One of the lessons we learned from ADAN20 was the fact that we can't run this conference alone. That's why we asked a range of experts from around the world to help keep ADAN21 on the right track. We always aim to stay relevant and on trend with our topics and ideas. The people that are a part of this committee have committed to ensuring next year's conference is even better than the last. Introducing the ADAN21 steering committee!


The University of Manchester

Alistair is the Senior Social Media Coordinator at The University of Manchester, where he oversees the strategic direction of corporate channels and leads a hub of social media professionals across campus.


He is an experienced digital marketing and communications specialist with over twelve years’ experience in public and private sector roles, including agency and in-house. CIM-certified, Alistair has spent the last six years working in Higher Education and is a regular conference presenter and trainer.

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Journalist and Editor

Cameron starts every project in the same way: by asking lots of questions.


A journalist and editor by trade, he helps organisations to find the words, stories, and content that reveal who they are.


In the past year, Cameron has helped schools and universities to recruit more students, assisted charities to raise more money, and coaxed candid responses from Broadway’s biggest stars.


He is a founding editorial board member of the Journal of Educational Advancement and Marketing, and has created a series of content training courses for the Executive Education program at the Queensland University of Technology. A data-driven storytelling advocate, Cameron is yet to meet a Sankey diagram or treemap that he didn’t like.



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Lancaster University

Cat is a digital marketer currently working at Lancaster University. Cat has worked at departmental, central and faculty level in an eclectic range of jobs. This varied history in the higher education sector gives her a unique perspective into institutional context. Currently, Cat works with the campaigns team at Lancaster on creating and amplifying fresh and distinctive content that stands out. She is an advocate for student voice, accessibility, diversity, visibility and representation in content and wants the higher education sector to be a better ally for the young people we support.


Cat loves to talk about memes, TikTok and the underbelly of the internet. Cat is not Bantshire University.

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University of Glasgow 

Since joining the University of Glasgow in 2013, Emma Gilmartin has revolutionised the way the university approaches social media and student communications, putting its students and staff at the forefront of its activity. As head of the multi award winning team, she leads its creative vision, digital content strategy and community engagement.


She has unified the university's online presence, established and strengthened the UofG social brand and led an overhaul of Glasgow's social output — using emerging channels, live platforms and creative ways to bring the UofG story to life, break news, promote world-changing research and grow community engagement and all things #TeamUofG.


In 2019, Emma won the inaugural ‘Pioneer Award’ at the ContentEd Awards 2019 for being a leader in the Education sector and breaking new ground in content strategy. She has spoken at multiple conferences nationally and internationally and writes blogs on the importance and value of social media in the higher education sector.

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The Academic Designer LLC

Jennifer van Alstyne is a communications strategist for faculty and researchers. At The Academic Designer LLC, Jennifer helps people and organizations share their work with the world in online spaces. Her blog/podcast, The Social Academic shares advice articles and interviews twice a month about managing your online presence in Higher Education. And she hosts live conversations and trainings on YouTube.

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University of Louisville

Karen Freberg is an Associate Professor in Strategic Communications at the University of Louisville, where she teaches, researches, and consults in social media strategy, public relations, and crisis communication. Freberg has written several books including The Roadmap in Teaching Social Media (Amazon, self published), Digital Media Writing for Strategic Communication (TopHat with Emily Kinsky and Amber Hutchins) and Social media for strategic communications: Creative strategies and research based applications (with SAGE). Her latest book Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices will be out in August 2020.


Freberg also has worked on several consulting opportunities with General Motors, adidas, Adobe, HubSpot, The Breeders’ Cup, DHS, CDC, Hootsuite, Colorado Ski Association, and Firestorm Solutions. Freberg has coordinated and advised various companies on the areas of social media pedagogy and certification programs, such as Cannes Lions (Co-Chair of the Cannes Lions Educator Summit), Hootsuite (Advanced Social Media Certification and #HootAmb), Meltwater (certification program and contributor), Adobe (EDUMax Thought Leader and Adobe Education Leader), Facebook Blueprint (Subject Matter Expert), and HubSpot (Education Founding Member).

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University of the Sunshine Coast

Dr Karen Sutherland is a social media and public relations educator, researcher and consultant with more than 20 years industry experience in marketing, public relations and communication roles for organisations such as Monash University, ABCTV, Fremantle Media, and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.


As the Social Media Marketing Institute’s 2020 Best Social Media Educator of the Year award recipient and Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Communication (Social Media) program, Dr Sutherland is dedicated to demystifying social media for local business, community, and nonprofits. Dr Sutherland’s passion also lies in connecting social media students to business-owners from the Sunshine Coast community who seek social media support.


Dr Sutherland’s work has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of Public Relations and Strategic Communication published by Oxford University Press. Dr Sutherland has also presented her research at conferences and industry events in Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and the USA, led Social Media Study Tours to Vietnam, Hong Kong and India and regularly delivers social media workshops and coaching sessions to clients from a range of industries within Australia and around the world.


Dr Sutherland is also the author of the forthcoming text: Strategic Social Media Management - Theory and Practice due for international release in December 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan.

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Glasgow Caledonian University

Zara is the social media lead of the communications and digital engagement team at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). As a true Gen Zer fluent in GIFs, memes and emojis, she knows what's needed to get this generation's attention. Using her skills in producing interactive, visually appealing - and most importantly - insta-worthy content, Zara effectively taps into the Gen Z psyche to communicate, connect and authentically engage with her social media audiences. She is an advocate of lifehacks and creative solutions and is always on the hunt for the latest developments in tech.

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