The companion to the Student Social Media Academy:

Digital Leadership in Higher Education: Resources

Purposeful Social Media in a Connected World

Resource Quick Links

“If you lead right where you are, with a purpose-driven digital leadership presence, I guarantee the likes, followers, and subscribers will come because your light and leadership will be magnetizing.”

~ Dr. Josie Ahlquist, in Digital Leadership in Higher Education

Each chapter of this book introduces you to digital leaders who demonstrate the material through their unique application. These professionals, who serve in a variety of positions at different types of institutions, can function as role models, mentors, or advisers along your digital leadership journey. 

Beyond the Book

Digital Leadership Exercises & Resources, Chapter by Chapter

Welcome to your Digital Leadership Purpose

A Tech Pulse of Higher Ed Professionals

Plugging Digital Skills into Your Professional Practice

Your Why for Being Online

A Digital Remix on Life, Leadership and Legacy

A Values-Based Strategy for Social Media

Solving the Relationship Equation

Invest in Your Online Amplifier

Digital Role Models and Leadership in Practice

The Next Wave of Digital Influence and Leadership

Join the Network

Join a community of learners reading the book, called The Digital Leadership Network.

Hosted on a platform called Mighty Networks, this free community offers readers bonus materials, access to the author as well as book features, in addition to a unique space to get feedback on book exercises and network among other readers around the globe.

Digital Leadership Library

A goldmine of resources for digital leaders

The only tailored-made coaching service for higher education leaders, providing customized support and strategy you need in a way that’s most relative to you, your campus, and your position.

A convenient, self-paced digital leadership course for current and aspiring higher ed executives that will set the framework for your social media strategy that can work for you, even when technologies change. You’ll get lifetime access to the content, which will be updated at least twice per year.

Subscribe to my newsletter to stay in the know on technology and leadership-focused scholarship, and updates on everything I’m writing, podcasting and speaking about.

A Campus Sonar Social Listening Report featuring Dr. Josie Ahlquist.

An in-depth free resource I created to help higher education leaders to genuinely and consistently connect with their campus communities on social media.

Blogs & Articles









Overall Social Strategy (for all platforms)

Share resources, potential jobs, advice and more for those working in the community college setting!

Support for current and aspiring higher education executives (including those at associations and foundations) who want to engage, influence and lead online, on campus and in life.

A community of learners reading (or interested in) my book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education.

Inspired by workshops hosted by the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students In Transition, this group is for any advocate for first-generation college students at institutions nationally.

We are a beyond-institutional collaborative space for women+ working in higher education.

A clubhouse for higher education professionals to connect and transform how we build genuine campus digital communities and strategic online engagement experiences.

As colleges and universities react to the virus’s outbreak, The Chronicle of Higher Education created this community for readers to share their stories and questions and to keep up with The Chronicle’s latest reporting.

This group is for those in global higher education to work together to solve problems. Driving principles of this group are multi-modal teaching and learning, equity, anti-racism, solidarity, community, and advocacy.

This group is to be a collaboration space for those who work in the Higher Education sector in Social Media roles. As a new group the direction and purpose may be ever changing but at least this group will be a place to find colleagues at other institutions to ask questions and share best practices.

This group is designed to provide a network for leadership educators in higher education. Members are encouraged to add their colleagues, share meaningful content, ask questions and post job listings.

This group is for prospective graduate students, current graduate students and professionals working or interested in joining the field of student affairs/higher education who identify as millennials

The purpose of this community is to help academic advisors and advising administrators (1) understand the impact that technologies such as the Web, e-mail, degree audits, online registration, and student information systems have on academic advising, (2) use technology effectively in their work, and (3) appreciate the appropriate uses of technology in higher education.

The Knowledge Community represents the needs of NASPA member campuses and fosters conversation and collaboration between institutions of higher learning, inter/national fraternities and sororities, and related national organizations that have a shared interest in fraternities and sororities.

Described as, “Anything Orientation related!”

Educators, students, and others share insights, best (and worst) practices, advice, successes, challenges, and research about converting to fully remote/online instruction during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This group provides support, encouragement, words of wisdom, and resources to those who are interested, pursuing, currently in a doctoral program, or who have completed and/or defended their dissertation.

