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Tweet the Veep: 30 Vice Presidents to Follow on Twitter

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Over the last year, I have researched and written plenty about college and university presidents on social media. But it was actually higher education vice presidents and deans that first got my attention back in 2011. Even years ago I noticed that vice presidents, especially in student affairs, that were tweeting, blogging and integrating Twitter to engage with their campus communities. They weren’t just posting, they were embracing their role as digital leaders. I published this research in 2016 in the New Directions in Student Services volume Engaging the Digital Generation. Fast forward to 2018: what was once a small handful of early adopters is now hundreds!

In this post, I’ll be celebrating 30 Veeps (Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, and even some Associate/Assistant Vice Presidents) from divisions across campuses that embody digital leadership in higher education. These Veeps know how to sprinkle in their personality, amplify meaningful messages more than just being a billboard, and connect genuinely on a consistent basis. Instead of just listing a bunch of best practices, I want to showcase these leaders that truly embody them.

30 Vice Presidents to Follow on Twitter

Narrowing this list down to just 30 VPs to feature was incredibly tough. As you can see from my full Twitter list, there are so many who have a solid Twitter presence. This list is in no particular order, and I’d love for you to share your favorites or additions with me in the comments.
1. Melissa Richards: Vice President for Communications and Enrollment Management at Sweet Briar College. 1,047 followers; 1,266 following. The engagement on Melissa’s detailed tweets documents that people seek a full story online. Her posts are heartfelt celebrations of students and staff across campus, and her retweets show off her personality.

2. Mordecai BrownleeVice President of Student Success, St. Philip’s College. 5,232 followers; 3,404 following. Mordecai shares both his advice on leadership and his involvement in his campus and community. He doesn’t just tell people that he’s a leader; he shows how he leads.

3. Mary Jo Gonzales: Vice President of Student Affairs, Washington State University. 3,478 followers; 3,696 following. Mary Jo’s posts are equal parts gratitude, community building, and calls to action. If you need examples of strong copy on social media, look no further than this account!

4. Kenn Elmore: Dean of Students, Boston University. 19,391 followers; 2,736 following. Kenn is a prime example of how to show off your personality while remaining professional. Every tweet seems thoughtful and genuine, and his interactions with students feel like real conversations.

5. Jennielle Strother: AVP of Enrollment, Concordia University Texas. 3,021 followers; 1,017 following. Jennielle doesn’t just work to create community on her campus; she’s also a major contributor to the #emchat community. I’m a big fan of how she works to start conversations, not just act as a bulletin board.

6. Berenecea Eanes: Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University Fullerton. 927 followers; 498 following. Berenecea’s Twitter has some of the highest engagement rates I’ve seen, which is a testament to her wholly genuine approach to Twitter. It’s obvious that every post comes directly from the heart of Berenecea. She also never forgets to @ the people and teams she’s celebrating!

7. Kara Kolomitz: Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment at Regis College. 601 followers, 603 following. Kara gives us an inside look into the offices across campus, sharing the people who make things happen at Regis College. She may not have the most followers, but her posts consistently see high levels of engagement.

8. Gene Begin: VP of Marketing and Communications at Wheaton College. 1,484 followers; 1,442 following. One of the things I appreciate most about Gene’s approach to Twitter is his mix of gratitude, humor, and solid use of hashtags and @ mentions. He uses his tweets to tell the whole story and his posting strategy is consistent and comprehensive.

9. Levester Johnson (LJ): Vice President for Student Affairs at Illinois State University. 8,278 followers; 3,179 following. One of the first things I noticed on LJ’s Twitter feed was how personally involved he was on his campus. He doesn’t just tweet about events, he actually attends them and creates a personal connections by sharing his experience on social.
10. Angel B. PérezVice President of Enrollment & Student Success at Trinity College. 946 followers; 661 following. Angel builds community by giving detailed shoutouts to speakers, students, and events across campus. He’s a master of tagging people to help amplify others and he maintains a consistent quality and quantity of Tweets.

11. Deb Schmidt-Rogers: Assistant Vice President and Director of Residence Life at Loyola University Chicago. 2,655 followers; 1,326 following. Deb’s Twitter is packed with enthusiasm and passion. She’s clearly not afraid to give voice to her values on and offline, and I applaud her for making a strong statement on social.

12. Jason MeriwetherVice President for Student Success at Rhode Island College. 4009 followers; 3,510 following. Jason is one of the few veeps I’ve seen using video to capture what life on his campus. He’s got a solid blend of tweets and retweets that amplify his campus community, keeping his feed centered around students and staff.

13. Terisa RileySenior VP for Student Affairs & University Administration at Texas A&M Kingsville. 1,061 followers; 1,074 following. Terisa’s tweets are informative and enthusiastic in a way that truly inspires community engagement. She promotes events and the campus community in a way that seems natural and designed to spark conversation, not just likes.

14. Melissa WooSenior Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer at Stony Brook University. 4,842 followers; 577 following. Melissa’s tweets are short, sweet, and brimming with valuable technical knowledge. She’s always sharing resources and articles and promoting her fellow IT pros whenever she can.

15. Arthur SunleafVice President for Student Development & Dean of Students at Loras College. 1,417 followers; 981 following. Arthur shares what’s going on across campus in a fun and genuine way. His quips are full of humor and heart, and his posts are anything but generic. He’s clearly figured out the best ways to keep his campus engaged on social!

