The companion to the Student Social Media Academy:

A guide to developing, training, and retaining students.

A guide to developing, training, and retaining students.


One of the best parts about working in higher education is the opportunity to have students working alongside you, gaining real experience in the field. Supervising busy college students who support your institution’s social media presents additional challenges. Hiring the right students, training them effectively, and fostering collaboration while ensuring a dynamic social media presence is difficult. These difficulties can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin.

Hiring student assistants is an advantage for your social media strategy. They bring fresh ideas, digital fluency, and an authentic voice that resonates with your target audience. Think: engaging content creation, community management with a student perspective, and faces your audience will connect with.

Sounds great, right? But here’s the catch: supervising student teams comes with its own set of challenges. How do you find the right talent? Train them effectively? Foster collaboration while keeping your social media presence dynamic and on-brand?

What if student supervision and content creation was a little less spicy?

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Introducing The Supervisor Toolkit

Empowering students and supporting supervisors.

The Student Social Media Academy provides a comprehensive curriculum for your student social media team. Now, with the companion Supervisor Toolkit, you can not only ensure your students are learning the latest strategies, but also gain the skills to effectively lead them.

This Toolkit is designed for higher education professionals like you. This is a one-stop shop to equip supervisors of student social strategists with the tools to hire, train, retain, and lead effectively.

Get the Supervisor Toolkit for an introductory price of $149 before July 15.

What Will You Learn?

The toolkit uses a self-paced model, so supervisors can complete the online course when they have time or need it the most. Using interactive videos, workshops, and exercises, you will delve into practical information, explore real-world examples, and develop effective strategies for guiding students who contribute to the institution’s social media presence.

Enrollement includes the entire six modules of the Student Social Media Academy + a module just for supervisors

Here is the Toolkit curriculum:

Creating and Advocating for Student Roles

Supervisors will have access to examples of job description templates and lean into important discussions about pay rates and legal considerations, ensuring compliance and fairness in hiring practices.

Recruiting and Hiring

Supervisors will learn best practices for hiring student employees. This includes discovering effective recruitment strategies and identifying where to find the best talent.

Training & Developing Students

Supervisors will implement project management processes, set clear boundaries, expectations, and deadlines, and guide students in content creation.

Social Strategy with Students

Supervisors will learn how to engage students in the practical aspects of social media management, ensuring they can contribute to a cohesive and effective social media presence for the institution.

Retaining and Transitioning Students

The focus shifts to retaining student employees and preparing them for future success. Supervisors will learn how to conduct performance evaluations, manage performance, and hold students accountable.

Social Media for the Non-Social Media Supervisor

A crash course in social media for supervisors who may not have a background in the field. It covers the essentials of what goes into a post, explores various social media tools, and teaches trendspotting techniques.

Looking for a comprehensive solution?

Bundle the Supervisor Toolkit with one Student Social Media Academy registration for your student for just $249 (a $50 savings!) This powerful combination ensures your student is learning the latest strategies while you gain the skills to effectively guide them. 

What people are saying

We're in a teaching and learning environment, this should be the safest place for students to find their voice. Give them a safe space to try things, to experiment, to struggle, to fail, to have hard or uncomfortable conversations. When you give them the space for that you also give them the space to grow, to succeed, to build confidence and to spark a passion that could launch their career.
Sarah wells
Sarah Wells
Social Media Communications Officer, Fanshawe College
Remember that the time you invest in giving quality guidance and feedback to student creators won't just benefit you and your content long-term, but will also benefit the students, sharpening their skills exponentially!
Garret Fettig
Garret Fettig
Social Media Specialist, University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management

Supervising and advising students can be extremely rewarding. It can also be one of the hardest parts of your job.

The Supervisor Toolkit is your guide to not only developing great content with students, it will enhancing your skills on student supervision and development.

Access opens Monday, June 24!

Optimize your campus social media operations with the Supervisor Toolkit, offering supervisors comprehensive guidance on fostering and retaining student talent.

Who is the Supervisor Toolkit for?

