Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Hey Higher Ed, Are You Okay?

It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other! When we wrapped season 4 in the fall of 2020, we thought of it as a kind of intermission. A 2-year long intermission. But we are finally back!

So we start off today’s episode with a little reintroduction to myself, the podcast, and my mission.

But mostly, we want to check in with this shorty episode. This fall semester has been a tough one for me, there has just been a heaviness that I haven’t been able to shake. And I’m guessing I may not be the only one. So I want to check in with you. How are you supporting yourself when work and life get hard? What are your self-care routines, and are you doing them?

And I want to check in with your work. Are you being open and honest with your team about the support you need, and are you giving them the space to be honest with you? We’re hoping to crack the concept that we’re all doing fine. Because higher ed is indeed not doing okay.

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Josie and the Podcast is produced in partnership with Alumni FM, a podcast agency dedicated to higher education. Alumni FM works with leading colleges and universities to tell stories on campus that build branding, drive engagement, and connect communities. Reach out to  to connect on podcast strategy, production, and growth. We look forward to talking with you!

Campus Sonar offers unmatched insights and expertise that build client capabilities, transform campus goals, and support higher ed community learning and networking. They use digital and social intelligence to help campus partners understand and implement meaningful change.

Notes from this Episode:

[00:00:00] Josie: There are many, many things I love about podcasting — the connections, the moments, but also the meaty and meaningful conversations that can happen. I had no idea when I started my podcasts, the interviews would turn into a major part of my book, “Digital Leadership in Higher Education.” The challenge is finding the bandwidth to podcasts. 

That’s why, this season, I’m partnering with Alumni FM to bring you great conversations like today featuring me. They are a higher ed podcast production and growth agency and work with leading institutions like Stanford, Howard, and Middlebury College. It has been such a relief to have the team at Alumni FM guide my podcast strategy from the rebrand of the logo and graphics, show development, scheduling, and of course, that good old sound engineering.

If you’re thinking of a podcast for yourself or your campus, you should definitely reach out to their team at alumni.fm to connect and get started.

I am so excited that, for the fourth season, I am partnering with my friends at Campus Sonar as a podcast sponsor. Campus Sonar offers unmatched insights and expertise that build client capabilities, transform campus goals, and support higher ed community learning and networking. They use digital and social intelligence to help campus partners understand and implement meaningful change. In January, Campus Sonar is hosting a webinar focused on audience-centric strategies that you can use on campus to increase brand cohesion. Register for free at info.campussonar.com/january-webinar to learn more from Dr. Liz Gross and Rebecca Stapley.

[00:02:15] Hello and welcome to Josie and the Podcast. I’m Josie, and I’m so happy to have you with me today. What does it mean to lead in the digital space with heart and humanity? On my podcast, Josie and the Podcast, I spend time answering this question with heart, soul, and lots of substance. My goal is to share conversations that encourage you, empower you, and, yes, even entertain you to rethink digital strategy for yourself and the organizations you support.

Oh, my gosh. Welcome to season five of Josie and the Podcast. I am not going to lie, when I wrapped up season four in the fall of 2020, I didn’t say goodbye. It was an intermission, a hiatus, a pause, a sabbatical, one could say. But with many things that have evolved in, well, the last two years, I could not ignore the calls back to my podcasting studio, which is in my home office here in Los Angeles, shared with two dogs who might just join in barking at the door because, not even going to lie, I went in on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday and all of the things. So, there’s a lot of packages potentially coming to the door.

[00:03:52] For those of you that are brand-new to the podcast, welcome. I am so excited that you’re joining. I will let you know a little bit about who I am and then talk about, well, what’s the title of the episode today? If you are a long-time listener, thank you so, so much for the support. It really is listeners like you and encouragement from you all that I am bringing the podcast back today for this season five.

