The companion to the Student Social Media Academy:

Higher Education Speaking

Some Institutions I’ve Supported

Keynotes & Workshops

Virtual & In-Person

Every year students arrive on campus with new and ever-changing social media tools. It can be tough for faculty and staff to keep up with new trends, and tough for students to recognize how their digital footprint can shape their future—both positively and negatively. I want to help every member of your campus community operate more efficiently, effectively, and intentionally online. Each year I deliver hands-on workshops and keynote addresses to institutions across the country, both virtually and in-person, to help them meet this goal.

Programs For Higher Education Professionals

Whether you work in the division of student affairs, as an enrollment management professional, a faculty member or part of the executive cabinet at your institution, you can benefit from strategies that will help you stay engaged with your students and the broader community online. I offer presentations tailored by audience that take the guess work out of social media and help you evaluate what platforms serve your campus community best. 

Topics include:

Engaging The Digital Generation:

How do we even try to keep up with the constant changes of technology and social media? TikTok, Chat GPT, and the list goes on! It’s not just about keeping up – it’s about staying purpose-driven. From students, parents, alumni, donors, employees, and more, this session will offer impactful practices you can apply to genuinely connect with your audience both online and on campus.

Digital Leadership in Higher Education: Purposeful Social Media in a Connected World

Using research and proven tactics from faculty, administrators, and university presidents, I’ll teach you how to apply a strategic values-based approach to social media. We’ll refine your digital communication skills with a digital leadership framework—all essential for highly visible campus leaders who want to authentically engage their communities.

Meaning Behind the Screen

We need community more than ever. While many technologies were activated nearly overnight due to a global crisis response, we now must take these lessons to creating meaningful and engaging community building strategies. In this session I will walk you through the principles for building community online.

Integrating Social Media in the Classroom

Research shows using social media as a teaching tool has been proven to increase GPAs, student/faculty interaction, and overall student success. But there are also drawbacks, especially if the tools are not rooted in sound pedagogy and philosophy. I’ll teach you how to thoughtfully and effectively integrate a social media strategy in your classroom.

Division, Department, and Individual Strategy Sessions

Do you have a campus-specific need not fully addressed in my existing keynotes? I also offer customizable 90-minute, half-day and full-day sessions that include hands-on exploration and strategy to help you achieve your unique goals.

Josie served on the faculty for the new and improved eduWeb Summit and quickly established herself as a connected, supportive peer to this essential team. Partnering with a campus-based CMO, Josie delivered a three-part series of sessions that had the attendees clamoring to share and connect.

It was one of the top attended and rated tracks for the entire summit. Josie's leadership, creativity and commitment to building community in higher education is unmatched."
Stephanie Geyer
Stephanie Geyer
Director of Brand Strategy (University of Montana), Program Chair (eduWeb)

It's time to  get real  about social media with our students.

I present practical steps that can help students make powerful change on social media. Whether that’s by helping them set healthy boundaries and “unplug” or getting them job-ready with a stellar LinkedIn profile, I always approach my college audiences with honesty and leave them with concrete takeaways.

Programs For Students

There’s a whole lot going on behind your students’ screens. They’re increasingly anxious about how they’re perceived online, and how what they post today could affect their future. They’ve possibly been online for their whole lives, but it’s clear that frequent social media use does not equal digital literacy or leadership. It’s time to give your students positive guidelines to help them thrive in digital spaces. I deliver evidence-based keynotes and workshops designed to help student leaders, athletes, fraternity and sorority members, new students, young alumni, and student employees successfully navigate the digital world.

Topics include:

Digital Leadership for College Students

This 101-style session challenges students to reflect on their digital activity and learn to shape it for the better. I’ll cover digital leadership basics that will help them use social media strategically to find professional success, personal balance, and maybe even go viral—for all the right reasons.

Digital Wellness and Mindfullness

This hands-on and experiential online program takes a heart-centered and self-compassion path, from figuring out your life’s purpose to what you will post next on Instagram. Attendees will actively experience and explore purposeful practices, including setting intentions, tools for manifesting and mindfulness practices applied to social media tools.

#Hired: Digital Reputation and the Job Search

Job hunting in the 21st century can be rough, but students who invest in their digital presence will set themselves apart. Digital communication tools afford us all an incredibly broad audience—including with potential employers. In this presentation I offer five core digital reputation tools for professional branding and steer students from being content consumers to becoming content creators.

Student Leaders as Digital Community Builders

Learn how to create a digital community for your student organization that fosters meaningful engagement and connection and serves as a communication tool yearlong. In this hands-on training, Dr. Josie Ahlquist will walk you through four principles for building community online and will teach you how to create, measure, and sustain your community throughout the year.

Customized Sessions For Student Organizations

Do you have a specific student organization or population that needs to press the ‘refresh’ button? Past programs include “Tweet Like It’s Your Job” and “Digital Emotional Intelligence For Student Leaders.” These sessions include hands-on exploration and strategy tailored to your campus needs and a traditional keynote experience.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist is a wonderful speaker who is accommodating, gravitating, and experienced.

