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Students First For Student Success

This session is sponsored by


Student success is a key concern in the higher ed community. Join this session to learn how Western Governors University (WGU) and Cornell University are tackling student success issues by placing the emphasis on the student experience rather than on back office solutions. WGU will share how they are using predictive analytics to proactively ensure student success not only at the course level, but also in staying on track for graduation. They will also show how they’ve created a Student Community to increase collaboration and foster a culture among distance learners. Cornell will then share its student-first approach to building an engagement platform. It’s social on the front end and ‘big data’ on the back end with the goal of creating a simple and intuitive online experience.

Rebecca Joffrey


Rebecca Joffrey, Director of Interactive Services, Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Rebecca is Director of Interactive Services at Cornell University and is responsible for re-defining the way that students engage with alumni, faculty, staff, and peers in both physical and online spaces. Prior to this role, she was Director of the Career Development Office at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth where she led one of the first university implementations of Chatter for students.

A 1997 graduate of Tuck, Rebecca spent her early career in marketing and product management at Nestle. After business school she launched The LookOut, an online mentoring system, acquired in 2003. She is also co-editor of a two-book series called This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America (Random House, 2005) in which women from all backgrounds document their lives on a single day. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter, “Living in the Feed” @RebeccaJoffrey.

Erin Smith

Erin Smith, Course Mentor Performance Coordinator, Western Governors University

Erin J. Smith joined Western Governors University in April 2010. She currently serves as the Course Mentor Performance Coordinator, leading remote faculty through academic instruction and support initiatives. Erin holds a PhD in English from Birkbeck College, University of London and a BA in English from University of California, Riverside. She recently completed an MBA with Western Governors University and is an alumna of HERS Institute Denver 2013. Erin specializes in 18th century dance history and British literature. Her research appears in peer-reviewed publications, and she regularly presents papers at academic conferences. She was awarded a Chawton House Library fellowship in August 2010 and is a former research fellow of the University of Southampton, UK. She resides in Blue Jay, CA.

Dave Perry

Dave Perry, Salesforce Program Manager, Western Governors University.

Dave Perry is the Salesforce Program Manager at Western Governors University. His IT experience spans over 20 years in marketing, financial, health care and higher education. Dave serves as the primary administrator and a senior developer for Salesforce.organization with over 2,800 user and 90,000 portal licenses. With more than 5 years Salesforce experience, his role includes managing and mentoring a team of Salesforce developers and administrators. This enables his team to blur the line between development and administrators to provide the best possible solutions for our students’ success. He is also the organizer of the Utah Salesforce Developer User Group.