PRESS RELEASE: Prof2Prof releases updated platform with a focus on building community in higher education


MADISON, WI: Prof2Prof announces a newly updated platform that includes a host of innovative features for building community in higher education. Initially designed as a resource-sharing platform for higher education professionals and doctoral students, Prof2Prof now hosts students across all stages of post-secondary education, creating novel opportunities for student support, career development, and alumni relations. The platform also hosts academic networks in need of a home base for sharing news, events, and resources, and for intra-network communication. First released in August 2017, Prof2Prof was developed by a Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kristen Slack, CEO and Founder of Prof2Prof, notes that “according to the Oxford English Dictionary, academia is defined as ‘the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.’ With this new release, platform features support and enhance community building and resource sharing across the full spectrum of academia, inclusive of students, faculty, researchers, administrators, student affairs professionals, and alumni.”

Examples of new features include mechanisms for mentoring students, for coordinating group projects, service learning, field placements, research experiences, and internships, for tracking and re-engaging students who “stop out” of their educational pursuits, and for sustaining connections with alumni. New features supporting academic networks include the ability to establish private workspaces for sharing resources and communicating, and public-facing features for sharing network activities, news, and events.

“The platform facilitates a wide range of tasks in higher education settings, which are less easily accomplished if faculty, staff, and student activities are siloed,” says Slack. “The reality is that in the context of higher education, students, faculty, and staff, within and across institutions and disciplines, work together all the time on projects and initiatives. Most existing Ed Tech platforms focus exclusively or primarily on a single task, or on a specific discipline or professional role. Prof2Prof is designed to break down these artificial classifications and support collaborative work as it actually occurs.”

Slack believes that long-standing models of higher education do not do enough to build and foster community, an ingredient, she believes, that requires new thinking in the wake of a global pandemic. “In 2020 and beyond, how do we ensure that the community context of academia remains vibrant and strong, with built-in continuity, even in the face of unexpected upheaval? Going forward, Prof2Prof is dedicated to this task.”

Prof2Prof received some of its initial funding from Doyenne, a Madison, Wisconsin-based organization that supports women-owned businesses. Additional organizational support was provided by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s Upstart Program for entrepreneurs, and the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

CONTACT: Kristen Slack, 888-966-9727, (requests email for first contact)