I love Dr. Josie’s presentations because they always have an impact and leave you thinking about how you can enhance your platforms.
Sarah Aguilar
Student Trustee, Illinois State University Student Government Association

Previous Speaking Engagements

  • NASPA Annual Conference - Three invited sessions

  • Alamo College District - Half-Day In-Person Facilitation

  • Emmanuel College - Multi-Day Engagement

  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Multi-Day Engagement

  • Loyola Marymount University - Half Day Engagement

  • Herzing University - Online Keynote

  • Community College Institute, NASPA Western Regional Conference - Keynote

  • NASPA Western Regional Conference - Two invited sessions

  • American Marketing Association Conference - Pre-Conference Seminar

  • University of Southern California. Pre-Health Academic Advising
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville Student Life - Full Day Summit 
  • NASPA Annual Conference - Three invited sessions
  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs - Keynote
  • Las Positas College - Two Executive Coaching Workshops
  • Shoreline Community College - Keynote
  • San Francisco State University - Multi-day Engagement
  • Texas A&M University - Multi-day Engagement
  • eduWeb - Conference Faculty
  • Junior League of Seattle - Keynote
  • Wheelhouse: The Center For Community College Leadership and Research
  • HighEdWeb
  • Social Media Summit
  • THE Campus Live US
  • OLC Accelerate
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference
  • San Jose State University – Multi-day Engagement
  • Ithaca College Student Leadership Conference – Keynote
  • NACAS, Senior Executive Summit – Keynote
  • NACAS, Virtual Leadership Forum – Keynote
  • Community College League of California CEO Symposium - Keynote
  • Washburn University – Multi-day Engagement
  • Michigan Community College Association – Multi-day Engagement
  • College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP) Fall Workshop 
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Multi-day Engagement
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Three Invited Sessions
  • NASPA Alabama Conference – Keynote
  • Illinois State University – Workshop
  • San Francisco State University, Student Affairs Management Team Retreat – Consultant/Keynote
  • Western University, London – Keynote
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference, Dean of Students/Assistant/Associate Vice President Institute – Keynote
  • StarRez APSAA Virtual Symposium – Keynote
  • – Worksop
  • Academic Impressions – Workshop
  • Lead365 Virtual Conference – Workshop
  • Case Western Reserve University – Keynote
  • Social Media Strategies Summit: Higher Education – Emcee
  • eduWeb – Invited Facilitator
  • Leading with Character in Times of Crisis, NASPA and the National Society of Leadership & Success – Keynote
  • Lakeshore Technical College – Full Day Engagement
  • Sam Houston State University Graduate Program – Workshop
  • Association of Florida Colleges, Council of Student Affairs – Keynote
  • Rider University, Division of Student Affairs – Keynote
  • JED Foundation – Webinar
  • My Emma – Webinar 
  • Florida State University, Leadership Learning Resource Center – Workshop
  • Syracuse University, Marketing & Communications – Keynote
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Three Invited Sessions
  • #PSEWEB: Canada’s College & University Digital Marketing Conference – Keynote
  • Rhode Island University – Full Day Engagement
  • HighEdWeb Conference – Two invited sessions
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference, Senior Student Affairs Officers – Institute Keynote
  • California Lutheran University – Keynote
  • Old Dominion University – Full Day Engagement
  • Elvesier Executive Forum – Keynote
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Three Educational Sessions and 1 SA Speaks (Ted-Talk like Keynote)
  • Columbia College – Virtual Keynote
  • Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting – Two Educational Sessions
  • Women’s Leadership Institute – Keynote
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Annual Conference – Keynote
  • Leadership Educators Institute – Two Educational Sessions
  • Illinois State University, Division of Student Affairs – Multi-day Consultant
  • Washington State University – Full Day Engagement
  • Miami University – Full Day Engagement
  • Pensacola State College – Half Day Engagement
  • The Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrator (TACUSPA) Conference – Pre-Conference Facilitator and Conference Keynote Speaker
  • International Leadership Association – Four Educational Sessions
  • Lead 365 National Conference – Invited Speaker
  • American Marketing Association, Higher Education Symposium – Educational Session
  • Alpha Sigma Alpha Annual Convention and Leadership Conference – Keynote Speaker and two educational workshops
  • Weston County School District #1 – Professional Development Day Keynote Speaker
  • Crook County School District – Welcome Back Keynote Speaker
  • ACPA Annual Convention – Three Educational Sessions
  • CASE Social Media and Community Conference – Program Faculty
  • San Jose State University, Division of Student Affairs – Retreat Keynote and Workshop Facilitator
  • South Dakota State University Student Leadership Summit – Keynote Speaker and Full Day Workshop Facilitator
  • Gamma Phi Beta, University of Alabama – Keynote Speaker and Executive Team Consultant
  • Northwest Florida State College – Executive Leadership Retreat Keynote Speaker
  • Camex – Keynote Speaker
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Invited Pre-Conference and Educational Session
  • The University of Texas, Arlington – Full Day Consultant
  • AFLV Central Conference – Three Educational Sessions
  • California State University, Channel Islands – Half Day Consultant
  • Carnegie Conference – Keynote Speaker
  • Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting – Invited Pre-Conference Facilitator & educational session
