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An exclusive gathering of influential leaders in learning. Learn more about D2L Rise Summit.

Registration Fee: None. Zip. Nada. 

D2L Rise Summit – Chicago



Lifelong Learning

The world is changing at a radical pace, and both the education and labor market are experiencing a fundamental transformation. As workforce requirements evolve, so too must the systems that people rely on to learn and stay relevant.

The Rise Summit will dive into lifelong learning and explore how learning and skills development need to transform to account for the vast demographic, technological and social shifts impacting the way we learn and work, including:

  • Durable skills of the future and how we close an ever-widening skills gap
  • How the skills gap impacts our institutions, businesses and associations
  • Why flexible learning models are more important than ever
  • What we as leaders should do to prepare for these changes

Rise Up

  • Hear from experts on emerging trends in lifelong learning
  • Enjoy VIP networking opportunities with fellow leaders
  • Build lasting industry connections and partnerships

Why Attend?

  • Join the conversation on lifelong learning to gain insights and perspectives
  • Grow your network with leaders in education and professional learning
  • Focus your strategy as part of a limited audience for maximum engagement
  • Earn CAE credits for program participation

We hope you’ll rise to the occasion with us.

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W Chicago – Lakeshore
644 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60611-3017

W Chicago – Lakeshore for $199 USD per night

Book your group rate for D2L RiSE Summit

*Book by April 14, 2023 to secure discounted Rise Summit room rates. Rates based on availability and are subject to applicable state and local taxes in effect at time of booking.

Getting There

Nearby Airports and Ground Transportation.

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  • a headshot of speaker marie cini

    Dr. Marie Cini was named Provost and Chief Academic Officer of University of the People in 2022. An accomplished senior leader in higher education and nonprofit associations, her career spans more than 25 years in organizations serving working learners. 

    Most recently, Dr. Cini was Acting President of ED2WORK, a service firm focused on helping higher education institutions create new models for serving today’s learners. Prior to this, she served as president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). She has also served on the board of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) where she was chair of the board for two years. 

    Previously, Dr. Cini served as Provost and Senior Vice President at the University of Maryland University College (now University of Maryland Global Campus). She also has led programs for adults at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and held increasingly responsible positions at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey, and at City University of Seattle in Washington. 

    A strong advocate for broad access to higher education, Dr. Cini is committed to expanding the view of postsecondary education to a true lifelong model for learners of all ages. She believes that a robust 21st-century economy and the health and well-being of the planet depend on the ability of all individuals to learn across a longer lifespan. 

    Dr. Cini earned her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a master’s degree in counselor education from the Pennsylvania State University. She was inducted into the International Adult Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2016. She has published and presented widely on topics related to online education, nontraditional learners, and the future of higher education. 

  • headshot image of speaker christina neider

    Dr. Neider’s career spans over 25 years in academia, health care, and the United States Air Force. During her 18 years at University of Phoenix she has held several academic leadership roles and is currently the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to lead the program offerings in the social and behavioral sciences industries. Her other leadership roles include the associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Health Professions, the Dean of Assessment, and the Assistant Dean of curriculum. Among her contributions to the University, she led the process to have the Bachelor of Science in Health Administration program recognized as meeting the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) rigorous standards for quality health IT or healthcare education, resulting in the University being named an Approved Education Partner.

    Prior to joining the University, Chris spent over 11 years in leadership roles in the United States Air Force. Her roles included being the non-commissioned officer in-charge of instruction by managing training resources, classrooms, laboratories, and equipment. In addition, she led teams to support aviation assets during peace and wartime missions by providing data to Army and Air Force pilots to ensure safety of all military personnel and resources. 

    Dr. Neider holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University and holds graduate degrees in education (MAEd) and psychology (MSP) from University of Phoenix. She is currently a board member for the Arizona chapter of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). 

  • headshot of presenter andy shean

    As Chief Learning Officer at Penn Foster, Dr. Andrew Shean leads academic program leadership, curriculum and courseware, academic support, faculty, non-academic support, and academic operations in pursuit of improving students’ lives. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Dr. Shean was the Senior Vice President & Chief Academic Officer at National Education Partners. He has also served in roles such as the Chief Academic Learning Officer for Bridgepoint Education, Vice Provost for Ashford University, and Executive Dean for the College of Education at Ashford University. He previously served as a high school English teacher where he was named the 2009 District Teacher of the Year. 

