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The Ahlquist Top 10 of 2014

As a full-time doctoral student there are certain things one has to give up to meet deadlines and simply get that doctorate done.  Even my blogging has unfortunately slowed as I get closer to graduation.  Since starting school one thing I have given up is sending holidays cards.  So, last year I shared the second best thing: a virtual card called The Ahlquist Top 10 of 2013. 

I share with you the 2014 version.  Ten moments, highlights and announcements that made this year memorable.  

10.  All the Ahlquists in One Place

The Ahlquist clan is spread out all over the country.  It takes a lot of luck and effort to get us in one place.  After two years, this thanksgiving all of us were in the same place!  Even better we got to celebrate two big birthdays and the announcement that my sister is law is expecting.  We’re going to have a niece!

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9.  Lloyd Met the President 

Not just met the president, but was invited with a crew of other YouTubers to have an hour sit-down with Obama!  This gathering served to provided consult to the White House about digital communities and creative solutions for reaching young audiences.

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8.  Josie Becomes an Author 

This year I was thrilled to be part of four publications, all in different parts of the production process.  The latest is a receiving news that I’ll be a co-editor and author for a New Directions in Student Services volume called “Engaging with the Digital Generation”  Check out more about all four (here).  

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7.  Epic Rap Battles on Billboards

If you lived around Chicago or New York, this summer you may have seen Lloyd’s face on a billboard, taxi cab, bus station or train car.  We traveled to Chicago this summer to see some of the billboards in-person!

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6.  Going Gold x 3

In 2013 we received our first Gold record, Epic Rap Battle’s biggest video Vader Vs Hilter.  This year we were treated with two more from the videos President Obama vs Mitt Romney and Albert Einstein vs Steven Hawking. 

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5.  Celebrating Five Years

In October we celebrated our five-year anniversary, taking an escape into the mountains of Malibu where we got married.  I surprised Lloyd with my gift, a cover of a song that I sang to him at our wedding by Ingrid Michaelson.  I pulled out all my favors to professionals in the industry to help me do it!  

4.  Dissertation Progress

It won’t be until May 2015 that I can fully celebrate a complete doctoral journey, but if I have learned anything through this long process is to celebrate at every little milestone.  This year I successfully defended my proposal, moved through two institutional review boards, recruited 40 student leader participants and conducted six focus groups.  I also pulled 2,000 social media posts which will be analyzed in 2015 for part two of my process.  

To learn more about the entire project, feel free to review my proposal below.


Another thing to celebrate in my dissertation was that I have received two grants to support the research financially.  These come both from NASPA, with regional and national awards!

3.  Lloyd as Superman

If you know me well, then you know I like Superman.  So when Lloyd played this character as part of a rap battle…on my birthday…I was pretty excited!  Lloyd surprised me with a photo shoot with him.  Below was my favorite.

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This video recently was listed on the top 10 videos on YouTube for 2014.  Check it out below.

2.  Getting Serious about SpeakingIMG_4986

In April I set a goal to speak to 10 campuses before the end of the year, finding myself all over the country talking about Digital Identity and Leadership.  To aid in this, I signed with a college booking agency Bass-Schueler Entertainment!
I traveled locally around Los Angeles, drove through Central California, and flew to Indiana and Ohio. A few times I even presented virtually online.  I also presented at a number of conferences including ACPA National Convention, NASPA National Conference, NASPA Western Regional Conference and the Leadership Educators Institute.

The most recent announcement to my speaking and consultant efforts is the redesign of my website!   Find out more about they types of programs I offer for students, staff and faculty (here).

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1.  Mom is Cancer Free! 

My family started out with a very rough 2014.  After spending an entire holiday together, we received blowing news that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The entire spring was filled with doctor appointments and I was traveling back and forth from Los Angeles to Wyoming.  After a number of surgeries Mom is now cancer free!  She was even featured in my hometown paper (seen below) and of course I blogged about it too (here).  

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Thank you to everyone that reached out with support to our family.  Every message and hug helped.


What’s Next in 2015?

Lloyd and I look forward to an exciting new year.  We have started to house hunt and even consider adopting another dog.  January and February will be lots of writing for me, while Lloyd will enjoy being off-season from rap battles. Graduation will come in May, where you will notice a distinct change to my website logo to Dr. Josie Ahlquist.  Lloyd hopes to make an album soon and I’m dreaming about a post-doc trip to Spain & Italy in the summer!  

Please subscribe to stay updated with us and all the things I’ll be working on in 2015!

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From our lil’ animal Ahlquist house to your corner of the world, Happy New Year!! 

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What would be on your top ten for 2014?  Share a few below in the comments!

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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