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Annual Conference – Keynote Speaker
  • Illinois State University, Division of Student Affairs – Full Day Consultant
  • Longwood University, Digital Citizenship Week – Keynote Speaker & Multi-day Consultant
  • Lead 365 National Conference – Invited Speaker
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference – Two Educational Sessions
  • Southern Collegiate Leadership Conference – Keynote
  • Mobile First for the Modern Campus Summit – Keynote & Panelist
  • VidCon – Panel Moderator
  • Association of Leadership Educators – Keynote Speaker
  • AFLV LeaderShape – Invited Panelist
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • New York Institute of Technology – Senior Class Keynote Speaker
  • Ventura College – Half Day Consultant
  • AFLV West – Featured Speaker
  • Pittsburg State University – Greek Week Keynote
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Three Education Sessions and Co-Chair of SA Speaks Program
  • Thompson Rivers University – Half Day Consultant
  • Valencia College – Leadership Conference Keynote
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values – Invited session
  • Kentucky Wesleyan University – Keynote
  • Indiana University Southeast – Keynote
  • BACCHUS Initiatives of NASPA General Assembly – Keynote
  • Lead 365 National Conference – Major Speaker
  • NODA Annual Conference – Invited conference session
  • International Leadership Association, Annual Global Conference – Invited Pre-Conference
  • California Lutheran University – Full Day Consultant
  • State of South Dakota Managers Conference – Keynote Speaker
  • AFLV LeaderShape – Invited Panelist
  • Xavier University – Student Leader Training Keynote Speaker
  • Rutgers University, Camden – New Student Orientation Keynote Speaker
  • Global Forum of Student Affairs, Monterrey, Mexico – Keynote Speaker
  • Global Virtual Leadership Conference (ACUI) – Virtual Speaker
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)
  • Ryerson Student Affairs – Workshop Facilitator
  • Binghamton University – Full Day Consultant
  • Loyola Marymount University – Workshop Facilitator
  • University of Northern Georgia – Multi-day Speaker
  • Rollins College – Full Day Consultant
  • NYU Abu Dhabi – Multi-day Consultant
  • Parkland College – Keynote Speaker
  • SUNY-Oswego – Multi-day Consultant
  • NACA National Convention – Two Educational Sessions
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Five Educational Sessions
  • ACPA Annual Convention – Invited Pre-conference and Five Educational Sessions
  • California State University, Fullerton – International Education Week
  • AIMHO Conference – Opening Keynote Speaker
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference – Featured Educational Session Presenter
  • Arcadia University
  • Dominican University
  • VidCon – YouTube Creator Track Moderator
  • University of California – Berkley
  • National Conference of Student Leadership – Featured Speaker
  • NASPA Annual Conference – Seven Educational Sessions
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • ACPA Convention – Seven Educational Sessions
  • NACA National Convention – Two Educational Sessions
  • National Conference on Student Leadership (NCSL)
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Annual Conference
  • ACPA College Student Educators International National Convention
  • National Convention for Campus Activities (NACA) National Convention
  • Occidental College – Housing and Residence Life
  • California State University Fullerton – Department of Residence Life
  • Leadership Educators Institute – Educational Session
  • California State University Long Beach – Guest Lecture, Masters of Higher Education Administration
  • Circle of Change Leadership Conference
  • NASPA Western Regional Conference – Invited Session
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne – Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis – Office of Student Involvement/Greek Life
  • Indiana University Southeast – Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment
  • Western Regional Careers in Student Affairs Day
  • University of California, Merced – Center for Student Leadership
  • Wittenberg University – Division of Student Affairs/Office of the President
  • California State University San Bernardino – Office of Student Life
  • Loyola Marymount University –Student Leadership Conference
  • Fresno State University – Office of Residence Life
  • Occidental College – Division of Student Affairs
Josie Ahlquist is the go-to expert on social media in higher education.

I have seen her present on numerous occasions and have always been blown away by how she captivates a crowd. She is able to do something so few can – to take her in-depth knowledge of the topic area and make it understandable and compelling to individuals with various levels of expertise on the topic. I participate in her “Connected Exec” community, and I cannot tell you how much I have benefited from the content she shares and her live video events as well. In short, Josie a tremendous scholar and educator. Higher education has benefited tremendously from her work.
The late Adam Peck
Stephen F. Austin State University, Interim Vice President for University Affairs

Digital Education Pricing

I offer a variety of digital education opportunities based on your audience and needs that can be customized to suit your schedule.

Full-Day Education

Includes up to four customized sessions for six hours of strategy with leadership, staff, or students.

Starts at: $12,500

Half-Day Education

Includes up to two customized sessions for a total of 2.5 hours.

Starts at: $9,000

Multi-Day Education

Includes up to eight sessions within four-to-six months for various stakeholders across your institution.

Starts at: $24,000

A la carte Keynote

Includes one 60-75 minute session.

Starts at: $6,000

Help your campus community become more intentional, strategic, and effective online.

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.

Connect with Rebekah

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