A global collective and resource/motivation page for all current & future doctors (research, medical, law, professional etc.)

A beneficial resource for sharing ideas on converting your courses and research labs to remote work

This is a community group for professors who are teaching (or incorporating) social media into their classrooms.

This group is designed to provide a network for student activities professionals in higher education. Members are encouraged to add their colleagues, share meaningful content, ask questions and post job listings.

The group is a place for those whose primary job responsibilities are teaching, research, and service as student affairs faculty. It is a space to share information with each other about issues relevant to their unique experiences, challenges, and perspectives.

This group is an online space for networking, sharing materials and resources, as well as learning more about each program and person in the field. Whether you’re a new professional, mid-level, or higher and you’re in a graduate program, we all have something to share and learn!

A closed group for mothers who work in the student affairs profession.

This is a space where SAPros share, learn, grow, and laugh together. We encourage our members to be authentic when sharing their thoughts, experiences, and ideas. We also acknowledge that this is a group where you might engage in critical dialogue or have your opinions challenged. That may not always be comfortable, but we ask you to lean into that discomfort!

This is a place where student affairs professionals can discuss training, development, facilitation, curriculum, and instructional design topics. Sharing of resources, tips, tricks, and promising practices is highly encouraged.

The higher ed social media community on Slack.

This is a place to share best practices in creating, marketing, and hosting virtual events, telecommuting tips, and it is a place to share ideas about how YOU are staying connected to your colleagues and students.


Admitted, NACAC blog

Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling.

Becoming Social at Colorado State University

We’re #TeamSocial. we’re the four-person, in-house social and digital media team at Colorado State University. We provide the strategic direction and development of all university-wide social media accounts. We also offer training and best practices to our campus community.

Brain Waves Blog, Campus Sonar

Brain Waves keeps you up-to-date on what we’re thinking about at Campus Sonar, introduces you to key influencers who are working to push the industry forward, and profiles campuses that are seeing strategic impact from social listening.

Duke University Social Media

Your hub for all things #DukeSocial.


A broad look at current developments and trends in information technology, how they may affect the college/university as an institution, and what these mean for higher education and society. Also offering practical advice and guidance, interactive elements, and multimedia about managing and using information resources in higher education.

Hashtag Higher Ed

The largest and most recognizable community of digital communication and higher ed professionals in the world.

Higher Ed Experts

Higher ed marketers and their institutions (universities, colleges and schools) turn to our higher ed conferences and courses to help them tackle today’s and tomorrow’s higher education marketing challenges.

Inside Higher Ed blogs

A roundup of blogs by Inside Higher Ed writers.

  • Jon McBride, Director of Digital Communications at Brigham Young University

Advice to boost engagement and build community, strategically and authentically from an award-winning national higher education social media speaker and consultant.

Thoughts and recommendations from a social media professional with almost a decade of experience managing and creating content for higher education, small business and government social media accounts.

  • Karen Freberg, Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at University of Louisville

Expert reflections on PR and social media from an associate professor, adjunct lead instructor, author, former student-athlete and All-American, and enthusiast for social media and coffee.

  • Matt Horne, Senior Marketing Manager at Newcastle University

The latest from the world of digital marketing and social media, as told by a freelance digital marketing and social media specialist who wants to help make your internet awesome.

NASPA blog

What’s new with NASPA and the field of student affairs.

The Presence Blog

Creating amazing student experiences, one post at a time, by a company building the solutions to affordably and effectively help the students and professionals be more successful.

Social Media Syllabus  

A social media education blog by Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Communication at Shepherd University.

Volt blog

Opinions, case studies, best practices, helpful resources, and how-to guides, written for higher education marketers by higher education marketers.