The Supervisor Toolkit is an ideal investment for higher ed pros who are leading students in various areas of campus, including…

Learn from the Guest Coaching Team

The curriculum is written by Dr. Josie Ahlquist and Kati Hartwig. Guest coaches are a vital ingredient to the toolkit through panel discussions. In each lesson, coaches will discuss the challenges supervisors face and specific tactics that actually work and address your timely questions.

Click on a coach to read their bio!

Josie Ahlquist

Digital Engagement and Leadership Consultant

Chris D'Orso

Director, Advancement Marketing and Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology

Garret Fettig

Social Media Specialist, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

Thomas Fields

Assistant Director, Social Media, Santa Clara University

Jenny Li Fowler

Director of Social Media, MIT

Karla Fung

Director of Social Media, University of California, Davis

Liz Harter

Senior Social Media Manager, University of Notre Dame

Kati Hartwig

Marketing Manager, Dr. Josie Inc.

Chelsey Holts

Director of Content Strategy, UNC Chapel Hill

Meaghan Milliorn

Director of Digital Strategy, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Katelyn Mills-Erickson

Assistant Director, Communications and Marketing, University of Iowa

Neicy Myers

Digital Strategist for the Division of Campus Life, Wake Forest University

Rachel Rodemann Putman

Director of Communications, UAFS

Jennifer Rouse

Director of Marketing & Communication, Career Development Center at Oregon State University

Erin Supinka

Director of Digital Engagement, Dartmouth College

Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Diana Victa

Department Manager, César E. Chávez Community Action Center, San José State University

Selena Walter

Housing Communications Coordinator, Chapman University

Sarah Wells

Social Media Communications Officer, Fanshawe College

Meet the Academy Director

Dr. Josie Ahlquist

As a residence life graduate assistant in 2002, I started involving my student staff when platforms like MySpace and Facebook arrived. Over the years, I created more opportunities and formal training to empower students to be key communication strategists, no matter the platform.

Following many years of working on college campuses, I went rogue in 2013 and became an independent speaker, consultant, and coach on digital engagement and leadership.

Over the last ten years, I have trained thousands of students and professionals across the globe on how to craft purposeful and values-driven social media strategies that are effective and engaging.

The one thing I miss about working at a campus is guiding students over time and being part of their transformation. The creation of this Academy is a result of the last twenty years spent developing strategies, and I look forward to meeting you and your students!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Student Social Media Academy is a comprehensive curriculum for student social media team members. Access to the Academy also includes membership to the student Discord community.

The Supervisor Toolkit is a companion resource that equips supervisors with the skills to effectively lead and support their student teams. Discord access is not available for professional staff, however, we are exploring a separate community. 

 The Supervisor Toolkit is currently available for a discounted price of $149! This introductory offer is valid until July 15th.

If you’re looking for an even better deal, bundle the Toolkit with a Student Social Media Academy seat for a student for $249. 

The toolkit includes a combination of formats, such as written lessons, downloadable templates, resources, and access to live or recorded panel discussions with industry experts.

You’ll have access to the Supervisor Toolkit and Academy curriculum for one year.

No - the access you receive as a supervisor has different benefits from the access your student receives. With the purchase of a Student Social Media Academy curriculum, your student will receive access to a Discord community to connect with students across institutions all over the world. You don’t want them to miss out on networking!

Because this is a digital product, seats are non-refundable and non-transferable. I encourage you to triple check before making your final purchase.

The Supervisor Toolkit has downloadable resources that you can use on your own time for hiring, training, and retaining students. Throughout the Student Social Media Academy modules, students will be given purposeful exercises designed to immediately apply what they are learning to their work for the university.

Each lesson will take about 30-minutes to complete. There will also be one panel discussion per lesson that is no more than one-hour in length.

The Supervisor Toolkit is the Companion to the Student Social Media Academy.

Do you have students who need social media training? Let’s get them trained, too! The Student Social Media Academy offers any campus the opportunity to access expertise and training needed to engage student employees as skilled support to move your social strategy forward.  Each student enrolled will receive:

Get in Touch

Still have questions about the Academy?
I’d be happy to chat so you feel as excited about the program as I am!

