Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Mackenzie Piper, Professor in YOLO and Lion for Life

As part of The Doer Series I am seeking out twenty people who are artists in doing.  Not just getting a bunch of busy work done.  No, the type of doers who manage to be their amazing true selves, while being fully committed to what they want out of life.
My first interview was with Mary Doodles.  I was so thrilled how well the post did.  While at a close friends house I literally did a cart-wheel in their living room discovering I had hit my highest daily viewer count.  Thank you so much Mary for your willingness to share about your life.
Finishing that interview, I surged with confidence and was excited to seek out my second victim, I mean candidate.  The person I had in mind had just graduated from college, so I figured I would need to get technically creative to Skpe the interview.  But, funny how life works out.  She would just happen to be in Los Angeles for 48 hours, before leaving on a two-year commitment to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps on a small island in Micronesia.  Here enters Mackenzie Piper.


Our interview took place on the campus she recently graduated from, Loyola Marymount University.  We hadn’t seen each other for five months, so after a fun embrace and catching up, it was an easy conversation.
Mackenzie Piper has genuine zest for life and whose reflective insight is uplifting.  She has the following cornerstones in how she lives her life:

  • Trust in the slow and beautiful work of the Lord.
  • Commitment to change the world, with joy and laughter.
  • Live life as one big adventure.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Keep a light heart.

I met Mackenzie Piper on the same spring break experience as 13 other Loyola Marymount University college students.  All had committed to an Alternative Spring Break trip (known as AB trips) to rural areas in Mexico, I the fearless ‘adult’ leader.  What I found out during this nine-day experience was that these students were far more mature and strong than I could claim, especially while in college.
Mackenzie stood out to me right away, even with our 5am LAX airport arrival she brought a smile that lit up the terminal.  I sat next to her for our flight to Mexico City.  She admitted that she got a little nervous on planes, so the take off was difficult.  Little did she know I too had troubles.  It would be my same spring break my senior year in college that the airplane out of Cancun, Mexico had to take an emergency landing.  Flying has never been the same.
Research claims vulnerability connects us, especially going through a challenging experience together.  The flight to central Mexico would be only the beginning of what was in store.  By the end of the trip I was ready to ask her to be my new BFF.
Please read on, by clicking page ‘2’ below!

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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