Day Three of ProfCon Highlights

Highlights from Marketing ProfCon 2023: Day Three

Stukent’s® Marketing ProfCon is the ultimate marketing conference for educators who want to stay current with their industry. ProfCon attendees have the opportunity to transform their teaching game with tips and techniques from top experts and educators in dynamic sessions.

With the theme, “Learn, Prepare, Share,” this year’s ProfCon was a platform for professors to exchange strategies, embrace new teaching methodologies, and cultivate changes to propel the academic industry forward. Day three wrapped up Marketing ProfCon with keynotes on how to stay current, sessions on how to engage students and create unique classroom culture, and the announcement of our 2023 Professor of the Year! 

If you missed Marketing ProfCon 2023, you can view any session on demand at the ProfCon 2023 Recap page. You may also view Highlights from Marketing ProfCon 2023: Days One & Two, or read on for the highlights of the final day of ProfCon!


ProfCon culminated on day three with some phenomenal presentations: Jeff Larson emphasized the importance of being timely and staying current with your curriculum. Christina Garnett was unable to present in person, but her presentation on fostering brand love will be available on the ProfCon 2023 Recap page. And one of our final speakers of the day, Rich Hanna, explored the concept of growth marketing courses.

Staying Current on a (Time) Budget: A Guide for the Busy
Jeff Larson, Brigham Young University

Jeff kicked off the day with a presentation on efficient trend tracking and keeping your course cutting-edge in less time. “Digital marketing instruction changes more slowly than practice,” Jeff said. “Students need an understanding of principles and general practice, both of which evolve slowly.”

BYU's Jeff Larson Quote

Fostering Brand Love: Driving Customer Affinity in the Age of Noise and Automation
Christina Garnett, Principal Marketing Manager at HubSpot

Christina discussed the battle for attention that all educators face with their students. “You are competing with everything in [students’] ecosystem for attention,” Christina said. “So, the easiest way to make sure you’re cutting into that noise is to find ways to make sure they care about you, too.”

Christina Garnett from Hub Spot Presentation


Presenters spoke to a wide range of topics on day three, but many touched on classroom culture, student engagement, and authenticity. Jerry Rackley explored how professors can create a supportive classroom culture for students, while his colleague Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski shared her secrets for genuine student engagement. After that, Timothy Carr, an entertainment professional, spoke on edutainment, while Dr. Lisa Susanne Goolsby shared how to create memorable teaching moments.

What’s Your Classroom Culture and Why Does It Matter?
Jerry Rackley, Oklahoma State University

Jerry highlighted the importance of establishing a great classroom culture and providing actionable insights that can be implemented in your own course. “A great culture creates a desire to be present and to learn,” Jerry said.

Quote from Jerry Rackley, Professor from Oklahoma State University

Utilizing Practical SEO Approaches to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Steve Wiideman, Wiideman Consulting Group 

Steve lives, breathes, and eats SEO, SEM, and inbound marketing. He discussed practical approaches to teaching SEO and digital marketing concepts that allow students to stay ahead of the curve and get excited about inbound marketing. 

“As educators, we play a crucial role in shaping the future of the marketing industry by empowering students to master concepts,” Steve said.

Secrets to Engaged Learning: Strategies for Igniting Passion in Students Inside and Outside the Classroom
Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski, Oklahoma State University

Maribeth shared 10 proven ways to create and sustain student interest semester after semester, including engagement grading and time limits for lectures. “Do I blame my students because they are so distracted, or do I blame myself?” Maribeth asked. “I decided I was going to have to work really hard to keep their attention.”

Keeping Up with Digital Marketing and Engaging through Edutainment 
Timothy Carr, San Diego University for Integrative Studies and the Singleton Foundation

Timothy illustrated how educators can keep students engaged through edutainment. When he asked how his students wanted to learn, 70% said they love video content, news articles, and hearing from speakers.

“One of the best real-time things to do is to bring speakers into the classroom,” Timothy said.

