12th Annual Northwestern SPS Symposium for Graduate Programs

October 5-7, 2023

This annual SPS Symposium is an optional but exciting part of a student's program. The three-day student event and academic conference provides an opportunity for students to interact and learn from fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

COVID-19 Guidelines

All visitors to Northwestern’s campus must adhere to University safety protocols, which are based on current public health guidelines. The Illinois Department of Public Health and Northwestern encourages community members to wear masks indoors and at large outdoor gatherings or events. All registrants and guests are encouraged to wear their own face mask. All registrants and guests must avoid campus if they are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms.


2023 Welcome Reception

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

Chicago Campus, Potocsnak Family Atrium, 303 East Superior Street

The Symposium Welcome reception is the kick-off event for the three days of events. The Dean of the School of Professional Studies, Thomas Gibbons will deliver brief remarks followed by an alum presentation. Refreshments will be served.



2023 Symposium Conference

Friday, October 6, 9:00 - 4:00 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 will be available beginning of July.

2022 Schedule



Room: Wieboldt 540


Professional Headshots (complimentary)

Room: Wieboldt 509


Long-Term Supply Chain Ramifications of a 21st-Century Pandemic

(Kerry Kurcz)

Room: Wieboldt 408

Implementation of Virtual Care Delivery and Remote Diagnostics Across North America, Yemen and Worldwide

(William Cherniak)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Mitigating the Risks of the Great Resignation with Leadership Resources Management (and how to prepare for the next one)

(J. Bryan Bennett)

Room: Wieboldt 517

Flipping the Model - Enablement of Meaningful Care at Home

(Veronika Grote & Eric Abbott)

Room: Wieboldt 507

9:40–10am Break

Fighting Food Insecurity in a Post-Pandemic Future of Rising Instability and Uncertainty

(Katherine Festeryga)

Room: Wieboldt 408

Digital & Data Transformation in Clinical Research and Drug Development

(Imran Khan)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Personality Type: A post-pandemic reimagination of the way we learn and work

(Jeri Bingham)

Room: Wieboldt 517

The Case for Internet Based Voting in US Elections

(Mark Schumacher)

Room: Wieboldt 507

10:40–11am Break

Career Roundtable

Room: Wieboldt 540


Career Networking and Lunch Break

Room: Wieboldt 540


Go for Graduate Training in Data Science

(Shree Bharadwaj & Dr. Thomas Miller)

Room: Wieboldt 408

The Future is Accessible...But Only If We Make It So

(Jessica Gimeno)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Sponsorship Analytics, You're Doing it Wrong.

(Alex Kerr & Courtney Whiteside)

Room: Wieboldt 517

1:40–2pm Break

Back to the Future of Normalcy?


(Ennily Chan & Mark DeMars)

Room: Wieboldt 408

We Keep on Talking!

(Judy Roman)

Room: Wieboldt 506

Well-being of Older Adults during the Pandemic: Policies to Address Financial Stress

(Andy Sharma)

Room: Wieboldt 517

2:40–3pm Break

Keynote: Building Better Volunteer & Donor Relationships for Project C.U.R.E.

(Randy Hlavac & Dr. W. Douglas Jackson, CEO of Project C.U.R.E.)

Room: Wieboldt 704


SPS Alumni Award Presentation and Closing Remarks

Room: Wieboldt 704



2023 Homecoming Tailgate & Football Game 

Saturday, October 7 (Kickoff TBD)

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
Time TBD Lunch
Speaker: Thomas Gibbons, Dean of SPS
Time TBD 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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