  • headshot image of speaker kiara williams

    Kiara Williams has been a strong leader and passionate voice in student-centered spaces for as long as she can remember. In April of 2017, her life forever changed when she was selected to be the top scholar for the prestigious Goizueta Endowment Award, granting her a full ride to Georgia State University and adventures to last a lifetime. Kiara received her degree in Human Learning and Development with focuses on Family & Community Advocacy, Psychology, and supporting multilingual populations. She has served as a teacher, mentor, scholar, world adventurer, university ambassador, student fellow, and is now taking on new adventures in the nonprofit field. Kiara’s most recent career move took her back to the “Big Apple” to join Braven and The City College of New York as their Founding Program Manager of Accelerator– an experiential leadership and career course that inspires, develops, and supports underrepresented college students as they work towards securing strong first jobs and living their legacies. Prior to Braven, Kiara entered the tech space with her role at Apple. During this journey, she was able to serve as a student liaison for the Inclusion & Diversity@College team, work hands on with Apple’s Diversity Network Associations, and connect with company leaders during her experience as an AppleCare team manager, all while supporting the larger population of Apple product users in her core position as an iOS Support Advisor.  

    Kiara immersed herself in the education, equity, and online learning field when she was chosen to be a Fellow for Every Learner Everywhere’s 2021 Inaugural Student cohort. This work allowed her to share her unique identity and experiences with an extensive network of higher education leaders, researchers, and major stakeholders in the student journey. In her continued collaboration with Every Learner Everywhere and WICHE, she has supported network recruitment, content management, and most importantly, the network’s student-centered endeavors. Kiara strives to ensure that student voices do not go unheard when and where it matters the most. She has a passion for education, impact, and growth, and believes that if she can share her light with at least one individual, then it will all be worth it. Above all, Kiara is an avid life-liver, joy-seeker, and music enthusiast. 

  • headshot image of speaker craig engstrom

    Craig leads the unit responsible for instructional development and educational technology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is also the coordinator and curriculum advisor of the first-year experience course. In other roles at SIU, including associate professor of business communication and former Director of Undergraduate Programs for the School of Communication Studies, he has built and deployed hundreds of courses in D2L/Brightspace. These courses have elevated faculty’s interest in online or HyFlex teaching, increased student engagement and learning outcomes, boosted enrollments, and increased faculty retention.

    Craig is passionate about universal design for accessibility, instructional immediacy and affective communication, problem-posing pedagogy, and competency-based education. He shares these passions by offering monthly workshops to help faculty scaffold content and build engaging courses in D2L. He also brings these passions into his classroom, teaching, and research endeavors. As a result, he has earned several teaching/training awards, including two from the National Communication Association. He has numerous books, book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and (inter)national presentations on various business communication topics.

    Craig has over 20 years of experience teaching competency-based courses in online, hybrid, and face-to-face modalities. He has a Ph.D. in business communication and persuasion, a master’s degree in intercultural communication, and a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. He is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer. He completed the Master Online Leader and Administrator program at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

  • headshot image of speaker dede gish-panjada

    Dede brings 30+ years of association executive experience leading complex non-profit organizations at the national and international level. At Bostrom, Dede works with account executives and clients helping to form a cohesive partnership. She leads training sessions on leadership development, nonprofit business best practices, association trends and future planning.  Dede loves challenges and enjoys helping staff, volunteer leaders and organizations develop and achieve things they never thought possible.

    Prior to joining Bostrom, Dede led the association management division of an association management company (AMC) and a team of 35 staff. She has received her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kansas with a concentration in organizational change and development and strategic planning. Dede earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dede is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum of Chicagoland, the Kansas City Society of Association Executives (KCSAE), and Past Chair of the AMC Institute Board of Directors, the national trade association and accrediting body for association management companies (AMC).

  • headshot of speaker artesha moore

    Artesha Moore, FASAE, CAE is the President and CEO of Association Forum. Association Forum is the “association of associations” in Chicago, IL. Founded in 1916, it has nearly 3,000 members. These members represent more than 44,000 association professionals from nearly 1,600 Chicago associations. These organizations serve 27 million individual members, have 9 million donors, and generate $10.3 billion annually in economic impact. Artesha brings more than 20 years of association management experience to Association Forum. Throughout her career, she has helped associations set and exceed aggressive membership and volunteer engagement goals while integrating new technology solutions and strategies. She has honed her leadership skills with organizations representing a variety of industries including healthcare, engineering, and scientific research institutions. Artesha works tirelessly to create lasting structures that help identify volunteers and staff whose voices and ideas were not being heard and providing them with opportunities to lead. She has a knack for fixing uncommon problems by addressing them from the inside out while empowering everyone around her.

