Morningside Communications Institute

June SYMPOSIUM LOGO.fw 28, 2017

8:30AM – 5:00PM

International House

Fee: $100

(scholarships and group rates available)

Morningside Area Alliance members include Barnard College, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Columbia University, Corpus Christi, Interchurch Center, International House, Jewish Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, The Riverside Church, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, Teachers College, Ulysses S. Grant Houses, and Union Theological Seminary

In March 2016, Morningside Area Alliance hosted a successful leadership training. Forty-five professionals, working in positions as varied as security, alumni relations, health administration, student affairs, and chief administrators, enjoyed an in-depth professional development program while building relationships with colleagues across Morningside Heights. The 2017 Morningside Communications Symposium builds on this program and responds to the most pressing needs facing emerging leaders today.

  • Ever looked out at your meeting and thought, “No one has any idea what I’m saying….”
  • Ever wonder why your colleague is asking you this question even though you spelled it all out in your email?
  • Is it time to hone both your professional and personal messages?

The ability to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate is hugely important in today’s interconnected work environment – but it’s not easy and for many of us, requires a shift in approach, and some needed skill-building.

The Communications Symposium has been customized for the staff of Morningside Area academic and nonprofit institutions.  This program is right for you if:

  • You are NOT a marketing or communications professional.
  • You work at an academic, religious, or cultural institution.
  • You want to improve your effectiveness in promoting yourself and your work internally.
  • You have worked in your field for more than 5 years.


Keynote Remarks with Kathryn Kolbert, Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies

presented by Elizabeth Talerman, CEO of Nucleus

Communicating Today – The Generational Impact

Practice Sessions in Communicating Your Work

Morningside Area Alliance Member Presentations and Panel


Keynote Address “Promoting cultural diversity and inclusion”

Terri Austin, Chief Corporate Policy Officer, S&P Global

Small Group Coaching Sessions

  1. Developing external relationships and customer service
  2. Internal communications challenges with diverse teams
  3. Juggling the personal and organizational
  4. Facilitating meetings and presentations

presented by Jane Praeger, Ovid

Getting your Point Across and Personal Storytelling

Closing Address

Wine and Cheese Reception with Invited Guests

During this immersive day of professional development, you will take big strides in your communication skills.

  1. You’ll become a better advocate for yourself, your department, and your projects.
  2. You’ll develop a nuanced understanding of how to tackle communication challenges in your inter-generational workplace.
  3. You’ll be armed with a clear, succinct story and message for your work.
  4. You’ll be armed with concrete tactics and tools – and be better able to prioritize your internal and external communications work.




Athena Center for Leadership Studies

Kathryn Kolbert is the founding director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, a premier, interdisciplinary center dedicated to the advancement of women’s leadership. A public-interest attorney, journalist, and visionary in the not-for-profit world, Kathryn Kolbert has an extraordinary depth of experience in collaborative leadership, educational programming, and civil-rights advocacy. She has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” and by The American Lawyer as one of 45 public- interest lawyers “whose vision and commitment are changing lives.” In 1992, Kolbert argued the landmark case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the U.S. Supreme Court and has been credited with saving Roe v. Wade with what Jeffrey Toobin has called, “one of the most audacious litigation strategies in Supreme Court history.”




Chief Corporate Policy Officer

S&P Global

Ms. Terri D. Austin has been the Chief Corporate Policy Officer of S&P Global, Inc. (formerly, McGraw Hill Financial, Inc.) since March 9, 2015. Ms. Austin updates and modernizes their Code of Business Ethics and related corporate policies to promote compliance, as well as renew employee commitment to its core values of fairness, integrity and transparency. She served as the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at S&P Global, Inc. since 2010. She served as the Chief Diversity Officer of American International Group, Inc. since January 2007. She served as Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of AIG Property Casualty Inc. until February 2010. She was responsible for expanding and implementing AIG’s diversity initiatives in the workforce, as well as those relating to AIG products, suppliers, vendors, and its customer base. She provided executive oversight and leadership for AIG’s diversity efforts worldwide. She was recognized as one of the Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal (2008) and as a Top Diversity Executive by Black Enterprise (2011). She received her Juris Doctor degree and a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University. Ms. Austin earned her Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Political Science from Grinnell College in Iowa.

