Keynote Speakers

15th Annual Florida Higher Education Summit - FACRAO/FCRAO

Thank you for your interest in our 15th Annual Florida Higher Education Summit. 

Distinguished speakers who will appear at the 2024 Summit include:

Keynote Speaker - Opening Session
Sunday, June 2, 2024

Opening Keynote SpeakerChristian E. Hardigree, J.D.

Presenting: Hospitality in Higher Ed: Enhancing Recruitment and Retention Through a Hospitality Lens

Presentation Slides

Christian Hardigree has served as regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg since May of 2022. In this role, she oversees the 52-acre waterfront campus, which is home to more than 3,600 students. It is the only residential, public research institution in Pinellas County and a branch campus of the University of South Florida, a top 50 public institution that was invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) in 2023.

Before joining USF St. Petersburg, Hardigree served as the founding dean of the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, and as the founding director of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Prior to that, she spent 15 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was a tenured faculty member in the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in hospitality law, employment law, management, human resources, ethics and diversity.

Over her career, Hardigree has secured more than $25.7 million in gifts, grants, and contracts, and has worked on capital projects exceeding $225 million.

A researcher and frequent conference presenter, Hardigree received her juris doctorate from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and a bachelor of science, cum laude, from William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada Las Vegas. Married with three children (18, 16, and 13), Hardigree enjoys playing golf, riding horses, gardening, watching collegiate sports, collecting original works of art from local artists, and playing with her Great Dane, Grace.

Keynote Speaker - Plenary

Tuesday, June 4, 2024  

Jacqueline Carter, AACRAO Immediate Past-President

Presenting: The Power of Purpose and Relationship in Student Success

Jacqueline Carter is the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Washington University in St. Louis Olin School of Business.  In her current role, Jacqueline is responsible for leading initiatives and programs aligned with the EDI strategic plan to create an equitable and inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty.

In her previous roles at Jacqueline served as a Registrar and Student Affairs Advisor. Jacqueline provided leadership and support in recruitment, retention and advance for women and underrepresented students through policies, initiatives and practices.  She also served as an academic advisor, student development advocate and club advisor.  She serves on many committees from Title IX, University’s Diversity Delegates, MLK Commemoration, Undergraduate Honors and Awards Program, Co-Chair Diversity and Inclusion Forum for Faculty & Staff and Executive Board for Black Faculty and Staff Cabinet at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jacqueline just completed her presidency on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admission Offices (AACRAO).  She is currently serving as the Past President on the Board. In AACRAO, she has served as Vice President at Large on the Board of Directors, Program Coordinator for the 2021 and 2022 Annual Meetings, Chair of Student Access and Equity, Chair of Nominations and Elections, Chair of Professional Access and Equity, Chair of Black Caucus and Program Coordinator.

She has had the honor to work in higher education for more than two decades with a background in student services and affairs, admissions, financial aid, registrar and diversity, equity and inclusion.  Jacqueline knows her purpose is to be an inclusive change agent and advocate to collectively build and increase knowledge to create an environment of equity, inclusion and belonging for all.  She sees education as a human right that should open up opportunities for advancement.  She knows an inclusive environment will allow anyone to thrive to their fullest potential.

Jacqueline is a first-generation college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business management from National-Louis University, a master of business administration degree from Fontbonne University, and a Veteran of US Army Reserves.

Jacqueline is from St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, live music, cycling, and sporting events.  She is married with two children.

Keynote Speaker - Closing at FACRAO Business Meeting

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Tammy AagardTammy L. Aagard

Presenting: The Secret Sauce: Uncovering our Hidden Potential to Maximize Institutional and Student Success

Dr. Tammy Aagard currently works as a Managing Consultant for AACRAO Consulting. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to her current role, she served as Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and the University of Florida, as well as Registrar at the University of Wyoming. Her portfolio includes experience in enrollment management areas of admissions, academic advising, graduate school, financial aid, and registrar. She also has experience in athletics at Washington State University.

Dr. Aagard has worked extensively with academic and administrative leaders on multiple campuses through her consulting and professional work. Her passions include all areas of enrollment management, strategic planning, and aligning division goals with the mission and goals of the institution.

Dr. Aagard has extensive experience in staff development and has presented sessions on functional and leadership topics at the institution, state, regional, national, and international levels. Her goals are to give back to the profession she loves by providing information that is actionable and motivating to support the success of individuals and institutions.