    Artesha holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management degree from the University of Maryland. She is an active contributor within the broader association community. A member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) since 2001, she is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and was inducted into ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) in 2010. Named one of Association Trends magazine’s 2012 Young and Aspiring Association Professionals, she was recently selected as one of the 2021 ASAE class of Fellows. Recently, she served as a member of ASAE’s Foresight Works Advisory Group. She also served as faculty for US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management where she developed a course to teach the new DEI curriculum. More importantly, she spends time mentoring the next generation of leaders by pushing them to find their own solutions to both the expected, and the unexpected, challenges they may face.  

  • headshot of speaker dr. cali morrison

    For over 20 years, Cali has served the academic innovation community at the intersection of learning, work, and technology. Cali has a deep passion for changing the opportunity landscape for those who wish to learn and have all their learning count toward their career progression. Leading the learning marketplace at EdAssist by Bright Horizons, Cali drives value for the organization by partnering with clients to develop robust career pathways to connect their team members with learning opportunities that fuel the pipeline of talent. Additionally, she works strategically with clients to develop custom consulting products which meet the needs of their business objectives. In addition to her primary duties, Cali serves as a Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation in Nursing Continuing Professional Development at the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the accreditation body for nursing continuing professional education. As the non-nurse on the commission, she brings expertise in competency-based education and program administration to the table. She is also a consultant with the Competency-based Education Network (C-BEN) where she helps institutions develop competency-based education programs in a variety of disciplines. Previously she served in several roles at American Public University System (APUS), serving last as the Interim Dean, Center for Professional and Continuing Education. At APUS, Cali built competency-based learning opportunities, microcredentials, and the prior learning assessment program. Cali spent over 7 years at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) where she conducted analysis and directed projects aimed at using technology effectively for teaching and learning. Early in her career, Cali served over seven years at Montana State University managing Extension Service grants, conducting assessment and managing the Hughes Undergraduate Biology Program, as well as serving as the social Greek advisor. Cali earned an Ed.D. in higher education administration, with a dissertation focused on competency-based education and college choice, and M.Ed. in student affairs at Montana State University and a graduate certificate in women’s studies and a B.A. in public relations at Western Kentucky University. In 2019 she earned the designation of Certified Professional Coach (CPC).Cali lives in Belgrade, MT with her custom homebuilder husband and two exuberant little ladies (daughters). She is an avid outdoorswoman, craft beer enthusiast, soccer player, thespian, and crafter who is active in her community, especially with the One Valley Community Foundation, Montana Science Center & Thrive. She is currently serving as the chair of Women Who Wine, a giving circle aimed at raising funds and awareness for local non-profits.

  • Kevin Novak

    Novak has honed his expertise in working with and across societies, associations, media companies and publishers over the past 8 years, as the CEO and Founder of 2040 Digital, specifically in leading and structuring digital transformation, marketing, communications, data and technology strategy, master data management and digital and physical education learning outcomes and content geared towards improving the customer experience and relationship.

    Novak is the former Vice President of New Business Development, Strategic Partnerships and Digital Strategies for the American Institute of Architects, The former Chief Digital Officer and Director of Education Outreach at the U.S. Library of Congress and the former Director of Electronic Government for Montgomery County, Maryland.

    Novak served as the 2018-2021 Board Chairman for the Business Information Association (BIA-Connectiv) representing B2B and B2C publishers and event and media companies, Board Member for the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA), Board Member for the Business Press Education Foundation (BPEF) and the Board Member of the Specialty Information Publisher’s Association (SIPA).

    He served as the Co-Chair of the W3C Open Data and the W3C Open Government Committees and served as an industry data expert for the Obama Administration Open Government Data Initiatives working across US Government Executive Department Agencies.

    Novak had the privilege to serve as a Chair of a distinguished Expert Panel for the National Academies producing a data strategy for the dissemination and use of data and data products for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    Novak earned a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) and a Master of Science in Technology Management degree (MSTM) from the University of Maryland where he is currently an Adjunct Professor teaching Digital Society and marketing courses. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.

    He will soon become a published author in 2022 with his first book: The Truth about Transformation.

  • Dr. Cristi Ford

    Dr. Cristi Ford serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L. She brings more than 20 years of cumulative experience in higher education, secondary education, project management, program evaluation, training and student services to her role. In this role, she offers thought leadership and direction to the academic affairs unit of the organization. Her previous roles have allowed her to have impact in education from secondary and higher education settings within North America and as part of the international landscape. Her reach has allowed her to focus on building online education in the US and in Africa. 

