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103AB, Wisconsin Center

Influencer Marketing in Student Affairs

Tuesday, Oct 15 11:45 - 12:30

Presented by Megan Rolfs and Josie Ahlquist

The #YourRedbirdLife Student Influencer program is the heartbeat of the Division of Student Affairs marketing and outreach efforts at Illinois State University. Student influencers activate their personal networks, allowing the Division to engage with new communities on campus. As a result of this program, the Division’s social media audiences increased by 113%. This session will share the legitimacy of digital influencers in social media strategy and present an influencer program in practice at Illinois State.

Learning Outcomes:
1. From this session, attendees will learn an innovative approach to reaching students through their peer networks through an influencer marketing strategy.
2. Participants will learn about a practical example of a student influencer program, the #YourRedbirdLife Student Digital Influencer Program, including its planning, implementation, and assessment.
3. Attendees will participate in two exercises that will teach them how to discover their own student digital influencers.



Megan Rolfs

Director of Marketing and Communications

Megan Rolfs is the Director of Marketing and Communication for the Division of Student Affairs at Illinois State University. In her role, she oversees a Student Affairs Marketing Council with representatives from 12 departments in the Division, in an effort to increase coordination among marketing efforts and offer enhanced professional development opportunities for members. She also supervises a staff of 13 students, who comprise an innovative student marketing and social media influencer team with the goal of increasing online community building and engagement among students. Rolfs is a two-time Illinois State alum, having recently completed her master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration in May 2019. She enjoys watching movies that make her laugh, traveling, and being a mom to her two young boys.

Josie Ahlquist

Adjunct Professor and Research Associate

Josie Ahlquist is a research associate and instructor at Florida State University, creating curriculum to build digital literacy and leadership skills for undergraduates up to doctorate level students. She also supports institutions, executives and college students as a speaker, consultant, and coach on digital leadership. Dr. Ahlquist backs up her content with her own grant funded and award-winning research, along with an active research agenda focused on teens and young adults digital experiences, senior executives online leadership practices and digital leadership pedagogy. She is extensively published; both her blog www.josieahlquist.com and podcast (Josie & The Podcast) have received accolades from EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She received her EdD from California Lutheran Unv. in Higher Education Leadership, Masters in Education from Northern Arizona Unv. and majored in sociology and human development at South Dakota State Unv.