to Profit in the Digital World”

By Dan Hoefler on 21 Sep 2015 – 9:15 am
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In today’s digital climate, many businesses have gotten good at being active on social media. But very few have figured out how to be profitable on it. Northwestern University’s new, free online courses take dead aim at this issue.

The five-course specialization, Social Marketing: How to Profit in the Digital World (@NUsocialmktg), launched on Coursera last Tuesday, September 15. One of the University’s newest MOOCs—massive open online courses—these free courses are designed to teach entrepreneurs and executives how to engage with high-value target audiences and develop profitable social media strategies.

“Only about 20% of companies worldwide say they have social programs that deliver bottom-line profit and ROI,” said Randy Hlavac (@RandyHlavac), the Northwestern University Medill IMC professor who is leading the course. “This course focuses on the strategies used by the most effective companies within that 20%. It describes the types of strategies that work and gives you the tools you need to go out an implement them in your organization.”

Hlavac, who teaches Digital, Social, and Mobile Marketing at Medill, is the author of the new book, Social IMC: Social Strategies with Bottom-Line ROI. He is also the coordinator of the Digital and Interactive Specialization at Medill and the director of the Medill IMC OmniChannel Initiative with IBM.

The courses, which are open to and designed for business owners, executives, and marketing professionals around the world, will show students how to develop, deploy, and monetize a successful social media marketing plan. “It’s designed to teach you the strategies that are actually trackable and monetizable. Then it shows you how to go out and execute those strategies,” Hlavac said.


Structure of the Specialization

The specialization is made of up five free MOOCs and cumulates with a capstone project. The first MOOC is available now, and subsequent MOOCs will launch over the next four months. The MOOCs will cover:

Participants anywhere in the world can sign up for the individual courses for free on Coursera and complete the MOOCs on their own schedule. Those who complete all five MOOCs—and pay to take the premium version of the entire specialization, which includes the capstone project—will earn the Northwestern University Specialization in Social Marketing Certificate. The premium version costs $79/MOOC or $426 for the entire specialization


Tools for Building Profitable Social Media Marketing

The courses give students the habits, expertise, and tools they need to become an expert in the social markets that are most valuable to their organizations.

“One of the things that makes these courses so unique is that they are going to be extremely hands-on,” Hlavac said. “We’re not going to talk about the theory of social media marketing; we’re going to have students go do it.”

All students will receive access to social marketing toolkits by enrolling in the courses. Containing items like advanced marketing and analytics tools, the kits will prove to be critical in developing a successful social strategy. Students taking the premium version of the specialization, however, will receive more valuable tools—longer review times, more advanced tools, special videos, and e-books—to justify the extra investment.


Contributors to the Courses

Another highlight of the course is the opportunity to learn not just from Hlavac and other Northwestern professors, but also from experts at some of the world’s most innovative companies and programs.

“Rather than being a traditional lecture, the course is made up of conversations with experts in fields such as data analytics, infograpics, gamification, blogging, and content marketing,” Hlavac said. “The conversations will examine the companies that are leading the way in using these tools to deliver bottom-line results.”

Northwestern Faculty

Faculty from across Northwestern will share insight from their research and teaching:

  1. ​Randy Hlavac – Medill, Integrated Marketing Communications
  2. Tom Collinger – Medill, Integrated Marketing Communications
  3. Judy Franks – Medill, Integrated Marketing Communications
  4. Rich Gordon – Medill Journalism
  5. Tom Hayden – Medill, Integrated Marketing Communications
  6. Zach Wise – Medill, Integrated Marketing Communications

Industry professionals

The courses feature insight from a tremendous lineup of leading professionals across digital marketing and analytics, including:

Live Stream Crew for the March through the Arch…

By Harlan Wallach on 13 Sep 2015 – 12:41 pm
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IMG_4465The stream is live at

IMG_4459NUIT’s Mike Curtis is manning the live stream for the Class of 2019 March through the Arch. What a great day !

The crew is in place for the 2019 class picture

both an all class picture and a gigapan this year...

By Harlan Wallach on 13 Sep 2015 – 12:04 pm
Location: (42° 3' 23"N x 88° 19' 29"W)
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NUIT’s Nathan Bartlett and Student Affair’s Jill Norton are up in the cherry picker ready for the 2019 all Class picture in Deering Meadow.

Alex and Nick at the PPP Conference

By Nick Gertonson on 7 Aug 2015 – 6:15 pm
Location: (41° 52' 31"N x 88° 22' 23"W)
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It’s been two jam-packed days of insightful design talks here at Columbia College Chicago. Alex Miner and I have been hanging out here – deep in the heart of the loop – at the Prototypes, Process & Play Conference.

The conference, put on by Chicago Camps LLC, presented a number of talks that could all be traced back to an overarching theme of “design leadership.”

The conference started off on a great foot, as we were greeted by an amazing breakfast spread! Fresh, buttery croissants and hot coffee. Key staples in the diet of any self-respecting designer.


Things were looking good!