    In addition to her experience building new online learning programs and research related to online teaching and learning, Dr. Ford possesses significant experience in the design and delivery of integrated educational support, training and transition services for young adults and children with neurodevelopment disabilities. 

    Dr. Ford was selected by the Online Learning Consortium as the 2022 OLC Fellow (the highest professional distinction offered by the association). She is a tireless advocate for quality online education and has leveraged her passion and expertise in many realms in the education space. She is known for utilizing her leadership in extraordinary ways to help institutions build capacity to launch and expand online programming through effective faculty development, instructional design and pedagogical practices. 

    Dr. Ford holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia and undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of Psychology from Hampton University and University of Baltimore, respectively. 

  • headshot of speaker Ben Campbell

    Ben Campbell has been a D2Ler for nearly 10 years, and previously spent nearly 10 years in online learning roles at the University of Florida and UC Berkeley. He oversees a team of EdTech product experts focused on amplifying the voice of the customer in D2L decisions. Ben holds a Master’s in Educational Technology and has worked as an Instructional Designer, Product Manager, and Online Program Manager before joining D2L. 

  • Headshot image of speaker Ken Chapman

    Kenneth is responsible for D2L’s advisory board program, which involves working with top executives, administrators, and educational leaders across the company’s customer base. He is also responsible for analyst and thought leader relations, acting as an advisor to D2L’s senior executives and product leadership group on behalf of the institutions D2L serves. 

    Deeply passionate about the connection between technology and learning, Kenneth strives to identify how the changing edtech landscape can help educators transform student outcomes. He joined the original D2L team back in 2003, and has since played a major role in shaping customer support, product management, product design, and market strategy. 

    Kenneth graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph, holding an Honours Co-op Bachelors in Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science. He has also subsequently achieved certifications in both product management and project management disciplines. 



*Schedule is subject to change

May 1, 2023

Day 1

Location: Altitude Room, 33rd Floor

7:00 pm

Summit Registration Check-In

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

  • Join your fellow attendees and summit speakers for an informal night before networking gathering. This is a chance to say hello to old friends, meet new colleagues, and connect over your curiosities and questions before tomorrow’s summit.

    Drinks and light appetizers will be served.

May 2, 2023

Day 2

Location: Altitude Room, 33rd Floor

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Breakfast + Networking

10:00 am - 10:15 am

Opening Intro | Lifelong Learning

Host: Ken Chapman, VP of Learning Innovation Advocacy at D2L

10:15 am - 10:45 am

Skills ARE S.O.F.T | Sustainable Opportunity for the Future of Talent

Speaker: Dr. Cali Morrison, CPC, Senior Director, Learning Marketplace at EdAssist by Bright Horizons

10:45 am - 11:00 am

Skills ARE S.O.F.T | Sustainable Opportunity for the Future of Talent | Q & A

Keynote: Dr. Cali Morrison, CPC, Senior Director, Learning Marketplace at EdAssist by Bright Horizons

Facilitator: Dr. Cristi Ford, VP of Academic Affairs at D2L

11:00 am - 11:15 am

Refreshment Break

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

Panel Presentation | Preparing Learners for the Future of Work: Building Transferable Skills and Competencies

Facilitator: Dr. Cristi Ford, VP of Academic Affairs at D2L


  • Artesha Moore, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO at Association Forum
  • Marie Cini, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, University of the People
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch + Networking

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Breakout Session A

Location: Industry 1

  • The workforce market has been shifting for some time toward recognizing skills. This session will focus on data driven decisions to redesign our full portfolio of courses at University of Phoenix so that our courses clearly articulate outcomes of imparting skills to learners through authentic assessments. The focus on common language used in the marketplace by numerous stakeholders is essential as the prioritization of skills-based hiring vs degree hiring is on the rise from employers.

  • Christina Neider, EdD, Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of Phoenix


Breakout Session B

Location: Industry 2

    1. We will discuss mechanisms and tools that create a lifelong learning journey for corporate staff and association members that provides a path from career beginning to end.
    2. When faced with forks in the road on the journey, how can reskilling become a viable option?
    3. How do we ensure our staff is prepared to serve our customers well now and in the future in the face of major industry, economic, social, political and technological disruption?
    4. How can we use flexibility and time to move towards agile response mechanisms?

  • Dede Gish-Panjada, Chief Operating Officer at Bostrom
1:30 pm - 1:35 pm

Transition Break

1:35 pm - 2:05 pm


Breakout Session A

Location: Industry 1

  • In the pre-pandemic world, online learning was progressively growing in acceptance and effectiveness. Ivy league schools were experimenting with MOOCs and single course providers like EdX and Coursera were growing, despite low retention. But when the pandemic arrived, it disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives, and online learning was no exception. Regional universities and community colleges, all of whom were in various stages of exploring online learning prior to the pandemic, experienced a fast and seismic shift in how they delivered their curriculum. The pandemic accelerated online learning and forced everyone, regardless of capability or preparedness, to provide learning in an online format.  