Teaching for Practical Application: How to Create Content for Student Success
Dr. Lisa Susanne Goolsby, CEO of Impact

Lisa discussed how to teach application alongside principles, create great teaching moments, keep your curriculum fresh, and provide students with situational marketing assignments. 

“I loved college, but I didn’t have a mentor before going into my first job,” Lisa said. “Luckily, I was able to call my marketing professor, and she provided the support I needed to be successful. Now, we have the opportunity to do this for our students.”

Growth Marketing: The Course You Didn’t Know You Needed
Rich Hanna, Babson College

Rich defined growth marketing and shared how you can build a whole course around the concept. He also gave examples of how growth marketing principles are applied in the real world. 

“Experiential practice allows students to figure this out before they even enter the workforce,” Rich said.

Panel Discussion: The Efficacy of Simternships™

Lisa Kuhlman, Southern Adventist University 
Ryan Russell, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 
Rebecca Cooney, Washington State University

A Stukent Simternship is a simulated internship. It immerses your students in a realistic work environment, enabling them to gain experience, build marketable skills, and increase their knowledge retention.

Lisa, Ryan, and Rebecca kicked off a panel discussing the efficacy of Stukent Simternships in higher education, moderated by Brady Adams, Chief Product Officer at Stukent.

Ryan discussed how Simternships level the playing field for lower-income students. These students often face challenges networking and applying for internships. “It allows [students] to fail,” Ryan said. “And it allows them to fail in a safe place.”

Ryan also shared how Simternships have opened doors at top agencies for many of his students.

Lisa described her experience using the Intro to Business Simternship in her classes. She believes that Simternships are great tools to allow students to explore jobs. One of Lisa’s students, who now runs a marketing agency, said that experiencing the Simternship helped her prepare for starting her own business.

“They go through the Simternship and figure out all of the areas of business they can work in,” Lisa said. “It allows them to customize their career path, perhaps encouraging them to add a business minor as part of their schooling. It could even open their eyes to become a business owner themselves.”

Lisa Kuhlman and Rebecca Cooney speaking on the panel at Marketing ProfCon 2023.
Left: Lisa Kuhlman Right: Rebecca Cooney

Lisa believes it’s important for students to make mistakes and have a safe place to learn from them. She said that with a Simternship, students can enter the workplace more confident in their skills.

Rebecca shared an experience she had when walking through one of the Simternships with her class. She was struggling to engage her students, and they were struggling to fully understand the concepts. So, she told her class to open up their Simternships, and they walked through a few levels.

“It switched on something,” Rebecca said. “I watched the lights come on in these students. From that point forward, we ran every round together, and my ‘sim days’ were really awesome on attendance.”

Stukent’s 2023 Professor of the Year: Ryan Russell

Every year, Stukent recognizes an outstanding educator who personifies Stukent’s core values and mission to help educators help students help the world. 

Liz Wildes, Stukent’s Chief Strategy Officer, announced this year’s winner — Ryan Russell, a marketing professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Ryan said that his philosophy for teaching came from his mother. She was an educator for 35 years and inspired him to serve his students through teaching: “I learned that students don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care,” Ryan said. “I am far from being the smartest person in the room, especially this room, but when your students know how much you care about them, it makes up for that.”

Ryan brings true enthusiasm into his classroom, merging real-world experience with cutting-edge concepts and theory. His marketing agency, Lift Media Group, not only challenges him to stay current with marketing trends but also provides ample opportunities to involve his students in authentic, hands-on work.

“When a student has a light bulb moment … when they land that internship or their first job … it feels incredible to be part of their journey,” Ryan said.

Learn more about Ryan here!

Marketing ProfCon 2023 was a three-day academic conference held from June 14 – 16, 2023. Each year, ProfCon presents actionable tips and strategies for marketing educators to use in their classrooms. To view the 2023 ProfCon sessions on demand, please visit the 2023 ProfCon Recap page.

Stukent also hosts a series of webinars for marketing education and other business subjects. To learn more, please visit the Stukent Webinars Library.

Stukent is here to help educators help students help the world. To learn more about our first-in-the-world Simternships and courseware, or to get FREE instructor access to our products, visit our website.

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