Watermark’s Virtual ENGAGE Conference for Higher Ed Delivers Impact with “Insights Inspire Progress” theme to over 500 Higher Ed Institutions
AUSTIN, TX – June 23, 2021: With the theme of “Insights Inspire Progress,” Watermark, the leading higher educational intelligence software provider, engaged with over 600 attendees from more than 500 higher education institutions at the Watermark Engage conference held virtually over two days, June 16 – 17, 2021. The signature annual event kicked off on Wednesday, June 16, by CEO Erin Shy, who joined the company in November 2020. “We are thrilled and honored to have these two days to engage with you, our customers,” said Shy. “We’ll demonstrate and showcase how our suite of products helps you meet your goals by creating insights and success from your data.” Following Shy, Chief Product Technology Officer Darren Bauer Kahan, who also joined Watermark in November, spoke about the benefits of the company’s partnership with AWS, with all products fully migrated to AWS before the end of the year.
Rounding out the opening session, Watermark’s VP of Product Brian Robinson outlined the ongoing evolution toward a suite of products that create an insights hub to help institutions record and report on progress and areas of opportunity. He also previewed the new product naming structure, which is more descriptive and laser-focused on core client needs. The new product names will roll out over the next several months.
Author of the popular “Wait, But Why” blog and e-book and TED Talk speaker Tim Urban took the audience inside the mind of a true procrastinator, illustrating with his amusing stick-figures and highly entertaining style during the keynote, “From Procrastination to Action.”
Throughout both days of the virtual event, Watermark clients and prospects experienced more than 50 engaging and interactive breakout sessions and peer roundtables where they learned about new products, gave direct feedback to the product teams, and connected with their peers to share their successes and challenges. Via and Placement Management by Via took the spotlight as a client favorite, with high praise and excitement about its performance; the award-winning product has evolved rapidly in the past year.
“Real Life Applications for Continuous Improvement,” “Helping Faculty Understand the Value of Outcomes Reporting,” and “Mission Possible! Using Student Survey Feedback” were just a few of the sessions delivered by higher education leaders. The global support team manned the Guru Bar, where clients asked technical questions, while at the Playground, attendees saw product demonstrations and newly released features. Social media posts captured key conference highlights, adding to the community engagement.
On Thursday, Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s first female president and accomplished NASA space scientist Laurie Leshin, Ph.D. spoke candidly with CEO Erin Shy on prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, resulting in the University’s status among STEM institutions with the highest percentage of female undergraduate students. In “Focus on Accessibility,” Srinivasu Chakravarthula, CPWA, Watermark’s Senior Accessibility Program Manager, demonstrated how products are created with an accessibility focus from the start across the entire product suite.
A lively send-off featured Client Awards to multiple winners, including a contest and prize for best customer-generated product video. The final sentiment shared by all: “I’m leaving Engage feeling inspired!”
At Watermark, Insights Inspire Progress. Watermark’s software gives higher education institutions the insights they need to improve, evolve, and empower student success. Watermark’s integrated digital solutions support assessment and accreditation, faculty activity reporting, course evaluation and surveys, and catalog and curriculum development for over 1,700 higher education institutions around the world.
Mary Anne Connolly