    Now, in a post-pandemic world, it is clear that online learning is here to stay. But what did we learn from the last three years? It’s safe to say that it wasn’t all great. We’ve heard the term ‘Zoom University’, where in-person lectures were simply dropped into an online format without a full understanding of virtual learning best practices. Many institutions didn’t have time to upskill and approach online learning with pedagogical expertise. The pandemic also taught us that students are absolutely capable of learning online, and they want the online option now more than ever. We learned that students don’t want all-day Zoom meetings. That’s not effective online learning pedagogy.  

    As we approach the next phase of online learning, there are data and insights available to help us leverage what we learned about what was effective and what wasn’t during the pandemic-era shift to online learning that can shape our future strategy and focus.  

Speaker: Andrew Shean, Chief Learning Officer, Penn Foster

Session Details: So what is effective online pedagogy? This session will specifically focus on evidence-based shifts in online learning design that have resulted in measurable learning gains at Penn Foster. Those design shifts include a focus on content centered to human centered, abstract learning to situated and authentic learning, passive learning to active learning, objective competence to skill mastery, and static learning to dynamic learning.

Breakout Session B

Location: Industry 2

  • Research is demonstrating that iterative and continuous learning that bridges theory and immediate practice is leading to improved comprehension and retention. Kevin Novak, CEO of 2040 Digital and adjunct professor at the University of Maryland will discuss 3 cases studies across higher education and association certification and professional education programs that have embraced changed learning models and introduced techniques and tactics to improve learner outcomes.

    Gain strategic and tactical learnings that you can consider for your own programs and institutions.

Speaker: Kevin Novak, CEO and Chief Strategist at 2040 Digital

2:05 pm - 2:10 pm

Transition Break

2:10 pm - 2:40 pm


Breakout Session A

Location: Industry 1

  • Data is important to decision-making, and “big data” is a business buzzword that intimidates many administrators, faculty, and staff. Tools like D2L’s insights Reports Builder help end-users to take king-sized data and put them into bite-sized details that are easier to consume—just enough to satisfy our hunger for good information without feeling stuffed by the information. In this presentation, Dr. Craig Engstrom will share how he’s using descriptive data (that doesn’t require a data scientist to interpret) to motivate learning inside and outside of the classroom in his courses, in the first-year seminar that he coordinates for the university. He will also share how the Center for Teaching Excellence’s  is helping academic programs achieve positive recruitment and retention outcomes with data dashboards.

  • Craig Engstrom, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale


Breakout Session B

Location: Industry 2

  • Professional associations play a vital role in bridging the gap between college and industry by providing opportunities for professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become and remain successful in their chosen careers. Picking up from the themes discussed during the panel session, Artesha Moore, FASAE, CAE, will lead discussions to explore how professional associations support the development of a dynamic, inclusive workforce by helping them transition from academic study to successful professional practice.Participants in this session will gain a deeper understanding of how professional associations can help bridge the knowledge and skills gap between college and industry. The session will cover professional associations’ various programs and services, including continuing education, mentorship programs, career development resources, and networking opportunities. Participants will learn about the benefits of becoming a professional association member and potentially a volunteer leader, including access to industry experts and the latest research and best practices. Participants will also be able to discuss where additional knowledge and skills gaps exist in preparing the future workforce and explore ideas to help associations modernize their offerings to better serve professionals’ changing needs.

  • Artesha Moore, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO at Association Forum
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm

Refreshment Break

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Student Lightning Talk and Q & A

Speaker: Kiara Williams, Founding Program Manager of Accelerator, CCNY, Braven

3:30 pm - 3:35 pm

Transition Break

3:35 pm - 4:35 pm

Facilitated Sailboat Activity

Facilitator: Ben Campbell, VP of Solution Engineering at D2L

4:35 pm - 4:45 pm

Closing Remarks + Wrap-up

Host: Ken Chapman, VP of Learning Innovation Advocacy at D2L


D2L is a CAE Approved Provider. The program above meets the requirements for fulfilling the professional development requirements to earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive credential. Every program that we offer which qualifies for CAE credit will clearly identify the number of CAE credits granted for full participation, and we will maintain records of your participation in accord with CAE policies. For more information about the CAE credential or Approved Provider program, please visit

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