Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Renew Retreat 2024

Equip yourself to be heard and appreciated, and experience the inspiration you truly deserve.

Screen fatigue. Perpetual multitasking. The ever-present challenge of maintaining work-life balance. Sound familiar? You may be exhausted, overwhelmed, and struggling to maintain a sense of balance and ability to grasp constant change in the workplace and our entire lives.

Marketers, communications professionals, and social media managers are carrying burdens heavier than ever before. And in nearly every facet of higher education, people are experiencing record levels of burnout and stress.

These essential campus roles are often misunderstood and undervalued (not to mention under-resourced). Every day, you face insurmountable challenges: platform changes, new advances in AI, and responsibility shifts in your roles. How do you give your best effort when you are running empty?

Think back to when the best parts of your job were invigorating, when creative problem-solving and innovative projects lit you up inside and you were excited to be part of an industry where you make a difference. Sure, there were obstacles even then, but you were fostering a spirit of community on your campus or in digital spaces, and that held a real sense of satisfaction. In short, you were proud of your work. It was manageable. It was meaningful.

If that memory feels like a lifetime ago, you’re not alone. It’s time to talk about reality in higher education. No toxic positivity, no worrying about coming across as a squeaky wheel. We’re in this together.

As the new year unfolds, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our experiences, navigate through what we’ve encountered, and plan our path forward—and why not, reignite that small spark of inspiration along the way!

Renew will be offered twice in 2024

Start 2024 Renewed

Now in its third year, the Renew series offers higher education professionals the opportunity to gather together in a space where people get it.

It’s not a conference or a professional development seminar (at least not in the traditional sense), and it’s not just a cheerleading session (although you will certainly be surrounded by people who appreciate your work).

What is a Renew Retreat?

Renew brings higher education professionals together in community, with each half-day retreat hosted by me, Dr. Josie Ahlquist, and a small group of facilitators online. You’ll be guided through exercises, discussions, and self-care tools to get your 2024 started with positive energy and a plan for momentum.

Retreats are spacious and strategic, offering not only dedicated time for reflection but also a variety of strategies for, restoration, reorientation, and recalibration.

When you participate in a Renew retreat, you’ll experience:

Woman looking at laptop holding phone and coffee cup

Release the challenges of the past year and welcome positive change in 2024.

Ready to refill your energy? You’ve earned it!

The Renew series is offered twice, so you have the flexibility to select the date/time that works for you.
Each session is limited in capacity and will fill up.

Renew Registration Information

What's included?

Your $25 registration fee includes access to a half-day retreat with mentorship from Josie and facilitators, as well as all program materials, including a workbook, playlist, and community space. Fees help support scholarships for the Digital Community Cohort.

Wish you could bring your whole team?

We have a special discount for you! Reserve 5 spots for the price of 4 — that’s just $100 to bring the gift of renewal to five members of your team.

Contact Josie at josie@josieahlquist.com for more info on group discounts or register now to reserve your spot!

Stuck in the struggle, but $25 is a stretch right now?

A limited number of complimentary registrations are available. Priority will be given to new professionals, BIPOC pros, grad/doc students, and/or anyone in financial need.

Send an email to josie@josieahlquist.com  with your preferred participation date and to request a waiver.

A Retreat with Results

After a hectic year, blocking off time to reflect and recharge with others in the higher ed digital community was a gift. I learned valuable lessons from seasoned professionals and feel empowered to take on the new year. I also picked up a few new ideas about how I want to host online events in the future. Padlet introductions, Spotify in slides, dance breaks — it was all perfection!
Renew Participant
The Renew Retreat was an excellent way to start off 2023. It wasn't intrusive or requiring awkward conversation, which I feared. It was thoughtful, welcoming, and you were able to share as much or as little as you wanted to. The activities are purposeful and varied enough that there's something for everyone. It's not a fix-all, it's an opportunity to clear the clutter in your mind and focus on what works for you.
Lee-Anne A.
The Renew retreat was exactly the space I needed, when I needed it. It's difficult to show up for yourself and make time for this kind of reflection. Having Josie and a group of people to go through it together held me accountable and gave me the space I was craving.
Becca Altimier
For me it was about connecting with others that work in the same realm as me with similar challenges. Letting go and resetting for a new year. Meeting new people is always great too!
Max Bronsema
Taking time out to laugh, commiserate, and learn with people who get how challenging and joyful your work can be is a game-changer. You can feel the shift in mind, body, and spirit.
Cyndi Perkins
Renew was just what I needed in my transition between jobs. Thanks for helping me clear out some mental clutter and come into the new year and a new role with purpose and clarity!
Katie Giardello