So, to share just a little bit about who I am, in case you’re new into my world, well, let’s scroll the clock way back. I didn’t always live in one of the biggest cities of the world, which is Los Angeles. I actually grew up in a very small town in Wyoming, which explains a lot of my roots and my philosophy of being very heart and community-centric. We lived in a neighborhood where you just showed up to people’s houses to help fix things or, when life was falling apart, you’d be there with a casserole and you’d clean their house and get their mail. And we may not do all those same things here in LA. But it’s potential possibilities that I always see where community can happen. And for me, that’s been in digital spaces because I experienced that early on, on platforms like Twitter, when I, about 10 years ago, left my full-time job at Loyola Marymount University to pursue my doc program full-time. And this little doc student got real lonely and turned to Twitter, and I found community and connections and friends and colleagues and future authors and people I’ve had on the podcast. And I know Twitter has changed a ton today, but I did go in with the intention of connection and community. And these platforms are never going to be perfect. We don’t own them, but we can show up with intention and with purpose for what we need to get out of them and/or when we need to leave or log off.

[00:06:19] Well, I’m already getting on my soapbox, so let me bring it back to a little bit more about me. As I shared earlier, I got a couple dogs. They’re both rescues. I don’t know, maybe, by the end of this season, I will have convinced my husband to get a third, or you all will convince me not to get one. I just, on Instagram, half of my feed is rescue organizations. And TikTok is definitely caught on. And a lot of the feed is dog rescues.

Another adventure that has came into our lives, for sure, last year my husband and I got an RV. Her name is Lady Hawk. We were one of those people that did something we never would’ve dreamed before the pandemic. And now, look at us today. The other big core of who I am is I am an auntie to four, who I just absolutely adore. And because they don’t live near me, of course, I’m very thankful for technology that I can just jump on a FaceTime with them.

I mentioned earlier about my husband who’s my partner in crime, of love, life, and living. His name is Lloyd. The internet calls him EpicLLOYD. We don’t need to call him that. He was on an episode previously. And some fun facts. He is the co-creator of Epic Rap Battles of History. They did just have an episode drop a few weeks ago, which is really fun. And I’ve been in a couple of the battles, which I don’t know if I define as fun or not, but there was no rapping. It was just an appearance.

[00:08:02] So, I shared earlier about how I went to Twitter, especially after I left my job, where I was looking for community. And that was around 2013. Gosh, I think this next spring I should do some kind of celebration or something, because that’ll be officially 10 years. But basically, ever since, I’ve been researching, speaking, writing, and consulting about how the heck we can better communicate and build community online, whether if it’s for campus leaders or for campus accounts. And so, yeah, I get paid to speak words and stuff, whether if it’s on stage, in a Zoom, or even in this podcast today. My business was really born from blogging and through Twitter, as I would just write what I was working on in my doc program. And obviously, that also led to a lot of cool opportunities. But what I’m also finding higher ed needs is someone who’s part of their team getting what I call under the hood of digital strategy to see what’s working, what’s not. And what I’m doing most often is just building a social media program, whether if it’s for a division of student affairs, a department, or an entire campus. And I’ve been doing that a lot with community colleges lately, which I absolutely love.

And then, especially, with my research and work around how campus executives show up on social media, which was my very first study that I ever did in my doc program, that I meet with campus executives often, from presidents, provosts, and vice presidents, and we unpack their fears, their frustrations, but most importantly, we set goals and metrics for how they can show up with intention, purpose, and authenticity on different tools.

[00:09:55] Now, the other thing that I launched in, well, 2021, over good old COVID times was a group program called the Digital Community Building Cohort — Digi Cohort for short. And it’s something that I’ve just absolutely loved. It matches up my experience and work and love for teaching online, as well as, I guess you could say, professional development, as we know it within workshops and coaching. And we mash that all up within two months. And I also love I get to incorporate other faculty who are very experienced digital strategists within the industry.