Josie Ahlquist

Academy Creator
She/Her/Hers

Over the last ten years, I have trained thousands of students and professionals across the globe on how to craft purposeful and values-driven social media strategies that are effective and engaging.

The one thing I miss about working at a campus is guiding students over time and being part of their transformation. The creation of this academy is a result of the last twenty years spent developing strategies, and I look forward to meeting you and your students.

Connect with Josie

Chris D'Orso

Director, Advancement Marketing and Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology

Chris D’Orso is the director of marketing and communications for advancement at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He joined RIT after 24 years in enrollment management and student affairs at four SUNY campuses, most recently at Brockport, where he oversaw the campus’s implementation of the Slate CRM, and before that at Stony Brook, where he ran social media for one of the top public universities in the northeast.

He is an openly genderfluid Mets fan, baseball card collector, pub quizmaster and he also got his butt kicked on “Jeopardy!,” a defeat he rues to this day.

Connect with Chris

Garret Fettig

Social Media Specialist, University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management

Garret Fettig is a young professional with a passion for higher ed, communications, and social media. He intentionally remained within public employment opportunities during his professional experience, including past positions at Bismarck State College, Valley City State University, and the North Dakota State Auditor’s Office. He currently works as the social media specialist for the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Connect with Garret

Thomas Fields

Assistant Director, Social Media, Santa Clara University

As a steward of SCU’s institutional presence on digital platforms, Thomas is responsible for creating/curating engaging content for key audiences ranging from prospective students to community stakeholders. 

With almost 9 years industry experience, Thomas spent most of his professional years living and working in various marketing and communications roles at colleges and universities across the Northeast region of the Buckeye State. Notably, he served as a graduate and professional programs enrollment marketing specialist for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio—focusing on launching and managing social media ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google.

He is currently a doctoral student at Santa Clara University, pursuing his Ed.D in Social Justice Leadership with an emphasis in higher education administration.

For leisure, he enjoys day trips to different parts of California. He is a self-proclaimed nature aficionado and loves spending time at the beach or hiking. In his spare time, Thomas is a creative writer who enjoys exploring the art scene across the Bay Area.

Connect with Thomas

Jenny Li Fowler

Director of Social Media Strategy at MIT

Jenny Li Fowler is the director of social media strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and author of “Organic Social Media, How to Build Flourishing Online Communities”. She is also host of the podcast, “Confessions of a Higher Ed Social Media Manager”. Jenny heads the development and execution of Institute-wide social media initiatives and campaigns and provides consultation for crisis communications.

She provides guidance and direction for more than 260 departments, labs, and centers, and manages MIT’s flagship social media accounts. Prior to MIT, she served as Social Media Manager and Web Editor for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Jenny is a trusted voice in higher ed social media and across the social media marketing space.

Connect with Jenny

Karla Fung

Director of Social Media, University of California, Davis

Karla Fung works as the director of social media of the University of California, Davis, returning to her beloved alma mater after over a decade of being the voice behind many brands regionally, statewide and nationally on social media.

As the director, she oversees the teams responsible for the UC Davis brand, executive and undergraduate admissions social channels. In addition, she collaborates with partners across the university and hospital campuses to ensure the breadth of stories are being told. She is passionate about spotlighting cultural and identity-based communities to increase visibility and help them grow. During her time at UC Davis, she has developed and created a robust student internship program (“STREAM”) where students can work on a wide variety of projects, content development, video production, data analytics and hone in on their skills.

Outside of working in social, Karla loves to cook for her friends and family, tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible and buys more books than she can read.

Connect with Karla

Liz Harter

Senior Social Media Manager, University of Notre Dame

Liz is the Senior Social Media Manager at the University of Notre Dame. For over a decade she’s served as the voice behind the highest level accounts on the academic side of campus.

With a background in journalism and public relations, she’s’s a storyteller, though the challenge now is trying to tell the stories in 280-characters or less.

