Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

A Doer like Robin Fontana is taking Karma to the Next Level

This post will serve as number three of 20 in a series called The Doers.  An idea I had while listing out individuals whom I knew that were pursuing their passions while being their true authentic selves.  Easier said than done.  Could it be one of the most challenging parts of going after our life ambitions while keeping intact our whole selves, the ones we really want at the end?
Robin in ChinaA reminder the definition of ‘Do’; to be the cause of (good, harm, credit, etc.); to bring about; effect.  Please take note a do-er is one that is the cause and brings effect.  This is Robin Fontana.
The next Doer is a bird bath, or at least that is what she jokes her name literally stands for.  Robin (Bird) Annette (Fountain) Fontana.
The lighthearted perspective into her name begins to skim the surface of what I would have in store during my interview with her.
I met Robin a little over a year ago, as we are both pursuing our doctorates in Education at California Lutheran University.  Technically we are in different cohorts, mine Higher Education Leadership and hers P-12 Educational Leadership, but we share a number of classes together.
I will admit, at first I was not a fan of the joint cohort, as I wanted to have focused discussion and assignments on post secondary (i.e. college/university) education.
Two reasons why I shake my head at my year ago self

  1. The P-12 cohort students, like Robin are amazing.  I have learned so much from their stories and experience.  I honor the dedication they give children and teenagers, and now I have a better grasp (at least in California) the challenges they face.
  2. The key to improving US education is the unification and collaboration between what happens in pre-school through High School and then into College.  In other words, we need a P-16 perspective.

Back to Robin, who is a newly promoted Assistant Principle and Teacher at an all-girls private middle school in Southern California.  In class I was drawn to her poetic communication; the ability to use words like a river formed with emotion, purpose and direction.  She also has comes in and out of class with an ear-to-ear grin.  A genuine smile that gives sunshine to our indoor classroom, which in one weekend we may spend up to 14 hours in.
This year, class fell directly on my birthday.  I knew Robin was one amazing chick when after I arrived to class that day she danced (literally) her way over to me and gave me a card and candy.  For some reason, this year my birthday was harder on me.  Her small token made such an impact and spoke greatly to her character.
Doer Robin has much to teach us and be inspired from including:

    • Be a role model
    • Don’t take yourself too seriously
    • SMILE
    • Avoid chronically negative people
    • Listen to what your body is telling you
    • Be on the look out for your next adventure

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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