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About Dr. Josie Ahlquist

My path to teaching digital leadership

As Seen In

My Philosophy

In my work as a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, and educator, I empower individuals, executives, organizations, and institutions to lead online—with purpose, passion, and authenticity. I believe genuine community building will always yield better and more lasting results than even the slickest marketing and that social media platforms offer tremendous opportunities for human-centered communication and values-based online strategies. I have trained thousands of students, education professionals, and executives on how to view technology through a lens that prioritizes empathy and empowerment, resulting in stronger companies, communities, schools, and leadership.

My Story

I am passionate about higher education and I have been since the day I first set foot inside my residence hall at South Dakota State University. There, I double-majored in Sociology and Human Development and Family Studies. I then earned a master’s in Counseling from Northern Arizona University and began a 12-year career in student affairs before completing my doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at California Lutheran University. It was here that I fell in love with teaching, researching, and content creation.

I blogged to center my thoughts and explore the relationship between social media and higher education—coincidentally, this intersection was also the focus of my seminal work toward my EdD. I closely followed 40 university student leaders’ online practices and dove deep into how they used and experienced social media. I also studied 16 highly engaged campus leaders who were leveraging platforms like Twitter to engage with their students and extend their influence online and off.

I decided to extend my influence as well. I declared an audacious goal—on social media, of course: I would do 12 speaking engagements in the next 12 months. I took a risk, and let my online community hold me up and accountable. I didn’t just meet my goal; I doubled it. And I planted the seeds for a thriving consulting business. Small speaking engagements and workshops have turned into massive keynote audiences and multiyear consulting contracts. By the time I graduated with my doctorate in Higher Education Leadership in 2015, I was living my mission: to promote purpose-driven digital leadership at campuses and organizations everywhere.

Now my speaking and consulting work takes me all over the country, and the world. And, after evolving my business to meet the realities of a pandemic society, all over Zoom, too. I’m honored to serve executives, universities, companies, and college students, as they discover how to lead with purpose and passion online.

Some Institutions I’ve Supported

Fun Facts

  • In 2020 my book, Digital Leadership in Education, was published. It was listed as an Amazon #1 new release for college and university student life.
  • My blog was named to the “Top 50 Must-Read Higher Education Technology Blogs” by Ed Tech for five years in a row.
  • I’ve been featured in Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education and recognized by LinkedIn as a Top Voice in Education multiple times.
  • When I’m not writing, researching, consulting, or presenting, you might find me exploring the United States and Canada with my husband and two rescue pups in our RV.

How can I help you lead?

I am passionate about empowering young adults, educational professionals, organizations, and executives to lead online. I can help you learn how to post with a purpose and build engaging and authentic online communities. 

Here’s how:

How can I help you lead?

I am passionate about empowering young adults, educational professionals, organizations, and executives to lead online. I can help you learn how to post with a purpose and build engaging and authentic online communities. 

Here’s how:

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