Connect with Liz

Kati Hartwig

Marketing Manager, Dr. Josie Ahlquist Inc.

She/hers

Residing and working in Columbus, Ohio, Kati has six years of higher education digital marketing experience as the Coordinator of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Youngstown State University where she managed the university’s official social media accounts, coordinated media production for the university, and managed a team of four student employees. In 2021, Kati transitioned to the aviation industry where she’s currently managing social media, websites, photography, and videography for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. She continues her work with college students, bringing in an intern each year to help run social media. More recently, she joined Team Josie as the Marketing Manager.

When she isn’t spending her days online, she’s filling her camera roll with photos of her dog, Roonie, playing dominoes and card games with friends, baking with her mom, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

Connect with Kati

Chelsey Holts

Director of Content Strategy, UNC Chapel Hill

Chelsey Holts is the Director of Content Strategy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, overseeing the development and implementation of campus-wide communications content in support of the University’s brand strategy and key messages. In her role, she advises leadership on strategy and reputation and works with a team to identify, produce and amplify impactful content for Carolina’s various audiences on its website, social media channels and email newsletter. She consults with colleagues across campus on strategy and crisis management and leads collaborative initiatives with departments and schools.

Previously, Chelsey served as the Director of Social Media for Carolina. Her experience in social media and digital marketing spans various industries, including automotive, entertainment, agricultural and higher education. Chelsey is a graduate of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and has published several articles in the Journal of Education Advancement & Marketing.

Connect with Chelsey

Meaghan Milliorn

Director of Digital Strategy, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Meaghan Milliorn has worked at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for 15 years and currently serves as the Director of Digital Strategy. She and her team are responsible for overseeing the university website, its strategic focus, and ensuring it meets the needs of our future and current students. For many years, she was the primary person responsible for managing the university’s main social media accounts. She is currently leading the comprehensive redesign of the university website.

Meaghan is an active volunteer for the HighEdWeb Association and has served on committees and presented at the national conference. She received her B.A. in Journalism and attended graduate school at UA Little Rock.

Connect with Meaghan

Katelyn Mills-Erickson

Assistant Director, Communications and Marketing, University of Iowa

Katie is currently a communications and marketing professional at the University of Iowa. She has worked in higher education for over five years, primarily in the realm of admissions. Katie oversees strategy for both email and social marketing within the Office of Admissions. Whether trying out new subject lines or helping write Instagram captions, she’s lucky to have co-workers who keep her from being cringe.

She is happiest when she can bring a little humor to the workplace through gifs, afternoon teas, and in one particular case, coordinating the ducking of her director’s office. When not living in or choosing chaos, Katie enjoys bad reality tv, romantacy reads, and crocheting small creatures.

Connect with Katelyn

Neicy Myers

Digital Strategist for the Division of Campus Life, Wake Forest University

Neicy Myers is the Digital Strategist for Campus Life at her alma mater, Wake Forest University. She received her BA in Sociology (with minors in Journalism and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies) and her Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing from the Wake Forest School of Business.

In her role, she leads the Division’s digital presence and marcoms strategies that raise brand awareness, including the Division’s social media, web presence, and other digital marketing integrations and special projects. An avid “Double Deac,” Neicy enjoys cheering on the Deacs at sporting events, spending time with friends, and connecting with students on campus to learn their stories (and create really cool social content)! 

Connect with Neicy

Rachel Putman

Director of Communications — University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
She/her

Rachel Rodemann Putman has worked in higher education since 2014, following close to a decade in journalism, finding her passion at the intersection of these two fields. She prioritizes transparent, authentic communication to foster trust and build community among UAFS students, employees, donors, and alumni. She is a classically trained artist, a former journalist, a Tar Heel and a Swiftie, and she spends her time off campus with her musician husband, their two children, and their German Shepherd dog.

Connect with Rachel

Rachel Rodemann Putman

Director of Communications — University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Rachel oversees digital and social media strategy, external communications direction, public and media relations, internal messaging, crisis management, and executive communications. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, she spent close to a decade as a journalist, and joined the world of higher education in 2014, finding her passion at the intersection of story-telling and education.