About Josie

Renew Founder and Lead Facilitator

Dr. Josie Ahlquist is a digital engagement and leadership speaker, consultant, and executive coach. She teaches organizations, executives, and education professionals how to humanize technology tools and prioritize building community online.

Josie absolutely loves researching and educating about digital community building, as well as supporting digital community builders who work in higher ed. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she created a Facebook group called the Higher Ed Digital Community Builders, which has grown to over 2,000 members. She also founded the Digital Community Building Cohort, a mastermind educational program for higher education social media managers to improve online community building strategies.

As a researcher and writer, Josie is extensively published and maintains an active blog and podcast, which have received accolades from EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education: Purposeful Social Media in a Connected World was listed as an Amazon #1 new release for college and university student life.

Renew Facilitator Roster

Each retreat will have caring and experienced facilitators to ensure you don’t get lost in a zoom room crowd. They will serve as coaches in breakout reflection sessions, as well as expert panelists. Here is the roster of facilitators you might see in your retreat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Renew is open to anyone who serves in the field of higher education, whether on campus, at a higher ed-adjacent agency, or in edtech.
Due to the intimate and community-based mission of Renew, we ask that you protect your calendar during these full three hours. That said, there will be built-in breaks, and we’ll normalize the need to eat/drink on camera, as well as bring puppies, kittens, babies, kids, and partners to be part of the experience.

Josie wants anyone who is interested in this event to attend, no matter their current resources. So, she is waving a number of registrations to those that are new professionals, BIPOC pros, grad/doc students, and/or anyone in financial need. Send an email to josie@josieahlquist.com with your preferred participation date and  request a waiver  — no questions asked.

Yes! For every four spots you purchase, one is free. Meaning it’s just $100 to bring the gift of renewal to five members of your team. Send an email to josie@josieahlquist.com if you’d like to take advantage of this discount.

There will be at least four higher ed communications leaders, who will serve as coaches throughout the retreats. ALL of them are amazing, caring, and committed to supporting you. The facilitators for each retreat will be confirmed closer to each date.

A shared curriculum will be applied to each retreat. Because of the limited space, please only sign up for one retreat at this time. IF there is space one day prior to another date, you are welcome to join us again!
Because these will be deep conversations, we are not currently planning on recording. All attendees will be asked to do pinky promises for the confidentiality of anything shared in the retreats. That said, there will be a workbook with additional resources mentioned in the retreats made available!

We’re happy to transfer your ticket to a future Renew retreat date, if applicable. Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds, but if you find that you cannot attend at all, we are happy to transfer your registration to another friend/colleague. Please send an email to josie@josieahlquist.com  if you find yourself in this situation.

I GET IT! Me, too. The retreats are organized so you have space to process as a large group, within smaller groups, and even just by yourself. As the lead facilitator, I will also be pulling out the stops to make these fun, interactive, and impactful. These are definitely meant to be refreshing, not just another Zoom!

Looking for even more support?

Josie has two programs to support higher ed pros implementing social media across campus.

Digital Community Building Cohort

Student Social Media Academy

More from Dr. Josie

Digital Communities

Digital Community Building Cohort

Blog: A Future Focused on Critical Hope

Segmented, Stretched and Misunderstood

Blog: Our Resilience Reservoirs are Drying Up

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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