The Ahlquist Top 10 of 2014

As a full-time doctoral student there are certain things one has to give up to meet deadlines and simply get that doctorate done.  Even my blogging has unfortunately slowed as I get closer to graduation.  Since starting school one thing I have given up is sending holidays cards.  So, last year I shared the second best thing: a virtual card called The Ahlquist Top 10 of 2013. 

I share with you the 2014 version.  Ten moments, highlights and announcements that made this year memorable.  

10.  All the Ahlquists in One Place

The Ahlquist clan is spread out all over the country.  It takes a lot of luck and effort to get us in one place.  After two years, this thanksgiving all of us were in the same place!  Even better we got to celebrate two big birthdays and the announcement that my sister is law is expecting.  We’re going to have a niece!


9.  Lloyd Met the President 

Not just met the president, but was invited with a crew of other YouTubers to have an hour sit-down with Obama!  This gathering served to provided consult to the White House about digital communities and creative solutions for reaching young audiences.


8.  Josie Becomes an Author 

This year I was thrilled to be part of four publications, all in different parts of the production process.  The latest is a receiving news that I’ll be a co-editor and author for a New Directions in Student Services volume called “Engaging with the Digital Generation”  Check out more about all four (here).  


7.  Epic Rap Battles on Billboards

If you lived around Chicago or New York, this summer you may have seen Lloyd’s face on a billboard, taxi cab, bus station or train car.  We traveled to Chicago this summer to see some of the billboards in-person!


6.  Going Gold x 3

In 2013 we received our first Gold record, Epic Rap Battle’s biggest video Vader Vs Hilter.  This year we were treated with two more from the videos President Obama vs Mitt Romney and Albert Einstein vs Steven Hawking. 


5.  Celebrating Five Years

In October we celebrated our five-year anniversary, taking an escape into the mountains of Malibu where we got married.  I surprised Lloyd with my gift, a cover of a song that I sang to him at our wedding by Ingrid Michaelson.  I pulled out all my favors to professionals in the industry to help me do it!  

4.  Dissertation Progress

It won’t be until May 2015 that I can fully celebrate a complete doctoral journey, but if I have learned anything through this long process is to celebrate at every little milestone.  This year I successfully defended my proposal, moved through two institutional review boards, recruited 40 student leader participants and conducted six focus groups.  I also pulled 2,000 social media posts which will be analyzed in 2015 for part two of my process.  

To learn more about the entire project, feel free to review my proposal below.

Another thing to celebrate in my dissertation was that I have received two grants to support the research financially.  These come both from NASPA, with regional and national awards!

3.  Lloyd as Superman

If you know me well, then you know I like Superman.  So when Lloyd played this character as part of a rap battle…on my birthday…I was pretty excited!  Lloyd surprised me with a photo shoot with him.  Below was my favorite.


This video recently was listed on the top 10 videos on YouTube for 2014.  Check it out below.

2.  Getting Serious about SpeakingIMG_4986

In April I set a goal to speak to 10 campuses before the end of the year, finding myself all over the country talking about Digital Identity and Leadership.  To aid in this, I signed with a college booking agency Bass-Schueler Entertainment!

I traveled locally around Los Angeles, drove through Central California, and flew to Indiana and Ohio. A few times I even presented virtually online.  I also presented at a number of conferences including ACPA National Convention, NASPA National Conference, NASPA Western Regional Conference and the Leadership Educators Institute.

The most recent announcement to my speaking and consultant efforts is the redesign of my website!   Find out more about they types of programs I offer for students, staff and faculty (here).

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 4.53.14 PM

1.  Mom is Cancer Free! 

My family started out with a very rough 2014.  After spending an entire holiday together, we received blowing news that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The entire spring was filled with doctor appointments and I was traveling back and forth from Los Angeles to Wyoming.  After a number of surgeries Mom is now cancer free!  She was even featured in my hometown paper (seen below) and of course I blogged about it too (here).  


Thank you to everyone that reached out with support to our family.  Every message and hug helped.

What’s Next in 2015?

Lloyd and I look forward to an exciting new year.  We have started to house hunt and even consider adopting another dog.  January and February will be lots of writing for me, while Lloyd will enjoy being off-season from rap battles. Graduation will come in May, where you will notice a distinct change to my website logo to Dr. Josie Ahlquist.  Lloyd hopes to make an album soon and I’m dreaming about a post-doc trip to Spain & Italy in the summer!  

Please subscribe to stay updated with us and all the things I’ll be working on in 2015!

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From our lil’ animal Ahlquist house to your corner of the world, Happy New Year!! 


What would be on your top ten for 2014?  Share a few below in the comments!

4 Responses to The Ahlquist Top 10 of 2014

  1. Grace Bagunu December 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    I love this year in review! You inspire me so much, Josie! I don’t know how you do it all! I appreciate that part of your top 10 I got to experience with you when we presented at NASPA! It’s definitely part of my top 10 too! I think we should do that more often. This trip that I am on might make my top 10 for 2014 and 2015! It’s making this doctoral degree grind more enjoyable for sure!! I’m looking forward to a writing retreat with you in the Spring! I wish you all the joy and happiness for 2015!

    • Josie Ahlquist December 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      Thanks Grace! I love having you part of this journey and yes please a writing retreat is required this spring. Happy New Year fellow #sadoc.

  2. Israel Ayola December 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your world with us. I have been a fan of your husbands work for some time now and, as it stands, will quickly become a fan of yours.

  3. Eugene Campbell July 23, 2015 at 12:16 am #

    Have to say you and your husband gained a fan in me. Superman is my favorite. Tell your husband he’s ridiculously talented, and from what I can see so far so are you. Keep up the good work, the educational arena will definitely benefit from having you in it. Very happy to hear your mother is well. I lost my father to cancer in 2011 on valentine’s day, but before he died he sent flowers and a final love letter to his best friend and lover, my mom. It was definitely bitter sweet. So enjoy your family and husband. They are the most important thing in life. Sorry for rattling on, I pray you and your love ones the best this world has to offer.

    Best wishes,

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