10 SXSW EDU Presenters to Follow in 2020

by Squarecap Staff, on Mar 9, 2020 12:24:25 AM

Now that SXSW EDU has officially been canceled due to safety concerns with the potential Coronavirus outbreak in Austin, TX, many attendees are understandably disappointed to miss out on the great discussions and networking opportunities.

Here are 10 SXSW EDU presenters who are leading the way in education and have great insights to share with our community @SquarecapInc.


1. Carl Hooker @mrhooker

Educational Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Future Ready Faculty, Author, podcast host, DJ, MC, & poet

Named Tech & Learning Magazine’s Leader of the year in 2014, Carl Hooker has been instrumental in putting together the #AltSXSWEdu event which is still accepting registrations here: SXSW attendees who are already in the ATX area can consider attending this event but should also follow CDC guidelines when making plans.

SXSW EDU Presentation: Technology Fear Therapy

Remember when your parents used to complain about television and rock n' roll? Now we complain about Snap Chat, texting, and screen time. We are now officially old. Unlike our parents we have tools and resources available to us, but how many of those are valuable and how many of them are scare tactics? In this entertaining therapy session, we’ll look at the current research around social media, gaming, screens and more in an effort to avert our fears and empower ourselves (and kids) going forward. Subscribe to his newsletter here:


2. John Friedman @John_N_Friedman

Econ Prof at Brown U. and Opportunity Insights. Editor, Journal of Public Econ. Formerly: Special Assistant to the President at the National Economic Council

John Friedman’s research brings together theory and data, harnessing the power of large administrative datasets to yield policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including taxation, healthcare, and education quality. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets.

SXSW EDU Presentation: College & Economic Mobility: For All or Some?

At its best, higher education can be a powerful engine of social mobility. But the institutions that offer students the greatest economic opportunities enroll very few students from low-income homes. Why? And what would it take to change things? Bringing together perspectives from data science, journalism, and university enrollment management, the panelists will analyze the barriers confronting low-income students and propose solutions to help educators, policymakers, parents, and students.

Read his research here:

The SOI Databank: A case study in leveraging administrative data in support of evidence-based policymaking


3. Shanna Peeples @Shannapeeples

Ed.L.D. candidate @Harvard | 2015 National Teacher | Student-Centered Learning Fellow @CCSSO I Author: Think Like Socrates | otter enthusiast | she/her

Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, took the road less travelled on the way to her classroom. She worked as a disc jockey, medical assistant, and journalist before teaching, as she says, chose her.

Shanna taught middle and high school English in low-income schools in Amarillo, Texas for 14 years. Because Amarillo is a resettlement area for refugees, students as diverse as the Karen people of Myanmar to the Bantu people of Somalia, make up classes in her former assignment at Palo Duro High School.

Currently, Shanna is a doctoral candidate in Education Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education where she is a member of two teams working on solutions for some of education’s thorniest problems: implementing equity and teacher shortages in STEM.

Her book, Think Like Socrates: Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom, was recently chosen by the National Education Association Foundation and PDK International as a book choice for their membership.

SXSW EDU Presentation: A Decade of National Teachers of the Year

In this conversation moderated by the CCSSO’s 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples, participants will hear from current and previous National Teachers of the Year, learning what is unique about education now, and what hasn’t changed at all. Specifically, what do these nationally renowned educators think will be the future of the profession? Of education? Participants will leave with a charge in how we should think differently about teachers and students over the next decade.


4. Dr. Frederick Engram Jr @VanCarlito2003

HEA/DEI, Disruptor, Faculty, and Doctor Graduate Enrollment Expert/Professor |American University

Dr. Frederick Engram, Jr. is a graduate enrollment expert. Dr Engram is also a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategist who grounds his research in critical race theory. He also holds faculty appointments at American University and Radford University. As a qualitative researcher he views the research of race and racism based on the lived experience of African Americans. He focuses his research on the lived experience of African American graduate students enrolled at PWIs (predominately white institutions). He is a published scholar and a contributing author of "No Ways Tired: The Journey For Professionals of Color in Student Affairs' Vol II" (2019), "An Act of Courage: Providing Space for Students of Color to Express Their Feelings of Disconnectedness" (2020). He has also published several articles for Blavity and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Dr Engram is available for guest lectures and panels with a strategic focus. Follow Dr Engram via twitter at @VanCarlitio2003 and feel free to connect via LinkedIn.

