February 19, 2021 - February 20, 2021
Friday Keynote: Ian Symmonds
ISA President | Chief Strategist
Ian started ISA with a notebook computer, cell phone, and a dream of using his skills to transform the education landscape. After serving four private schools, colleges, and universities over 15 years as a senior officer, turning around enrollment and strategy in the process, he launched Ian Symmonds & Associates Inc. in 2003. Nearly 20 years, 1000 clients, and four million air miles traveled later, Ian has seen more schools, colleges, universities, and non-profits that any other consultant in America.
Ian is an author, speaker, ed-activist, and strategist. He is the visionary president and founder of Ian Symmonds & Associates Inc. Long before a consultant, however, Ian was a practitioner. His global professional practice as a senior officer, executive director, and dean spans 30 years including Pacific University, Culver-Stockton College, Saint Mary's Hall, and Trinity University. He has led independent schools, traditional undergraduate colleges, graduate schools, and adult learning programs. He is a global citizen and has traveled the world for boarding schools and colleges, including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, Emirates, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, England, Canada, and Mexico. He has also engineered dramatic enrollment and positioning strategy turnarounds for three different private institutions during his career, at the higher education, primary, and secondary school level.
Occasionally dubbed an "ed-activist", Ian holds a high opinion of the role of education in building communities, transforming people and solving social issues. He launched the #JustCause campaign with Ian Symmonds & Associates in 2011 to raise public awareness and strategically connect ISA with organizations that are addressing structural poverty through education. He actively speaks and writes on the issue and devotes a large portion of time to consulting with organizations through the Just Cause campaign. Recent organizations served under the Just Cause campaign include Portland Tennis & Education (OR), Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (TN), Mississippi Children's Museum (MS), Village of Promise (AL), KUZA (OR and Uganda), and Children's Relief Nursery (OR).
Very early in his consulting, writing, and speaking career, Ian earned the role of one of America’s best thought leader in educational circles, defined by a culturally relevant approach and progressive delivery of thinking. He is fascinated by culture and the future role of nonprofits and educational organizations as they attempt to shape our world for the common good. He has published in numerous professional journals, such as the Journal of College Admission (NACAC) and On Target (College Board), and has presented at just about every national and regional educational conference. He holds a BS and MS degree from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Ian's formal area of study is organizational and small group leadership, focusing his graduate program on the essential ingredients of leading individuals and organizations. He is in high demand as a conference speaker at regional, national and global venues.
Clients and colleagues know Ian as a thought leader with a thoughtful, calming disposition and yet relentlessly preparing the industry for the rapid changes ahead. He consults on several projects each quarter, speaks, and writes frequently on behalf of ISA. He lives in Southern California with his wife Lisa. Ian’s daughters include Makayla, working in digital media in Nashville, and Julianna, attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Ian still competes at the tournament level in tennis, enjoys hiking, and exploring the beauty of the outdoors.
Saturday Keynote: Pradeep Dhillon
Pradeep A. Dhillon is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Her research straddles philosophy of language (in the analytic, continental, and Asian traditions) and aesthetics, as they relate to global education. She has a strong interest in Kantian value theory and its significance for human rights education as well as global aesthetic education. She has published two books and over thirty book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent work is in the areas of Kant’s theory of judgment. She is Editor for theJournal of Aesthetic Education, she has served as the Chair of Education for the American Society for Aesthetics.