I’m Jackie Vetrano, and for me, ConnectEDU was a little dream in October 2017. Now, it’s here and I couldn’t be more excited.

I don’t quite remember how or why I started listening to podcasts, but I distinctly remember listening exclusively to a playlist of them as I was training for my first half marathon instead of my usual EDM playlists. I couldn’t get enough and always thought to myself, “I want to do that.” I expressed this to Lougan Bishop; explaining how much I would love to create a podcast but I didn’t know the first thing about it, or what I would even talk about. He said, “we could do one together, I know how to do it.” And then Higher Ed Social was born. Our first episode went live a few months later in December 2014, and even with a couple breaks and changes in our schedule, it’s now at over 100 episodes. Podcasting is fun. Connecting with people in higher ed is also fun. I was doing all of that and realized there were other awesome podcasters who were really killing it on campus and in people’s earbuds, and I wanted to get them together to spread the love to higher ed professionals across the globe. So, ConnectEDU Network was born. It’s a resource for anyone who works on campus. Whether you’re looking for your next show to check out, something to learn, creating a show yourself, or other professionals to connect with ConnectEDU is the place.  I can’t wait to watch it grow! More about me; I’m a Buffalo girl at heart, but took a leap in February 2018 and accepted a position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in University Communications. I’m the Online Marketing and Social Media Manager, which means I partner with the social media team and deliver charts and graphs to help make smarter social media decisions, as well as manage digital advertising within University Communications. If you couldn’t guess, I don’t like the cold. I don’t like cold and snow because I like to run (or at least I pretend to). I’ve completed three half marathons only because they were excuses to travel to Buffalo, Disney World, and Nashville. I run because I like to eat, and really I’m in it for the costumes, medals, and free beer at the end. I spend my free time watching reality television while doing homework on my couch, as I’m earning an Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Integrated Marketing Communications from Georgetown University (Go Hoyas)! I’m never not busy, but I like it that way. I’m an alumni volunteer for Alpha Phi Omega and am so thankful for the amazing group of friends and community connections it has given me. If you need someone to head out to try a new restaurant, play a board game with, pet a cat, or cheer on the Buffalo Bills, I’m your girl. I love connecting with folks who share my interests (especially reality television, honestly) on Twitter – @jackievetrano – or really on any other social media platform. You can learn more about me, see pictures of my cat, and read my blog at jackievetrano.com.