And that program just went live for registration. We start February 1st. Registration is open until the end of January. There’s 30 spots. And I have a ton of people from student affairs that joined because, honestly, there’s not a lot of places at higher ed conferences, like, well, especially student affairs, where you’re going to learn the nuts and bolts and really specific strategy of social media. You might be able to pick up a workshop here or there. But we really teach soup-to-nuts strategy building through the lens of, not just promotions, but building community and connections online.

So, that’s a little bit about what I do do, but let’s get back to some of the fun stuff. So, about seven months ago, if you’re listening to this in December, I kind of released a surprise episode because I was already kind of feeling the call back into podcasting and I just sat down and started writing and thought, “Oh, maybe, that’s just going to turn into a blog. Would it actually turn into a podcast episode?” And it was about applying ease to podcasting. And the word “ease” has been my word for the year of 2022. And I’m a work-in-progress, y’all. But I am trying to continue to apply ease wherever I can.

[00:11:56] And that is why I’m working with Alumni FM and continuing my sponsor relationship with Campus Sonar, including some people around me on my team. And so, we’re just trying to let these episodes and even the conversations with the featured guests to flow a little bit more. So, I really hope you’ll hear that and still get a really high-quality show.

Some other things that I’ve been up to since I released that seven months ago was we went on a five-week RV adventure in June and July. It really was an adventure, these RV trips are. The summer before, we went on a full month, and we rented that RV. And this time, it was our RV.

I would say the most memorable was going over the million-dollar highway, like there were four, three or four mountain passes in Colorado from Durango to Ouray Colorado. And maybe it’s Ouray, I’m going to mispronounce the name. It was also one of our favorite places. But we were going down some pretty up and down, some pretty intense mountains. I may have been crying. Luna was shaking. Lloyd was losing his mind. But you know what? We’re just still doing good. I feel like RVing is just one big team-builder, as those in student affairs know so very well. And honestly, I find it brings us closer every time and, again, safely out of those mountain passes.

Something else that I kicked off last spring was research on student affairs marketing and communications. I have roots in student affairs. That’s the pocket that I worked on campus when I worked on a campus. And it hasn’t really been a research formally as far as structure, resources, support. And what we’re starting to see a ton of is centralization of a lot of marketing structures within student affairs, both internally, as well as student affairs marketing and communications getting moved to central mark-comm.

[00:14:09] And so, I’m going to talk about that on our future episodes what I found, what I’m continuing to find, because this is going to be a benchmark study that I’ll continue to build on. And my hope is that I can create a lot of resources for the industry, from a job description database to just a connection place. So, those that serve in these positions within student affairs, mark-comm can find each other, and then, of course, some best practices if you are looking to centralize.

So, that’s a little bit about what I have been up to. But I also don’t want to just give you the stuff and the to-dos and the achievements. Oh, well, I guess, let me backtrack because my mentors would have me do so. I am completely flabbergasted that I was notified that I am being honored as a pillar of the profession within an organization that I have been part of since I was a little baby grad student, called NASPA. That honor will come in April at the annual conference. I am just so, so blown away. I’ll drop a link in the show notes because it’s a little bit of part of being a pillar is a little bit of fundraising behind it.

But seriously, if you look at this list of other pillars, I’m like, “Are you, are you sure I’m on this list? Was I not on the maybe the B team?” Anyway, that was just so, so very cool and something, 10 years ago, I never would’ve thought, especially leaving a campus, an industry would still honor someone that’s doing kind of rogue work that I do. So, I hope, if you’re listening, know that you can make an impact in this industry no matter your title, no matter if you’re with a campus or with a partner or a vendor. We collectively and holistically need good people doing good work for higher ed.

[00:16:06] Okay, so I swear that those are, those are all the highlights, because based on the title of this episode, “Hey, higher ed, are you okay?” I also wanted to share, honestly, how I’m doing. I’m, hey, Josie, are you okay? Because my fall semester has been… I won’t use expletives. Well, sometimes I might. But it’s been tough. And it’s not like any kind of floors dropped out. My family is healthy. I’ve got some weird health stuff, but overall I am fine. But there has just been a heaviness that I have not been able to shake. And I know Michelle Obama, her podcast, she shared — and this was a few years ago — that she had been struggling with self-doubt, with fear, and even went so far as finding that she had a bit of a diagnosis behind that of a low-grade depression.

And I was like, you know what? If Future President Michelle Obama can say that, not only on her podcast, but in other articles and interviews that she’s been on, I think it’s important that we speak more openly about how we are doing, what resources we’re putting behind our efforts. Because, right now, overall, whether if it’s social media or showing up in person, I think that we’re beyond pleasantries. It’s a weird time right now. And so, I don’t need to give you all the dirt, but know that I’m doing a lot of work on myself, and realizing that all my tricks weren’t working. I’ve always done therapy. I eat healthy. I try… minus ice cream and probably some really good wine. I exercise. I know I could get out more. But I do know there’s some conditions of my work that also isolate me a lot. And there are some conditions of, honestly, my DNA that I think put me in some categories that I don’t need to run away from, but do need to address.

[00:18:17] I had a conversation with a close friend and colleague that I do some work with, and she shared with me her struggles, too, and how much of a difference doing some different types of therapy and having a diagnosis completely changed her life. And I don’t think there’s a magic pill or one thing that you can do to solve that. But again, it kind of gave me permission to feel like, oh, my gosh, I had no idea, the permission giving almost.

So, know that I’m also, like, putting anything else around myself to lighten the load. I have gone full into romance books. My skin care collection is out of control. I’m trying to watch less TV, doing acupuncture. And seriously, I’m trying to get outside at least once a day. That might sound really weird to say out loud, but when you work from home and alone often, and my dogs really enjoy that, too.

The reason why I’m kind of sharing how I’m doing is I want to set us up for a conversation about being honest about how, not just how higher ed as an industry is doing, but how you might be doing and, to be honest, not scared about that, and to put resources around you or the teams that you work with and support. B, because this is going to be a theme throughout season five, is I’m going to ask pretty straightforward questions to my guests about how they’re doing, how they’re taking care of themselves, their teams, their families, and maybe even what isn’t working. And I hope that will demystify even some of the most public leaders or personas, or even for me, in really melting away any kind of concept of perfection or everything-is-fine concept.

[00:20:17] Because, overall, I could say just, you know, scrolling through social or reading recent articles, higher ed isn’t in a great place. And I’m not even talking about the enrollment cliff that’s coming, or I’m talking specifically about the humans that have chosen, at least, for right now, to give a lot of their work, life, and time to this industry. So, for example, we can find surveys from ACE that already tell us two-thirds of higher ed employees who aren’t faculty regularly work outside the standard workday. And that was in 2022. And I was like, well, that is not a surprise, that’s not new. But when we can actually put numbers to it, I think it’s important to know. And then you see some resolve. So, there is… I’m not, I’m not sure if I’m going to pronounce this college name correctly, D’Youville. They’re a nonprofit institution in New York. They switched to a 32-hour work week for some staff, not just to ease their people, but also to attract staff. Another study done by CUPA-HR of 3,800 higher ed employees, 60% of them were likely to look for employment elsewhere in the next year.

And then, of course, we’re having struggles filling positions. This was back in 2021. 84% of institutions were having a difficult time hiring. I’d be curious how that, maybe, is shifting or evolving where we are now in the middle of the academic year. I’ve also heard a lot of institutions just dissolving positions, mashing up positions.

[00:22:06] But the results of what was in the before times and the COVID crisis times and whatever times we call this now, the most common word you’re going to see thrown around is “burnout.” And a new Gallup poll found 35% of college and university workers say they always or very often feel burned out at work. And specifically, K-12 and higher ed were the two industries with the highest rates of burnout. I mean, I would also bet to say that those industries are some of the lower paid professional industries as well.

I didn’t realize burnout is actually a classification of diseases as an occupational phenomenon. It’s not a medical condition. And the World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It’s characterized by three dimensions — feeling of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficiency.

But I do wonder, is it just burnout, though? Last year, I started a program called Renew, a retreat series, especially for those that are tasked with digital communications, whether that’s social media, web, technology, marketing, crisis comms, pretty much anybody now. And I did a mini version of this retreat at the latest HighEdWeb conference called, “Hey, Social Media Managers, Are You Okay?” And I used a Poll Everywhere tool so they could be anonymous and people could just reflect honestly on their phones and ask, what would you want to let go of or forgive yourself for?

[00:24:06] Because what I have found when I ask this question even in the retreats last year is, not only is higher ed, we are achieving work horsescourses, but we also hold on and harbor hardships, whether if it’s a student that we’re trying to support, a program we’re trying to get through, or even just how, just overall, how work is going. And so, I wanted to share with you some of these responses in a different type of poll, a few of these trying to meet unreasonable expectations and not set better boundaries, thinking, what is the point in this job? Thinking social is often pointless. The stress I put on my body, the pressure of perfection that I put on myself, the pressure of holding the university’s image on only my shoulders, the feeling that doing my best isn’t enough, the fact I haven’t moved on or been promoted in years, not being liked by my VP or president, and this last one that really broke my heart, giving too much to a place that doesn’t care about me.

In 2021, Kevin McClure penned a piece, “Higher Ed, We’ve Got a Morale Problem — And a Free T-Shirt Won’t Fix It.” And he wrote a term called “demoralization.” And at that point, I really hadn’t heard this term before, but I immediately went digging to find more, not only the definition, but seeing it in action. And a few different definitions. Demoralizing: causing someone to lose confidence or hope or disheartening. I also found one article about it being a spiritual crisis. It said, rather than a depressive disorder, demoralization is a type of existential disorder associated with the breakdown of a person’s cognitive map. It is an overarching psycho-spiritual crisis in which they feel generally disoriented and unable to locate meaning, purpose, or sources of need and fulfillment. And that one just kind of connected back to some of the answers that I got in that HighEdWeb session. And this disorientation, I think, also for me, even me personally, gave me language to understand the weirdness, the hardness, the heaviness.

[00:26:41] And one other definition of demoralization, the process of making someone lose confidence, enthusiasm, and hope. And I have, unfortunately, seen this industry do just that to some people. It’s not every leader, it’s not every supervisor, but it’s enough that has an impact. And when you couple on the amount of work that is happening and the amount of crisis. And so, that’s why I’ve also started to do a lot of my own self-work and integration of another framework called “Critical Hope.” I’ve blogged about it a few times. I try to bring it up in just about every speaking engagement I can, because it’s not just to say we need to have hope, we need to… It’s going to get better. It’s everything is okay, let’s get back to normal, because then that starts to breach in on toxic positivity.

And critical hope has actually been coined as an antidote for toxic positivity. Professor at Bishop’s University, Jessica Riddell, penned in 2020 how it centers the most vulnerable and marginalized. So, I love that it centers some of these inequities, but it also centers how we need to think more about our approaches.

[00:28:10] There was another article, and this was actually an academic publication, called, “Cultivating Critical Hope: The Too Often Forgotten Dimension of Critical Leadership Development.” And I appreciate how they included enemies of hope and allies of hope, almost one working towards critical hope and the other may be pulling us away from it. And, of course, I’ll link this article in the show notes, but just some things to think about. Enemy of hope is fear. Ally of hope is love. How much do we talk about love in our industry? In our teams? Leading with love and passion as opposed to fear helps educators focus on addressing concerns rather than avoiding them. So, it’s not just this bright, shiny rainbows kind of love, but love is actually bringing concerns to the table.

Another one, apathy versus anger. The other one that I’ve been talking about a ton, isolation versus community. Educators who resist isolation by finding community can be more resilient leaders. Critical hope is also based upon this concept and action of resiliency.

And then, the last one, despair is an enemy of hope versus struggle, an ally of hope. I think this one is really critical in the light of toxic positivity, is that it’s okay to say, like I just did, that you’re having a hard time, you’re struggling. That isn’t just masks. We can still engage in leadership, even if we are committed through the struggle, that you can say these are hard times.

[00:30:01] I think I realized I never formally said the definition of critical hope, but I hope you’ve kind of connected some things. It’s an act of ethical and political responsibility that’s the potential to recover a lost sense of connectedness, relationality, and solidarity with others.

And I do want to read one last portion of this article, Cultivating Critical Hope. In the final kind of findings and recommendations section, called Healing. This is a full quote that the authors write. “The erosion of critical hope can be caused by racial battle fatigue, combating injustices, and experiencing resistance at a personal or organizational level. It is imperative that we take care of ourselves along the journey of leadership for social change. Critical hope rests, not only on the foundation slowly of sacrifice, but of wholeness. Especially for communities at the margins, we must prioritize our individual and community wellbeing while moving beyond simply coping and managing. Engaging in therapy, rest, prayer, meditation, hobbies, and mindfulness are just a few ways to protect our wellbeing. When all else fails, remember to fill your cup with what brings you joy and inner peace. These are not selfish acts, but the nurturing of critical hope. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Too often, educators are depleted and asked to do far more than what their job description suggests. To avoid feeling burnout or resentful, taking care of ourselves allow us to continue showing up for the students with whom we work. It allows us to show up for those we love and care about in our lives outside of work. By doing this, we are demonstrating to our students that they, too, need to take care of their wellbeing. We cannot tell our students to take care of themselves if we have not done the same for ourselves.” And again, that was all from this article, Cultivating Critical Hope: The Too Often Forgotten Dimension of Critical Leadership Development.

[00:32:07] And so, that again is why there’s going to be such a through-line of wellness, healing, mental health, and hopefully critical hope. And thinking about, are you being an agent of critical hope? And so, again, this is why I’m offering something like Renew, a retreat series that’s offered in December and January. We can, you know, go get that massage, go for that walk. But also, how cool is it if we can integrate renewal work into the workday and into people that do similar work that we do? And so, Renew is just that, that I find, especially for those that are doing the work in digital communications, marketing, community building, and leadership, y’all are exhausted, overwhelmed, and struggling, not just in the workplace, but in your, you know, full lives. And y’all are carrying a lot of burdens. And so, these retreats are a place, not to just let it all out, but actually reflect, rejuvenate, and find some direction, going into 2023. There’s going to be some meditation, some exercises, hopefully some laughs and some loves. It’s going to be a spacious time dedicated just for you, that I would love to have you part of.

Registration is open. There is a requested donation of $25. If any reason you cannot afford that at this time, and/or you’re a leader listening and you want to donate one or… heck, I even had a president donate 10 registrations last night. Just DM me, email me, find me anywhere on the internet, and we’ll get you added and/or I will, presidents, I will take your money and I will add as many people into these retreats as I possibly can.

[00:34:14] So, as I start to wrap up season five, I am so excited for it. Unlike any other season before, we’re going to get talking to the heart of wellness and digital leadership and community building. I got some really cool guests, from presidents, to CMOs, to strategists, and more. I’m excited for the podcast sponsors, who are part Alumni FM and Campus Sonar.

But I also want to take a moment and also do something a little bit different, but important, and to recognize someone that I would like to dedicate season five to. And that is to Dr. Adam Peck. Adam Peck passed away tragically earlier this fall. He served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Illinois State University. And previously, he was the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Stephen F. Austin State. We got to work on a number of things over the years, from NASPA SA Speaks, Student Affairs Digital Think Tank, and the NASPA 2022 Virtual Experience Committee.

I ask at the end of every featured guest interview what they would want their last post to be, if it was going to be their last. And, I don’t know, one might find this weird, or maybe it’s just my researcher brain and how much Adam meant to me as a mentor, as a friend, his post on Facebook that shared his passing is just one documentation of a life well-lived and the impact that he had. And this Facebook post had almost 500 comments, over 1,000 reactions, and was shared hundreds and hundreds of times. And again, like, it’s just Facebook, right? But these platforms can communicate impact and meaning. And I continue to be blown away to read people’s reflections and love for this human in higher ed.

[00:36:40] And so, Adam, this season is dedicated to you. I never got you on my podcast, but I want you to know that you, your support of my work, and so many other people in this industry and this world you had an impact on, and I hope your lightness and levity, as well as you’re such… you were such a genius, that that can be found in this podcast, not just the season, but all kinds of places.

So, as we start to close today and I just wipe all these tears off of my face, I want to leave y’all with a tweet that Adam posted a number of years ago, October 2020. It was on National Coming Out Day. And I used this example everywhere I could, if I was speaking to college presidents, to grad students, to faculty, even on a platform like Twitter, when you show up with values, when you want to make an impact, how much meaning you can have. And I’ll link the tweet, of course, so you can head directly to it. He says, “In honor of National Coming Out Day, the Peck family has a message for each of our LGBTQIA friends and family who have been brave enough to live their truths. We see your true colors. And if others reject you,” oh my gosh, “we’ll be your family.” And in the video is Adam on the piano with his two kids and his wife that you’ll hear in the background. And I want to share this song with you, as we close out the kickoff episode of Josie and the Podcast. And I would say, for you, hey, if you maybe aren’t so okay, hey, higher ed, are you not okay? Find your community. Find your connection. And if you, if you need something, I’m here, too. And so, I leave you with this.

[00:39:07] Adam & Family: You with the sad eyes, don’t be discouraged. Oh, I realize it’s hard to take courage. In a world full of people, you can lose sight of it all. And the darkness inside you can make you feel so small. But I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you. So, don’t be afraid to let them show your true colors. True colors are beautiful like a rainbow.

Show me that smile, then. Don’t be unhappy. Don’t remember when I last saw you laughing. When this world makes you crazy and you’ve taken all you can bear, just call my name, and you know I’ll be there. I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you. So, don’t be afraid to let them show your true colors. True colors are beautiful like a rainbow.

[00:40:59] Josie: Thank you, Adam. A life well-lived, indeed. Okay, let’s get this closing. Thank you for joining me for the season five kickoff of Josie and the Podcast. Make sure to join the conversation online. You can find me on most platforms @at Josie Ahlquist. But the podcast has a Twitter @JosieATPodcast. Remember, those show notes can be found at josieahlquist.com/podcast.

The easiest way to stay updated when an episode drops is to simply subscribe — Apple Podcast, Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts. And your feedback is also so darn important to me and my team. So, please consider a little review or passing on the episode to a colleague or friend. If you’re interested in learning more about my speaking and consulting work on digital engagement, leadership, and community building, check me out at josiealquist.com. I’m sending digital hugs, loves, and waves to whatever corner of the world you’re listening in from. This has been Josie and the Podcast.

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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More Episodes

Josie and the Podcast shorty episode banner. This is 43.

This is 43 — Josie’s Version.

From life and career changes and living out our shared humanity to advances in tech and research on a new generation, it’s been so great to connect with all of you during season 6!
Join me for the season finale as we do a bit of reflection, and I answer some listener questions.

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If you ask Dr. Jill Creighton where her favorite place in the world is, she’ll tell you it’s the place she hasn’t been to yet.

A world traveler with a passion for education, Jill leads global engagement for higher education. In this episode, she chats about her travel philosophy, study abroad observations, and her podcast —sharing the stories behind student affairs programs.

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Meet Gen Alpha: the tech-savvy kids born between 2010 & 2025! In this episode, we explore their unique perspective on higher ed with researchers, parents — AJ Lopez, Meghan Grace, and Amber Williams, and even a Gen Alpha herself — Ava Christopher.

This is a must-listen for colleges and universities wondering how to begin exploring this new generation.

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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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