SXSW EDU Presentation: Mentor Session: Frederick V. Engram Jr.

Talk to me about:

-The African American graduate student experience.

-Interrupting the impact of whitewashed curriculum.

-Diversity, inclusion, and equity in graduate admissions.

-Critical race theory and racism in higher education.


5. Jason Tomassini @jtomassini

Director for Editorial @Atlantic57, digital consultancy of @TheAtlantic. Tweets mostly media, storytelling & hoops. Fmr. @digitalpromise

Jason leads a team of journalists, editors, and newsroom strategists at Atlantic 57. This team operates high-quality newsrooms on behalf of our clients and helps our clients build their own effective content operations. He’s led engagements with large corporations, foundations, and mission-driven nonprofits. Prior to Atlantic 57, Jason worked as a journalist and strategist in newsrooms such as The New York Times, Reuters, and Education Week. He also led communications for a leading education organization. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

SXSW EDU Presentation: Who Gen Z Is & Why You Should Care

Gen Z. You’ve heard the term but are likely wondering, “What’s the big deal?” For educators and administrators, it means a new generation of students—one that has never lived in a world without smartphones, social media, or the internet. To meet Gen Z needs, it’s essential to understand who it is. In this session, Jason will distill The Atlantic’s research findings around Gen Z to highlight trends that inform how to engage meaningfully with the group.


6. Tim Renick @tim_renick

Senior Vice President of Student Success and Professor at Georgia State University. See

Timothy Renick is Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Vice Provost, and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. He has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program. Since 2008, he has directed the student success and enrollment efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students’ race, ethnicity or income level. Dr. Renick has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the U.S. Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House. His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN and cited by President Obama.

SXSW EDU Presentation: Does Student Success Scale?

In the course of five years, 11 of the country’s largest publics have increased the number of low income graduates by 29%—a number with big implications for the health of our society and economy. One part of our strategy was analytics-powered advising, which we put to the test with a 10,0000-student federally-funded randomized control trial. After three years of research, come hear what has been learned—the wins and the trials—when we tap data to personalize and improve the student experience.


7. Bridget Burns @BBurnsEDU

Exec Dir University Innovation Alliance - I help #higherEd share & scale #studentsuccess #innovation. Feels like I live in airports. Tweets are my own, you can’t have them.

For the past decade, Dr. Bridget Burns has advised university presidents, system chancellors, and state and federal policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. Named one of the “Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly, she is the founding Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). The UIA is the ground-breaking national consortium of research universities igniting a movement through their collaborative work to innovate together, scale “what works”, close their achievement gaps, and improve outcomes for all students. The UIA was developed during Dr. Burns tenure as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at Arizona State University.

Dr. Burns held multiple roles within in the Oregon University System, including serving as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor, where she won the national award for innovation in higher education government relations. She previously served as a National Associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and has served on several statewide governing boards including ones governing higher education institutions, financial aid policy, and policy areas impacting children and families. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Oregon State University, and an Ed.D in Higher Education, Leadership, and Policy from Vanderbilt University.

SXSW EDU Presentation: How to Innovate & Improve Your Campus for No Cost

How can you help your campus improve when you lack resources, time, and energy? Surprisingly, there is a LOT you CAN do, questions you can ask, and creative ways to look at your challenges- and each of these tips will help your campus better support new ideas, unpack learning, be more creative, and see the system for how it really is. Come learn what we have discovered after 6 years of helping the most innovative colleges make dramatic student success progress.


