International Education Leadership (IEL)


Leading in Times of Crisis and Success: Critical Communication Strategies for International Education Leaders - (WS17)

Monday, May 28
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
PCC, Room 113A

Member Fee: $299.00 | Non-member Fee: $429.00 | Student Pricing: $99.00

This workshop intends to prepare university leaders to anticipate, respond to, and recover from crises that directly impact their campus. The workshop identifies strategies for engaging internal and external stakeholders while involving workshop participants in an interactive, case-based learning opportunity. Workshop activities focus on applying principles and practicing crisis communications skills.

Learning Objectives:

Sonja Knutson

Sonja Knutson is the Director of the Internationalization Office at Memorial and responsible for leading, partnering and supporting the University to implement the actions of the Strategic Internationalization Plan 2020. She is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has instructed with the Queen’s University International Educators Training Program, working with more than 200 in-service and pre-service international education practitioners. She served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and is past- chair with the NAFSA International Education Leadership Knowledge Community.
Sonja is also a doctoral student in Memorial’s Faculty of Education. Her primary research interest is the role of the senior leader of internationalization on a campus and the responsibility to engage the campus community in transformative international/intercultural experiences. Her research interests arise from her practitioner role and interests in indigenization and internationalization of higher education as two drivers of transformative institutional change.


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Rick Fitzgerald

Assistant vice president for communications
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Rick Fitzgerald

Rick Fitzgerald is assistant vice president of communications for public affairs at the University of Michigan. In that role, he serves as the primary public spokesperson for the university and directly supervises the Office of Public Affairs & Internal Communications.

Rick joined the Public Affairs staff in 2009 after a long career in the news business, most of it with The Ann Arbor News. While at The News he directed the newspaper’s local new coverage, had the opportunity to launch two weekly newspapers and wrote a weekly column for more than a decade. He was named associate director of public affairs in 2012 and in 2014 was named director. He was promoted to assistant vice president in 2017. He graduated a very long time ago (1975) from Central Michigan University with a degree in journalism and English. In 2014, he completed a master of science in administration degree, also from Central Michigan.

The Public Affairs team is a professional staff of six that handles crisis communications for the university, media inquiries for the central administration and communications planning for major university initiatives. The Internal Communications team is a staff of five dedicated to the University Record, the official news source for the campus community. It publishes online daily, pushes out a daily email newsletter and offers a print edition weekly.


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Leading in Times of Crisis and Success: Critical Communication Strategies for International Education Leaders - (WS17)

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