From the famous jazz scene on Bourbon Street to the many success stories shared by Watermark’s clients about how they use the company’s solutions to improve their institutions, there was never a dull moment at Engage 2019 in New Orleans. The beautiful city offers a unique cultural experience grounded in the common love for seafood, voodoo, arts, and jazz music. And its unofficial slogan, Laissez les bon temps rouler, commonly translated as, “Let the good times roll!” ultimately describes the Watermark Engage 2019 experience.
Day one of the conference kicked off with a signature “Warm Watermark Welcome” — hearty applause for each person taking the stage. Watermark’s leadership brought the vision and strategy of the company to light, revealing the future of educational intelligence, and sharing the company’s mission to empower administrators, faculty, and learners from across the globe by providing better data to improve institutional effectiveness. Watermark accomplishes this by putting people at the forefront of innovation.
The first keynote speaker at Engage 2019 was Erik Wahl, a San Diego-based graffiti artist and motivational speaker. He stressed the importance of lifelong learning with an emphasis on rediscovering the creative genius inside you. Wahl painted portraits of inspirational figures such as John Lennon and Albert Einstein, with the lovely addition of the Statue of Liberty. He painted each of them, impressively, in under five minutes alongside motivational videos that brought a humanitarian perspective into the mix. It was a perfect start to this journey of self-discovery, innovation, understanding, and most importantly teamwork! Then the conference kicked off with numerous sessions from university administrators, each with their own unique story of triumph and success.
After a full day of events (plus a few trips to the Guru Lounge for solution-specific advice from the Watermark team), what conference would be complete without a little bit of dancing? Engage attendees were lavishly treated to a night out in the beautiful French Quarter, complete with live music from The Spazmatics at the famous House of Blues. Completing the night were a voodoo doll making workshop, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and classic 80s music. The Watermark employees may know how to throw a party, but the clients sure know how to dance!
Day two began with keynote speaker Dr. Francesca Gino, who took conference attendees down a road of self-reflection and systematic inquiry into the nature of our decision-making processes. She took a pragmatic approach to pointing out the delicate nature of human error. Dr. Gino explored the ramifications of deontological thinking as it pertains to decision making by stressing the impact placed on outcomes-based measures.
In an academic environment, we may easily find ourselves in a utilitarian frame of mind, always looking for an outcome to measure quality, efficacy, and further setting the standards for reproducibility. As we explore the nature of these metrics, we may often times find ourselves overwhelmed with the implications of large data. Not to worry! Watermark takes the difficulty out of this dilemma. With a quick call to your solutions specialist and a simple work request, this problem may easily be resolved!
Launched in 2018 by combining three leaders in higher education assessment, and further expanding to encompass course evaluation and institutional surveys, curriculum and catalog management, and faculty activity reporting, Watermark has truly set course to empower better learning at institutions across the globe. The unique perspectives introduced by various clients at Watermark Engage made the experience truly diversified, with something for everyone. The versatility represented by Watermark products and services allowed for the conference to be dynamic and inclusive to all organizations. Combined with the vision of a unified platform, beginning with one central login, Watermark has truly captivated the attention of system administrators and academicians around the world.
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