8. Jason Meier @jasonrobert

Director, @EC_SEAL at @EmersonCollege. Sitting at the nexus of edu & pop culture. Founding member #SAUnicorn. Owner of 2 lb can of cherries. @humanofhighered

In his role as Director of Student Engagement and Leadership at Emerson College, Jason challenges the process while encouraging future communicators to push their boundaries and their own beliefs. With a degree in advertising from Texas Tech and a masters in education from the University of Arkansas, Jason has found himself at the nexus of pop culture and education. Jason has spoken at multiple national conferences, including SXSW Interactive 2018, and been featured in Inside Higher Education, Vice News and the Journal for Campus Activities Practice and Scholarship. Oh, and he's one

SXSW EDU Presentation: There’s a Meme for That: Higher Ed MultiGen Clashes

With more than 25k followers on social media, Humans of Higher Education unintentionally shined a light on the generational difference in higher ed administration when a meme ignited a firestorm in higher ed social media. Through this, the writers of HoHE helped Millennial & Gen Z pros share frustrations concerning advocacy & equity with older admin. Hear first hand about the meme that broke Student Affairs & what HoHE staff have learned about the generational differences in a shifting higher ed field.


9. Corinne Weisgerber @corinnew

SXSW Edu planned to host Communication professor & researcher. Interested in social media, relational communication, pedagogy & all things tech. From Luxembourg. Views are my own.

Corinne Weisgerber, Ph.D., is a social media professor and researcher at Concordia University in Austin, Texas where she teaches classes on digital media, public relations and intercultural communication. Corinne became interested in computer-mediated communication in the early days of the Internet and has been studying the impact of new communication technologies on our relationships, identities, and ways of seeing the world since the beginning of her doctoral studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Much of her latest research has focused on new media and pedagogy, and her research has been published in academic journals, book chapters, and various online forums. - See more at:

SXSW EDU Presentation: Not for Sale: Academic Freedom at University, Inc.

At SXSW EDU deals are cut, decisions are made and trends are born. After 10 years of pushing a corporate agenda on higher ed, where has this led us? State funding is plummeting, the professorate has been Uberized and corporate money has infiltrated most campuses. How does academic freedom fit into this neoliberal university model pushed by so many SXSW EDU participants? Who will defend the values of academic freedom and tenure at a conference that rarely challenges a for-profit culture?eral live session recordings bringing together a variety of experts and experiences. Follow these podcasts to keep up with future episodes!


10. The Podcast Community

Stay connected with the brightest minds in education by subscribing to these podcasts.

Dustin Ramsdell @HigherEd_Geek

Work: @Noodle_Partners | @UDelaware '12 | @Rutgers_CSA '14 | Blogger, Podcaster, & Jedi Master. | Member of @ConnectEDUpod

EdSurge @EdSurge

EdSurge helps educators find & use the right tools to support all learners. We do this

Ministry of Ideas @ministryofideas

a small podcast about big ideas // produced at @HarvardDivinity // featured in @GlobeIdeas // host of @sound_edu

K12 Engr Edu Podcast @K12Engineering

Tweeting for The K12 Engineering Education Podcast by @PiosLabs and @PiusWong. For teachers, admin, engineers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and parents.

Blk + In Grad School @blkingradschool

A podcast created to encourage and inspire people of color to and through grad school.Graduation cap Detroit Native | 1908 | HBCU Grad | STEM PhD

The 8 Black Hands Podcast @8BlackHands1

Powerful podcast from 4 Black men passionate about educating Black minds in a country that failed them. @ccoleiii @citizenstewart @mr_ankrum @selmekki

MindShift @MindShiftKQED

MindShift explores the future of learning, covering cultural and tech trends and innovations in education. Find the MindShift Podcast at


The Education Writers Association is a non-profit membership organization of journalists who cover the education beat.

TrendingInEducation @TrendingInEd

Breaking down the latest trends in learning at all levels. Watching adjacent spaces to get a read on what's next for education, learning, and media

Presentation biographies and session proposals credited to


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Topics:Trends in EdTechCovid19

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