Lesley D’Souza // Secret Sauce of Storytelling, Higher Ed in Canada, #RyersonSA & Empathic Assessment

What are the core components of a compelling story? What examples in student affairs can we look to for engaging storytelling practices using data and assessment? Look no further than Lesley D’Souza and Ryerson Student Affairs in Toronto, Canada. This self-proclaimed assessment nerd has built a division-wide assessment cycle at Ryerson that fuels the Storytelling team she managers found at RyersonSA.com and #RyersonSA. Lesley shares the ingredients to a good story, which features students, emotions, and data – composed to build community, recruit higher quality students/staff/faculty and even advocate for more resources from campus decision makers. We also talk about the Twitter chat #SAcdn that Lesley manages, which aims to build a functional networked community of Canadian student affairs professionals.

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Notes from this Episode

ACPA – College Student Affairs International 

Laura Pasquini

NDSS Engaging the Digital Generation Book


Baily Parnell

Ryerson University Student Affairs

Pepperplate App

Heather Lane Vetere – Vice Provost, Students at Ryerson

Chantal Joy, Director of Advising & Student Academic Support at Humber College

Carney Strange, Professor – Emeritus in BGSU Higher Ed & Student Affairs

CACUSS – (Association representing and serving those individuals who work in Canadian post-secondary institutions in student affairs and services.)



Mark Solomon, Director, Student Life at Seneca College

Glen Weppler, Director of Housing at the University of Waterloo

Gavin Henning, Higher Education Faculty at New England College

Contextualizing Differences in Canadian and American Higher Ed

Adam Kuhn, Director, Student & Campus Community Development at University of Toronto

SA Relay Podcast

#SARyerson Blog

ACPA Commission for Assessment & Evaluation

John Austin – Executive Director of Student Affairs, Ryerson University

SAAL – student affairs assessment leaders

More about Lesley

Lesley is the Manager of Student Affairs Storytelling in the department of Student Affairs at Ryerson University. She is a student affairs assessment nerd that specializes in storytelling with data and frequently speaks on topics including data storytelling, building empathy, women in leadership, and student transition. At Ryerson, she is responsible for division-wide assessment and works with the Student Affairs Storytelling team to apply design-thinking to higher education practice, and to transform good data into compelling stories. She has an MA in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University.

She’s a mom of two boys and an avid gardener, tea drinker, writer, musician and random fact junkie. Ask her anything! She hopes to write a book someday, get a Ph.D. and inspire others.

Connect with Lesley 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lesley.dsouza/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesleydsouza/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lesley_DSouza

Website: http://lesleydsouza.com/

Ryerson:  www.ryersonstudentaffairs.com

About Josie and The Podcast

In each episode, Dr. Josie Ahlquist – digital leadership author, researcher, and speaker – connects tech and leadership in education. This podcast will bring you leaders on-campus and online. From Senior Vice Presidents on Snapchat, YouTubers receiving billions of views and new media professionals. All through the lens of social media and leadership.  Josie hopes you will not only learn from these digital leaders but also laugh as we all explore how to be our best selves online and off.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to receive the latest episodes, share widely and let me know you’d checked it out! Tweet me @josieahlquist – I would love to hear from you!

Digital hugs, loves, and waves!


Catch past episodes here: www.josieahlquist.com/podcast

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