She manages a team of incredible student workers each year on the UAFS campus who run TikTok, Instagram, website and LinkedIn campaigns. With her student team, she’s claimed a number of social media impact awards including a CASE Grand Gold award in 2022 for a direct to student social media outreach campaign titled Mental Health Monday. Last academic year her team’s efforts gained the small regional public for 5.9 billion impressions across earned media.

She was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Forty under 40 class. She spends her time at home with her musician husband Cory, their two children, Sara and Kyler, their German Shepherd dog, Atticus, and an ever growing slate of foster puppies.

Connect with Rachel

Jennifer Rouse

Director of Marketing & Communication, Career Development Center at Oregon State University

Jen Rouse is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Oregon State University’s Career Development Center. She began her career in journalism, earning a B.A. in Mass Communications from Linfield University, and then spent 10 years writing about health, criminal justice, and community news for daily newspapers in Oregon.

Prior to OSU, she wrote marketing copy for a variety of private clients and also spent several years as the PR manager for Oregon Wine Country, persuading travelers around the world to drink their way through Oregon. She’s been in student affairs marketing at OSU since 2016. She loves using the power of the written word to inspire and engage with students, and enjoys the challenge of finding just the right message and the right medium to connect with audiences.

Outside the office, you can find Jen reading, going for long runs and hikes in Oregon’s gorgeous forests, or planning trips with her husband and three daughters.

Connect with Jennifer

Erin Supink

Director of Digital Engagement, Dartmouth College

Erin Supinka is a digital strategist with more than 10 years of experience helping higher education institutions communicate with and engage their target audiences. She currently serves as the director for digital engagement at Dartmouth where she leads the institution’s social media channels.

Connect with Erin

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

Diana Victa

Department Manager, César E. Chávez Community Action Center, San José State University

Diana Pondivilla Victa (she/her/siya) is a social justice practitioner, educator and activist. As a  Pilipina-American, First-Generation Immigrant and Working Class Family, it brings Diana great joy and passion to dedicate over 15 years of professional career towards advocating and supporting students of highly indexed identities.

She is the Department Manager of the A.S. Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center at San Jose State University where she oversees civic engagement programs ranging from social justice programs and the campus community garden.

Diana’s leadership in the DEI industry has earned her elected position as the President of California Council of Cultural Centers in Higher Education. Diana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from San Jose State University where she is a proud transfer student from Diablo Valley College and Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from the University of San Francisco. 

Connect with Diana

Selena Walter

Housing Communications Coordinator, Chapman University

Selena is the Housing Communications Coordinator for the department of Residence Life and First Year Experience at Chapman University in Orange, CA. As the Housing Communications Coordinator, Selena manages departmental social media accounts, manages housing web pages on chapman.edu, and supports departmental messaging efforts.

Selena was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, and moved to Southern California when she attended Azusa Pacific University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design in 2017. She then received a Master’s Degree from the University of Denver in Communication Management in 2021. While she was pursuing her Master’s Degree, she worked in Internal Communications for an education tech company.

While working in the education tech industry, she discovered her passion for supporting student success and, since then, desired to work in higher education in student affairs.

Connect with Selena

Sarah Wells

Social Media Communications Officer, Fanshawe College

Sarah stumbled into “computer mediated communications” after a chance meeting with her University mentor in 2002. Little did she know, that chance encounter would spark a career in social media and impact her work with students. Sarah has served as Social Media Communications Officer at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario since 2015. At Fanshawe, Sarah is responsible for the strategic direction of social media while leading a team of 100+ social media representatives and managing the day-to-day activity of the college’s enterprise accounts.

Despite being plagued by imposter syndrome for a number of years, Sarah, thanks to #PSEWeb and #HigherEdSocial, is now a confident strategic communicator who takes pride is sharing her knowledge and experiences with others in the higher-ed space.  

Sarah has been commended by many for her training and support of students and, if LinkedIn recommendations are true, the students she’s worked with have also valued her greatly.

Connect with Sarah

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