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NKU Holds Inaugural Student Success Summit and 2020 Innovation Challenge Competition


Jan. 15 2020— Northern Kentucky University kicks off the spring semester with an Inaugural Student Success Summit and the 2020 Innovation Challenge, a program to unleash innovations in student success.

NKU’s strategic framework, Success by Design, outlines three pillars of student success: Access, Completion and Career & Community Engagement. Last fall, NKU announced  the First Five initiatives to implement the framework that has the singular focus on student success aligned with the needs of the region. 

NKU’s Student Success Summit gathers leaders from higher education, who are rooted in student success both within the classroom and in the community. Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Dr. Anton Reece, president of West Kentucky Community & Technical College; and Dr. Kirsten Turner, associate provost for Academic & Student Affairs at the University of Kentucky are the featured panelist. NKU’s Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Ryan Padgett, will lead the discussion. 

“As we implement the strategic framework, student success must stay at the forefront of everything we do. Each of our panelists brings a unique perspective to advancing student success means. We hope this summit inspires our campus to think outside the box and generate and execute new ideas,” said President Ashish Vaidya. “Empowering our faculty and staff is how we become a student-ready, regionally engaged institution.”

Immediately following the summit, NKU holds the 2020 Innovation Challenge. Last October, President Vaidya challenged the campus community to “unleash innovation” and allocated $500,000 for student success initiatives. Fifteen finalists will pitch their ideas for funding– from $5,000 to $100,000– to implement their plans. The Student Success Summit panel will serve as judges, along with two students. 

Dave Knox– a consultant, speaker and coach in the areas of innovation, marketing, and digital transformation–will emcee the Challenge. Knox is the 2017 Atticus Award Grand Prix winner, a seven-year veteran of Procter & Gamble and the founder of The Brandery startup accelerator. He has served as the former Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish and as the Managing Director for WPP Ventures.

“We know that everyone on our campus has ideas about how to better support our students, and this was proven when our campus community submitted 133 student success-driven ideas to the Innovation Challenge. It shows that student success is the reason we are all here, and I hope the finalists and everyone that submitted ideas continue to innovate and collaborate across campus,” said Chief Strategy Office and Vice President Bonita Brown.

  • What: 2020 Student Success Summit and Innovation Challenge
  • When: Jan. 17, 2020, at 9 a.m.; Innovation Challenge to follow at 10 a.m.
  • Where: H. Gordan & Thelma Martin Ballroom, Votruba Student Union 

Community members are invited to join NKU’s faculty, staff and students to vote on the Innovation Challenge proposals. The winners will be announced on January 27. For more information, visit Success by Design’s website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit