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Social Strategy, Storytelling and Evaluation // Tech in Higher Ed Classroom Edition

This episode is part of a classroom edition series to the podcast, featuring panels I moderated for my Florida State University graduate level course, Technology in Higher Ed. This second installment is talking digital storytelling and social media strategy in higher education and beyond. Guests Lesley D’Souza, Dr. Liz Gross, and Matt Duncan give advice on how higher education can make social media more effective, tools for digital storytelling and engagement, and how to combine qualitative and quantitative social media data to paint the full picture.

Notes from this Episode

Tube to Work Day, Boulder Colorado
Ryerson University Student Affairs,   Storytelling Team
Scott Stratten – Failure to Opportunity
Jay Baer Hug your Haters
What Does Social Media Strategy Mean?
Sprout Social
Tag Sleuth
Social Studio by SalesForce
Tom Bihn (@tombihn
Merriam-Webster (@Merriam Webster)

Additional Suggested Resources by the Panelists

Bringing the Power of Social Listening to Campus (podcast)
Matt Duncan reaction article: Seven Digital Engagement Actions

More about the Panelists

Lesley D’Souza is a student affairs assessment nerd that specializes in storytelling with data. She frequently speaks on topics including data storytelling, building empathy, women in leadership, and student transition.
Storytelling has become a buzzword lately, but that’s only because we’ve realized just how important stories are. They are the vehicle with which we connect to each other and develop empathy. At the core of a good story is truth, and in an organization, truth should come from meaning found in your data. The connection between data and storytelling is key to building a more truthful understanding of culture, supporting people during transition, and creating transformational experiences.
She believes in holistic student support and empowering students to actively author their learning experiences. She completed her MA in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University, and has over 13 years of work experience in Higher Ed. In that time she’s developed expertise in assessment & research, digital community building, orientation and first-year experience, leadership programs, student activities, event management, student group advising, and peer mentoring.

Twitter: @lesley_dsouza

Instagram: lesley.dsouza



Liz Gross is a higher education marketing and communications scholar, practitioner, speaker, author and instructor, with expertise in social media. Her professional super powers include designing and analyzing market research, applying social media strategy to multiple areas of the business, explaining difficult concepts in simple language, and using social listening to develop consumer insights and assist with reputation management. Currently, she’s the Market Insights Manager at Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. Previous roles included Social Media Strategist at Great Lakes, Marketing and Communications Director at UW-Waukesha, and Program Outreach Coordinator at UW-Waukesha.
Liz received her Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education at Cardinal Stritch University. Her dissertation research examined the relationship of communication method and the frequency and content of college student interactions with faculty and was awarded the Leo and Margaret Goodman-Malamuth Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Association of University Administrators. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master’s degree in educational policy and leadership from Marquette University.

Twitter: @LizGross144



Matt Duncan is the Academic Digital Engagement Strategist for CU Boulder. He is also a Forever Buff (Bus’92). Matt has been working at CU Boulder in multiple social media, or digital engagement as he prefers to call it, roles since 2010. During this time Matt has written 4 brand new job titles. Matt has managed and led the large main campus social media presence and especially likes his new role where he is focusing on building and implementing an academic digital engagement strategy across campus. Matt is passionate about understanding how social media impacts the lives of our community members (digital identity and wellness) and making sure that this is part of our outbound strategy as communicators. If Matt had to choose between building a strong foundation (both technical and cultural) vs. building shiny objects Matt would choose to focus on the foundation. Prior to working at CU Boulder Matt had 18 years working in corporate data integration and analytics with a smaller, but impactful, portion of time spent in small business and start-ups. Matt received a Masters of Technology Management from the University of Denver.  

Twitter: @matthewduncan



About Josie and The Podcast

In each episode, Dr. Josie Ahlquist – digital leadership author, researcher, and speaker – connects tech and leadership in education. This podcast will bring you leaders on-campus and online. From Senior Vice Presidents on Snapchat, YouTubers receiving billions of views and new media professionals. All through the lens of social media and leadership. Josie hopes you will not only learn from these digital leaders but also laugh as we all explore how to be our best selves online and off.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to receive the latest episodes, share widely and let me know you’d checked it out! Tweet me @josieahlquist – I would love to hear from you!

Digital hugs, loves, and waves!

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Shea Kidd Brown episode graphic, titled Leading with Hard Work and Heart Work.

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My guest today has mastered the art and science of being her whole self online. Whether she is weaving the values her grandmother taught her into presentations or sharing the intimacies of her adoption journey on social media, Dr. Shea Kidd Brown consistently stays true to her commitment to sharing both her personal and professional journeys openly and genuinely.

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In this episode, Shea discusses her perspective on storytelling, congruency and the importance of bringing humanity into digital spaces. We’ll also dive into how balancing personal and professional narratives is essential for creating an impactful online presence and how Shea uses these platforms to create active, mindful connections for her campus community. 

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But we’ll also dig into what a community really is. Is it though the memes we share on our schools’ social media account, the campus itself, the culture the students share, or the staff we bring on at the higher levels?

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