16. Melissa ShiversVice President for Student Life at the University of Iowa. 660 followers; 168 following. It’s obvious that Melissa takes her job seriously but also knows how to have a little fun on Twitter. The quote cards she shares are inspirational, and she’s a master of using GIFs to inject personality and fun into her social presence.

17. Jon Boeckenstedt: Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at DePaul University. 2,669 followers; 698 following. Anyone who’s interested in how Enrollment professionals can leverage data in incredible ways needs to check out Jon’s Twitter. It’s chock full of data analysis insights and advice!

18. Amy HechtVice President for Student Affairs at Florida State University. 725 followers; 338 following. Scrolling through Amy’s Twitter, I was thoroughly impressed by how she celebrated every individual who received an award at a recent event. That attention to detail and comprehensive approach is a signal of dedication and a fantastic way to make students and staff feel truly valued.

19. Frank E RossVice President for Student Affairs at Butler University. 367 followers; 623 following. It’s obvious that Butler University is a family, especially when Frank shares moments and milestones from his personal family. His tweets are a great example of how to share family moments that still celebrate your campus community.
20. Willie Banks: Vice President of Student Affairs at Indiana State. 1,595 followers; 3,872 following. VPs are often short on time, which is why Willie’s commitment to daily posts is so impressive. He’s an active participant in on-campus activities, and his posts help show that off.

21. Chris Del Conte: Vice President and Athletics Director at The University of Texas. 18,108 followers; 665 following. Chris’s Twitter feed just goes to show you how powerful emojis can be, especially when one looks like the infamous “hook em” hand gesture. He takes the time to amplify all kinds of teams from across campus, exactly as an athletics director should.
22. Ann Marie Klotz: Vice President of Student Affairs, Radford University. 6,547 followers; 3,651 following. If I had to describe Ann Marie’s Twitter in one word, it would be “celebration.” Almost all of her posts are focused on celebrating others throughout her campus instead of on herself.

23. Ryan Lombardi: Vice President for Student & Campus Life at Cornell University. 7,609 followers; 1,151 following. While a lot of his Tweets link to posts on Instagram, his retweets are an example of how to retweet something and add your own spin to it. Bonus points for having copy that translates to Twitter, even if his Insta links don’t show the picture.

24. Kathy WoughterVice President for Student Affairs at Alfred University. 930 followers, 962 following. Kathy is another great example of retweeting without just being a billboard. She almost always adds her perspective or take on whatever she’s retweeting, which helps people to both learn from what she’s retweeting and find ways to connect with Kathy.

25. Lauren RiveraAssociate Vice Provost for Student Formation & Campus Life at the University of Scranton. 237 followers, 229 following. Lauren’s Twitter bio does a great job of conveying who she is, what she does, and what she wants to be. She uses #bethechange in many of her tweets, which echoes the last line of her Twitter bio. I appreciate the consistency between those words and her actions!

26. Dakota Doman: Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Philander Smith College. 422 followers, 644 following. Dakota paints a vivid picture of his personality with his tweets and retweets. He’s equally generous with sharing kind words and his take on current events, showing off his personality and interests whenever he tweets.

27. Rob ZinkanAssociate Vice President of Marketing at Indiana University. 1,030 followers; 641 following. Rob serves as an excellent resource for any higher education marketing professional. His feed is filled with links to his blog posts on Inside Higher Ed, but he also amplifies voices from his campus with plenty of retweets and “congrats” messages.

28. Tonantzin Oseguera: Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at California State University Fullerton. 831 followers; 285 following. Tonantzin’s approach to social is clearly centered around her university, not herself. She does an amazing job of balancing retweets and original content, and the photos she shares makes you feel the campus event or experience she’s documenting.

29. Paulette DalpesVice President of Student Affairs at the Community College of Aurora. 1023 followers, 482 following. Paulette is proof positive that it’s possible to speak out on political issues while still remaining respectful. Her short quips are packed with passion, and she does a great job of making sure to post about events in both her campus community and the general student affairs community.

30. Adam CastroVice President of Admissions, Mercy College. 1,261 followers; 685 following. Adam is a great example of how to balance retweets with original Tweets, sharing posts that are important to him and actually sharing his thoughts and opinions. He’s also an active supporter of the #emchat community and host of Admissions Live.

More Veeps to Tweet

For a curated list (and always growing) of all of the Vice Presidents I have located on Twitter, please subscribe to my Tweet the Veep Twitter list. Know of other VPs that you think should have been on this list? Add them in the comments below!

If you’re an SVP, VP, or AVP (or aspire to be one someday), I hope that this list inspires you to build up your social media presence, especially if you don’t already have one. Now that you have examples, I highly suggest checking out my secret sauce for executives on social media.

Ready to apply your professional experience, career ambitions, passions and even personality to your social media approach? Worried how you’ll find the time or the right tools to make a real impact? My executive coaching packages will give you tactics, tools and confidence to harness social media in your leadership position or executive job search. For more information on what my coaching services can do for you, click here. Twitter is just one of many social media platforms Higher Education Vice Presidents are using to connect with their communities. Instagram is another powerful platform, which is why I’m also working on building another list of VPs to follow on Instagram. Have suggestions? Let me know in the comments below and include their insta handles!

If you’re ready to connect with your campus, you’ll love this BRAND NEW resource that I’ve created called Get Connected: The Social Media Guide for Campus Leaders.
This guide shares the latest usage of young adults of social media and how campus leaders can genuinely connect with their campus community.
[button link=”https://www.josieahlquist.com//getconnectedguide/”]Request your free copy[/button]

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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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.

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