Annual Northwestern SPS Symposium

The annual SPS Symposium is an optional but exciting part of a student's program. The three-day, in-person student event and academic conference provides an opportunity for students to interact and learn from fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni on the Northwestern campuses in Chicago and Evanston. Save the date for the 2024 SPS Symposium on November 14th - 16th, 2024!

Tentative Annual SPS Symposium Schedule

November 14-16, 2024

  • Thursday (11/14):  Evening Welcome Reception (Chicago)
  • Friday (11/15): All-day Academic Conference (Wieboldt Hall, Chicago)
  • Saturday (11/16): Breakfast/Brunch and Homecoming Football Game against Ohio State (Wrigleyville, Chicago)


Symposium Student Presentations

We have session spots for student presentations! Sessions are slotted for 40 minutes throughout the day and joint presentations from faculty and students/alumni are encouraged. We are soliciting innovative session proposals from all fields.

Submissions are now open and due by June 1st. If you have ideas for sessions you'd like to discuss before submitting a proposal, please reach out to your program manager.

Note: Travel and lodging expenses for presenters may be covered by SPS.

Proposal submission process

Submissions are accepted through completing the Proposal Submission Form by June 1st in which you will be asked to provide following:

  • Names, contact information, and short bios for all presenters
  • A title.
  • A brief (300-word maximum) abstract in language that clearly communicates your topic to readers from other disciplines.

Selected submissions will be notified by July 15th.

Please consider taking part and hosting a session for the SPS community to attend.

Feel free to reach out to SPS Student Services at with any questions.



Below was the schedule for the 2023 SPS Symposium:


2023 Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 5, 2023 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Campus, Lurie Center - Ryan Family Atrium, 303 East Superior Street

The Symposium Welcome Reception is the kick-off event for the three days of events. Leadership from the School of Professional Studies will deliver brief remarks followed by an alumni presentation. Light refreshments will be served.



2023 Symposium Conference

Friday, October 6, 2023 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Chicago Campus, Wieboldt Hall, 339 East Chicago Avenue

The Symposium conference academic presentations and discussions are an opportunity for students to interact with their instructors face-to-face and engage in topics not covered in a typical course for further learning and professional development. The conference portion of SPS Symposium begins with breakfast at Wieboldt Hall at 9:00 a.m., followed by academic presentations, career panel/networking, and discussions sessions for students in all programs.

The 2023 Conference Event Schedule is below.


2023 Schedule




Room: Wieboldt 704


Professional Headshots (complimentary) - Dynamic Photo Systems

Room: Wieboldt 509


The Role of AI and Human-Led Intelligence in Mitigating the Spread of Harmful Content On/Offline

(Ardian Shajkovci, PhD)

Room: Wieboldt 408

Generative AI And The Future of Marketing

(Kelly Cutler)

Room: Wieboldt 506

RadCLIP: Using transformers to Translate X-Ray Images into Medical Reports

(Christopher Alexander | Andrew Damico | Katya Nosulko | Vivek Chamala | Matthew Conger)

Room: Wieboldt 507

Leveraging AI for Equity: Designing Courses for Neurodiverse Learners

(David S. Noffs | Heather Brown | Michelle Bannerman)

Room: Wieboldt 517


10:10–10:20am Break

AI in Disaster Response: Promise and Peril

(William Lester)

Room: Wieboldt 408

Revolutionizing Content Strategy with ChatGPT: Harnessing the Power of AI

(Randy Hlavac)

Room: Wieboldt 506

AI for Science

(Gregg Barrett)

Room: Wieboldt 507

Artisans: Creativity and Craftsmanship in the Age of AI

(Charlie Arthur)

Room: Wieboldt 517

11–11:10am Break

Career Panel

Room: Wieboldt 147


Career Networking and Lunch Break

Room: Wieboldt 704




Combining UX and AI to Drive Business Performance

(David Schatz)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Internet Access as a Social Determinant of Health for Older Adults

(Andy Sharma)

Room: Wieboldt 507

What Skills Are Too Human for Artificial Intelligence?

(Stephanie George)


Room: Wieboldt 517

2–2:10pm Break


Applying Generative AI for Real-Time Assessment of Corporate ESG Performance

(Devanshi Wadhwa)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Who’s Afraid of Generative AI? Sentience, Ethics, and the Future of Artificial Intelligence

(Candice Bradley | Alianna Maren | Irene Tsapara)

Room: Wieboldt 507

Future-Proofing Pandemic Response by Evidence-Based Optimization of Resources

(Swetha Popuri)

Room: Wieboldt 517

2:50–3pm Break

Keynote: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Your Healthcare

(J. Bryan Bennett)

Room: Wieboldt 704


SPS Alumni Award Presentation: Jon Suarez-Davis (jsd)

Room: Wieboldt 704



2023 Homecoming Tailgate & Football Game 

Saturday, October 7, 2023 (Kickoff - 2 p.m.)

Tailgate: Evanston Campus, 405 Church Street
Game: Ryan Field, Evanston Campus, 1501 Central Street

The final day of the SPS Symposium will take place on the Evanston campus, during the spirited festivities of Reunion Weekend (“Homecoming”). All are invited to attend a brunch/lunch with fellow SPS students, faculty, alumni, and staff in Evanston. Attendees have the option to cheer on the Wildcats at the Northwestern University Homecoming Game.

Schedule for Homecoming Tailgate and Football Game
11:30 am - 1:30 pm Lunch
Speaker: Thomas Gibbons, Dean of SPS
2 pm Homecoming Football Game: Northwestern vs. Howard 


A rideshare event code will be shared with guests who attend Symposium to accommodate for travel between Chicago and Evanston during the scheduled events. More information and instructions will be shared with you by email the week before the event.

Travel and Accommodations

Please refer to the Northwestern University Reunion Weekend's webpage on travel and accommodations. These are suggestions and accommodations made by the University to make booking your stay easier. You are not obligated to stay in these recommended hotels to attend the SPS Symposium. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements. The North Shore Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Choose Chicago maintain complete lists of hotels in Evanston and the Chicago area.


Parking on the Evanston Campus

Parking will be available on the Evanston campus throughout Symposium. Additional information regarding rates will be posted here when it becomes available. See the Evanston campus parking map.  

Parking on the Chicago Campus

A discounted daily and evening rate will be available for parking at the Erie Ontario Garage and the Huron Superior Garage from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. or daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You must park and exit within the specified time to receive the discounted rate. If you enter before the rate takes effect, or exit after the specified end time on the date of entry you will be charged the full public rate for the entire time you are parked. If parked for 12 hours or more, regular garage rates will apply. See the Chicago campus parking map.

How to obtain a discount:

  1. Park in the eligible garage and obtain a parking ticket at entry.
  2. While at Symposium in Wieboldt Hall, obtain a QR code from the check-in desk, the Symposium Guidebook app, or the Erie Ontario or Huron Superior Customer Service Offices.
  3. When ready to exit, go to a garage pay station on the ground level and insert your parking ticket.
  4. Once the pay station has stated parking fee, scan the QR code on the pay station scanner. Once scanned correctly, the pay station will reduce the parking fee.
  5. Pay the fee with payment card or cash following the machine instructions.
  6. Collect the parking ticket back from the machine after your transaction is complete.
  7. Insert the parking ticket at the exit gate as you leave the garage with your vehicle.
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