Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Introducing Dr. Josie Ahlquist

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Last week, on April 22nd at 4 pm, I successfully defended my dissertation, “Developing Digital Student Leaders: A mixed-methods study on student leadership, identity presentation and decision-making on social media.”

The day was a blur, with everything finally sinking in as we drove away from campus.  The endless coding, analysis, writing and editing in one year resulted in 525 pages of my life’s work…so far.
In a future post, I will share my dissertation acknowledgments, recognizing those crucial to this journey.  For today I acknowledge my amazing committee including my chair Dr. Edlyn Pena, methodologist Dr. John Hoffman and third member Dr. Diane Rodriguez-Klino for being so open and excited about this unexplored research topic.

I was joined not only by my committee (two were video-conferenced in around the world), husband, and friends but was able to live stream the presentation portion of the defense to family, friends and colleagues across the country.  Thank you to CLU and my chair for approving this request, as I believe this may have been one of the first dissertation defenses streamed live.  Hopefully, it is a trend we see more of in the field.  I am thrilled to share with you that recording.


Also, you can find my slides below that gives a peek at some of my major findings.

Finally, at California Lutheran University, it is tradition to ring the bell after a doctoral candidate successfully defends.  I share some highlights of the day, as well as a few featured thank you’s.

More on my acknowledges section in a future post!  For now thank you everyone known and unknown that has supported this journey. Set your calendars for May 15th at 10am PST as I walk (or run) across the stage!
2015-04-22 17.12.19

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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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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