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The EdUp Experience Podcast: Year in Review

2021 has been a year full adapting to a new normal–EdUp Experience highlights their top favourite episodes filled with insights from higher ed leaders. 

January of 2022 will mark the second anniversary of the start of The EdUp Experience podcast.  In just a short two-year period, EdUp has become the dominant brand among higher education podcasts due to the unique format, marketing infrastructure, and guest list that is second-to-none.  More than anything, however, we appreciate our loyal listeners who have communicated to us – either through listening to the podcast or through reviews – that EdUp is one of their favorite podcasts and they use the medium to keep updated and developed on the professional front.  

That feedback is what keeps us going, and why we stay motivated to bring you the premier guests impacting learning and leadership in higher education and beyond.  One way we have done this in 2021 has been to expand the podcast through partnerships with organizations with access to incredible leaders.  In July of 2021, EdUp attended the Anthology Together conference in Dallas, TX, hosted by EdTech giant Anthology, and recorded seventeen episodes, released the same day of recording, to document the learning and innovation taking place at the conference.  EdUp also partnered with the Alliance for Innovation and Transformation (AFIT) to release eight episodes highlighting the best of community college innovation and leadership.  Finally, in December of 2021, EdUp headed to Doha, Qatar to record with the top education leaders across the globe at the World Innovation Summit for Education hosted by The Qatar Foundation.  

We’ve also introduced guest hosts to our audience, and if you’ve listened to EdUp in the second half of 2021, you’ve heard the sound effects bring a new dimension to higher education podcasting that hasn’t existed before.  There is nothing wrong with a little entertainment to go with a lot of learning!  EdUp finished 2020 with approximately 30,000 plays of our episodes and we were stunned with our success at the time.  Little did we know that 2021 would see us triple our episode plays and finish the year above 100,000 plays.  The consistent interest in EdUp content has allows us to create the EdUp Preferred Partner Network with incredible organizations like LeadSquared, UnMudl, The Charles Koch Foundation, MDT Marketing, and others soon to be announced.  The crescendo of our growth will be the 2022 book release Commencement:  The Beginning of A New Era in Higher Education by Kate Colbert and Dr. Joe Sallustio, with contributions from Elvin Freytes.  The book will synthesize themes, ideas, innovations, and critical insights from over 100 interviews with college and university presidents recorded over the last two years on the podcast and will hit shelves and online books stores in summer 2022.

2021 Key Stats

  • 100,000+ total episode plays
  • 375+ total episodes released 2020-2021
  • 123 countries listened
  • 54% / 46% – Male/Female Audience
  • Ages 35-44 = 34% of Audience
  • Top 5 most listened to episodes in 2021
    • Episode #185 with Laura Ipsen, CEO of Ellucian
    • Episode #144 with John Farrar, Director of Education at Google
    • Episode #313 with Chip Paucek/Anant Agarwal, 2U & EdX
    • Episode #205 with Kai Drekmeier, Co-Founder at InsideTrack
    • Episode #157 with Frank Britt, CEO at Penn Foster

2021 EdUp Favorites

One of our proudest achievements in 2021 has been the creation of our Latinx Leaders section on the EdUp website.  We’ve had the honor of interviewing over 20 incredible Latinx Leaders and have heard incredible stories of grit, perseverance, and success. You can view all Latinx Leader episodes here and we’ll highlight a few in our favorite episodes of the year.

Episode 193, Dr. Angélica Garcia – President of Berkely City College

A Degree Unlocks Doors That Don’t Exist Yet

Through CA Assembly Bill 928, Angelica has advocated for streamlining the student transfer process.  She says it plainly – “students don’t need to be college-ready, colleges need to be student-ready”.  Berkeley City College is a student-ready college where the curriculum is built around the experience of communities and the programs are designed to meet the student of today.  Angélica gives faculty the space to dream out loud; it’s about unlocking the next level of opportunity for students and the best way to social and financial advancement is through a college degree.

Episode #221, Dr. Francisco Marmolejo President of Higher Education at The Qatar Foundation

The Universal Skills Passport

Francisco drops serious knowledge about the necessity of a Universal Skills Passport to help both students and employers understand the relevance of a student’s education mapped to the job market.  He also highlights Education City in Qatar, which is a landmass with nine institutions teaching students from across the globe.  The Qatar Foundation is an ecosystem of more than fifty organizations facilitating the unlocking of human potential.  Francisco talks about why the accident of geography should not affect one’s future educational possibilities.  Finally, he discusses why quality is NOT a synonym for elitism.  The global perspective on higher education is contained in this episode.

Episode #274, Lisa Honaker, Managing Director of Sales for FedEx Office

Eyes on Efficiency

Lisa oversees a huge piece of the FedEx Office organization including near 200 employees and millions in sales.  With a focus on helping higher education institutions drive operational efficiencies in the shipping, printing, marketing, and product areas, she has a unique perspective on higher ed and how large organizations perceive higher ed.  Lisa discusses how the right technology and efficiency can move institutions forward – you won’t want to miss this wide-ranging episode where Lisa notes how higher ed is valued within her organization.

Episode #335, Anne Olderog, Partner at Vivaldi Group

Shareability Defines Value

Anne discusses her marketing experience working with Fortune 500 companies and how technology will help define the future of learning.  What does the technology adoption curve look like today?  Anne says that VALUE is defined by SHAREABILITY today, regardless of the quality of the content.  If the content is not shared, people won’t experience it or believe that it has value.  When an industry is going through disruption, it’s important to stand for something and communicate what that something is — effectively.  Wow!  One of our favorite all-time episodes and one that will bring you INSTANT value.

Episode #354, Dr. Lo Stomski, Senior VP for Associate Learning and Leadership at Walmart

The Walmart Effect

Dr. Lo Stomski heads the learning & leadership initiatives for approximately 2.3 million associates employed by Walmart.  Lo talks about how the nation’s largest private employer views the value of a degree, how they facilitate opportunity across the entire spectrum of learning, and what it takes to compete for talent!  Transformational learning, the future of work, and what it takes to be a Walmart partner – these are critical topics discussed in this great conversation.  She also details Walmart’s specific initiatives and gives context to how many students these initiatives are impacting.  Higher education administrators all need to listen to this episode to get critical insights on how large organizations are thinking about the future of higher education in the context of work.

It’s YOUR time to EdUp, on The EdUp Experience Podcast – where we make education YOUR business.  Cheers to an incredible 2022.

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