Then I saw this:


“No Food Or Drink In The Auditorium, Please!”

Columbia College Chicago has a strict “No Food or Drink In The Auditorium” policy. As a fan of eating while listening to lectures, I was devastated.

But thankfully, my despair was short lived.



The conference kicked off with an exciting keynote from Dr. Temple Grandin – yes, the Temple Grandin, renowned professor of animal science at Colorado State University, whose life story was depicted in the award winning TV Movie Temple Grandin.


Dr. Grandin gave a remarkable talk about the different ways in which our brains are wired. She spoke about neural pathways and how some people are better equipped to think visually, how others are better able to identify patterns, and how some thrive with verbal language. The concept of different types of thinkers was not new to me – I’ve known since elementary school that I was a visual learner – but as Dr. Grandin spoke about her long career, she was able to give insight into how she – an extremely visual thinker – was able to work productively in groups with other types of thinkers. Sometimes, we are quick to frustration when we cannot effectively communicate with others on our team. Dr. Grandin posits that, by recognizing our differences in the way we think, we can appreciate these differences, and even leverage them to work better as a team.

From J Cornelius - "Redesign our Design Thinking"

From J Cornelius – “Redesign our Design Thinking”

A number of design leaders spoke about “design leadership” and how it applies to larger companies – those with multiple teams and groups within them.

Milissa Tarquini, for example, spoke about her 15 years spent at AOL back in the 1990’s and how the company oscillated between centralized and decentralized organizational models. She talked at length about how designers played vital leadership roles during this constantly changing time at the company.

Not exactly something that I find myself contemplating in my day to day work with the, relatively small, NUAMPS Web team, but a lot of the concepts discussed could certainly be applied to the way we do business, and the way our team fits into the University as a whole.

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From Hannah Donovan – “Sometimes You Need To Draw Animals”

One of my favorite talks from the conference was by Hannah Donovan – a longtime designer from – on the phenomenon of designer burn out. I’m not sure I’ve experienced true designer burn out at this point in my career, but nonetheless, her talk “Sometimes You Need To Draw Animals” was a motivating look at how visual designers like myself can take steps to overcome “maker’s block.”

  • Learn When To Stop
    • With digital tools, it’s easy to keep endlessly tinkering. The key is knowing when to say “I’m done” and move on to the next thing.
  • Start With Something [Bad]
    • Don’t let the fear of making something bad keep you from starting. Start with something [bad] and work to improve it.
    • It’s a common fallacy to think “I’ll do this when the motivation strikes.” If you’ve got a boulder at the top of a hill, sometimes it takes a big push before gravity takes over.
  • Create Patterns For Serendipity
    • Allow yourself opportunities to surprise yourself.
  • Do Something Different
    • Break the routine.

Lastly, there was the talk on “Theft, Tributes & Collaboration” by Carl Smith.

Carl Smith proposed that, as designers and engineers, we should be taking the best ideas that already exist and building upon them. To make this point, he spoke about collaboration in the world of music and film.

Alex happened to find a video of Carl giving this talk at an earlier conference. I highly recommend checking out what he has to say.


Theft, Tributes and Collaboration – Carl Smith from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

And before I forget, here’s something really cool! The whole conference was live captioned! A rather large HDTV sat on the side of the stage, and as we found out during the course of the two days, every speaker was being transcribed live, all the way from Atlanta, Georgia, by a woman named Brook! A pretty cool way for this conference to be accessible and inclusive!


Brook, the captioner, could not be stumped.

 Obligatory NUAMPS selfie.

Obligatory NUAMPS selfie.

World Haptics Conference 2015

By Stephen Poon on 23 Jun 2015 – 9:57 am
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This year, the World Haptics Conference is being held at Northwestern University. Presentation topics range from mid-air and wearable technology to somatosensory prosthetics, and poster sessions include everything from blind photography to invisible password entry. NUIT is providing an overflow feed for the McCormick Auditorium sessions throughout this week to allow as many participants as possible to attend these innovative talks.


SESP Convocation 2015

By Deirdre Lee on 19 Jun 2015 – 8:21 pm
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This evening, NUIT A&RT AMPS was back at Cahn Auditorium supporting Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy Convocation 2015. Every year, we film the event as well as provide an overflow feed from our camera for extra attendees on campus. It truly was a wonderful celebration! There were signs all around the theater reminding the graduates, their families, and friends to tweet and instagram #SESPLOVE to share their special moments. Congrats again SESP ’15 graduates!

Zoran Illic monitoring the overflow feed from the Cahn Auditorium booth.

Zoran Illic monitoring the overflow feed from the Cahn Auditorium booth.



Northwestern’s 2015 Commencement

By Stephen Poon on 19 Jun 2015 – 9:39 am
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“Growth and comfort do not coexist.” Virginia Rometty, President and CEO of IBM, delivered this year’s main commencement address. She discussed the future of technology, healthcare, and the difference between having a goal and having a purpose. NUIT provided the live stream for all family and friends of this year’s graduating class to view their success from anywhere in the world.