Barbara Siska, CSEP
For more than 25 years, Barb has worked in the events industry producing corporate, non-profit and social events. Her background consists of facility rental and events management in many of Chicago’s most notable museums, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Chicago History Museum. Barb has also worked for Berkshire Hathaway-owned Pampered Chef as their U.S. Meetings Manager. At Pampered Chef, Barb planned and executed more than 12 meetings a year, including a national conference for nearly 10,000 attendees, as well as a leadership conference for 3,000. She traveled the U.S. extensively, executing meetings and scouting future locations.
In her role as Executive Director of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies at the University of Chicago, Barb serves as the lead event planner for all Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and other campus partner events. She manages a team of seven that collectively orchestrates and executes more than 100 University events and conferences each year, including the annual Convocation ceremonies, which welcomes more than 18,000 guests to campus each June.
Barb currently serves as the Regional Vice President for the Midwest for the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the principle association representing the creative events professional, globally.
Senior Associate Director
Julie joined the University of Chicago in March 2017 after producing a wide range of initiatives for Lincoln Park Zoo and Red Frog Events/Warrior Dash. Within the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, Julie oversees the planning, production, and execution of more than 35 events each year.
As a Senior Associate Director, Julie serves the department in a management capacity and spearheads various initiatives for the Office of the President. She also supports the Office of the Provost and other partners on campus with their programming, helping to fine-tune event logistics and effectively employ best practices. Additionally, Julie acts as the Convocation staffing liaison, recruiting volunteers to assist with the institution’s annual exercises, developing informational materials, and conducting training sessions.
Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with highest honors from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Katelyn is an Associate Director at the University of Chicago, where she is responsible for the planning and operational oversight of the University’s annual Convocation ceremony. In addition to Convocation, Katelyn coordinates several other University events as part of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies team.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Katelyn worked at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as an Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement where she planned, produced, and executed engagement events and programs for the Law School community.
Katelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in professional communications from Elmhurst College.
Events & Communications Manager
Victoria is an Events & Communications Manager at the University of Chicago, where she serves as the lead project manager in producing all communications and collateral for the University’s annual Convocation ceremony. In addition to Convocation, Victoria contributes to several other University initiatives as part of the Office of University Events team through event planning and coordination as well as on-site production.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Victoria worked as a Senior Experiential Project Manager at GT Universe, where she ideated, planned, and executed various multicultural and specialty events for brands such as Pernod Ricard and Jewel-Osco.
Victoria holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Media School of Indiana University.
David is an Event Specialist at the University of Chicago, where he is responsible for managing a diverse events portfolio, including venue scouting, planning and ideation, cross-functional collaboration with subcontractors and campus partners, menu development, design of event materials, and budget tracking. David directly supports the University’s Convocation as well as other events and initiatives within the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and other University departments.
Prior to joining the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, David was a member of the Alumni Relations and Development team at the University, primarily working with student engagement and brand management. In a previous role, David coordinated departmental events for Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts.
David holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in literary theory from Wesleyan University.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Nicole worked for The Walt Disney Company where she coordinated the planning logistics for a wide range of events across the Walt Disney World property. Within the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, Nicole is an Event Administrator, where she is responsible for providing event administration support to the team.
Nicole supports the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and other campus partners with the creation of invitations, guest list management, and event communications. She also serves as a technical resource for event databases and other office software. Additionally, Nicole oversees the student worker program for the institution’s annual Convocation ceremony. This includes recruiting, workflow management, orientation, and communications.
Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism, conventions, and event management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.