ElizabethTalerman 1


CEO, Strategic Brand and Business Leadership

Elizabeth has spent 30 years working with leading brands in the consumer, business, and non-profit sectors. Practiced at the art of innovation and pragmatics of turning strategy into action, Elizabeth focuses on building sustainable brand value and delivering profitable, effective, and replicable business results.

Through innovative research design and strategy development, Elizabeth and her team marry intuition and evidence to identify human drivers that amplify and accelerate behaviors leading to brand and revenue growth. Most recently, Elizabeth and the Nucleus team developed the brand narrative and positioning for STRATFORD SCHOOL.  She also reinvigorated the FISHER-PRICE brand positioning, developed a brand and creative briefing process and trained a team of 40 global marketers at FISHER-PRICE to steward the updated brand.

Before launching a brand strategy practice in 2002, Talerman was founder and chief executive officer of Agile Industries, a digital marketing agency. She also held senior positions at Ogilvy, Ingalls Advertising, and the Harvard Business School as Marketing Director.

jane praeger 0


Founder and CEO

Jane began her career as a documentary filmmaker for public television. Since founding Ovid, named after the great Roman poet and storyteller, in 1992, she has coached hundreds of executives on how to communicate in a way that engages audiences and drives results. She is also a founding faculty member of Columbia University’s Masters Degree Program in Strategic Communication, where she has spent over fifteen years teaching writing, presenting, communications strategy and strategic storytelling to graduate students.

Ovid’s corporate clients have included Nickelodeon, Cartier, Viacom, AT&T, Coach, Estee Lauder, and other technology, entertainment, and professional services firms. On the nonprofit side, Ovid has worked with Harvard University, Columbia University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The World Health Organization, The American Public Health Association, NYU Medical School, Doctors Without Borders, Atlantic Philanthropies, Open Society Foundations, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, the American Jewish World Service and the Ms. Foundation. Ovid’s individual clients include TED talkers, National Book Award winners, rising film stars, and college commencement speakers.

Jane is a founding faculty member in the Strategic Communications Master’s of Science Programs at Columbia University.

MAA has reviewed the interests of members and considered the ways in which it might further the benefits of its 2016 Collaborative Leadership Symposium.  In doing so, it has sought to again identify topics that meet some key tests: topical for leadership (management), relevant to organizations undergoing change, provides transferable skills to middle managers and offers opportunities for inter-institutional exchange of ideas and peer relationship-building.

Our goal is to provide the staff of our member organizations with the insight, tools, and ability to develop their own efficacy in being a vital part of their organization’s marketing and cultivation programs. MAA board members and member leadership will be invited to specifically participate in the event’s closing program to explore compelling considerations in maximizing inter-generational workplaces through strengthened internal communication practices.

This symposium has been specially designed for the emerging leaders, department heads, managers, and recommended staff and partners of our member institutions.


Thank you to the board of directors of Morningside Area Alliance who helped support and guide this program.  The following individuals also lent their expertise to help shape this program:

George Calderaro, Director of Community Relations, Columbia University School of Professional Studies

Elise Dowell, Chief Communications Officer, Jewish Theological Seminary

Victoria Gordon, Chief of Staff, Athena Center for Leadership Studies

Patricia Keim, AVP Communications, Barnard College

Ian Rees, Union Theological Seminary

Marian Scott, Director, Community Health Education Community and Government Affairs Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West

For a personal conversation about this program offering or to recommend a participant, please contact us:
Jennifer Beisser, Executive Director of the Morningside Area Alliance, at 212-749-1570 or or post your question or comment below.