Outside of education social media blogs

  • Buffer Blog Hub for marketers and brand-builders with tips, strategies, news, and the latest workplace and social media ideas. Check out the Flow marketing blog, Open Culture blog, and Overflow engineering blog.
  • HubSpot Blog The latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news from HubSpot. Focuses on “inbound,” the notion that people don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople — they want to be helped.
  • Later Blog Posts focus on visual scheduling, media management, marketing and analytics, from the #1 visual marketing platform for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Social Media Examiner Your guide to the social media jungle. Discover how to best use social media to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness, and increase sales.
  • Social Media Lab Busting the myths, rumors and stories of social media marketing with SCIENCE!
  • Social Media Today Provides original analysis on the latest happenings in the social media industry, operated by Industry Dive.


Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other 

By Sherry Turkle

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Computer-Mediated Communication and Social Media, The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration

by George S. McClellan, Jeremy Stringer

Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence

By Erik Qualman

Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence-Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs

By Reynol Junco

#FollowTheLeader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs

By Dan Zaiontz

Fundamentals of Social Media Strategy: A Guide for College Campuses

By Campus Sonar

The Heart of Higher Ed: A Call to Renewal

By Parker J. Palmer and Arthur Zajonc

The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration

Edited by George S. McClellan and Jeremy Stringer 

Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

By Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

By Dana Boyd

Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead

By Charlene Li

Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead

By Tara Mohr

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By Simon Sinek

The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation

By Charlene Li

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

By Seth Godin

What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube: The NEW rules for your reputation on campus, online, and beyond.

By Erik Qualman


31 Minutes

In 31Minutes: Best Ideas for Higher Ed Communicators, co-hosts Karyn Adams (H·A ThirtyOne Principal and Creative Director) and Karen Black (Content Strategist) talk to guests of all ilks and explore one “best idea” each month to inspire higher ed marketers, communicators, and leaders from across departments.


Evidence-based digital strategies for teaching and learning.


Providing actionable resources for enrollment managers — and specifically enrollment managers working at the graduate level.

Enrollment Growth University

A professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Each episode features an interview with a leader in higher education, discussing enrollment growth strategies that are working at their institution.

Fireside Charla with SDSU President Adela de la Torre

President de la Torre of San Diego State University has casual conversations with diverse leaders and trailblazers who comprise the greater SDSU community. The topics range from aerospace to augmented reality, from SDSU history to innovative classrooms and learning experiences that are preparing the global citizens, compassionate leaders, and ethical innovators who will impact their communities and the world.


Meghan Grace’s podcast to help others learn, grow, and be better. She is a researcher, consultant with Plaid, LLC., speaker, author, and podcast host who has done extensive research on Generation Z.

Higher Ed Geek

Dustin Ramsdell loves geeky stuff and college student affairs work. His goal is to create original, fun, important, relevant and thoughtful dialogues that makes the world a little bit brighter.

Higher Ed Live

The Higher Ed Live network offers direct access to the best and brightest minds in education and allows listeners to share knowledge and participate in discussions around the most important issues in the industry, including admissions, advancement, marketing, student affairs, and communications.

Higher Voltage podcast

Covers all aspects of higher education marketing, ranging from strategies and tactics, to culture and business considerations, and the defining topics of the moment. We talk to professionals in the higher education space across admissions, marketing, career services, alumni relations, and more.

#HigherEd Podcast

Covers all aspects of higher education marketing, from blogging to social media, email to video, and beyond, with professionals in the higher education space across admissions, marketing, career services, alumni relations, and more.

Leadership Educator

Dan Jenkins and Lauren Bullock, leadership educators with 20+ yrs experience in curricular and co-curricular leadership programs in higher education, share knowledge and expertise on facilitating leadership learning.

NASPA SA Voices from the Field

Without doubt, the student affairs profession thrives on sharing our stories, learning from each other, and elevating the one of kind voices of our colleagues. Join us as we sit down with an SA storyteller that may tell you something completely new or share a story that mirrors and affirms your own experience.

The Servant Marketer

Explores the crossroads of Servant Leadership and the marketing profession. Marketing leaders, marketers, entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives share their experiences in marketing, leadership, business, and education to develop a new generation of marketers that serve first.

Will There Be Food?

Free pizza is just one small slice of the student affairs pie. Host Meg Sunga interviews student affairs professionals about everything they’re doing to improve students’ lives, one campus at a time. Delivered to you by Presence.





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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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