Congratulations! You have stumbled upon (or followed a link that I posted somewhere) a blog that promises to be all types of random and entertaining. I encourage you to check out the About page to get to know a little about me before things around here really get rolling.
I come to you at the end of my first month as a gainfully employed, productive member of society. I graduated with my master’s degree in May with absolutely no idea where I would be headed next. Thankfully, about two short months later, I was afforded the opportunity to take a position in my home state that would allow me to utilize both of my degrees (something I didn’t think possible), serve the Oceti Sakowin (you probably know it as the Sioux Nation), and give back to the state that gave me so much growing up. Not many people are able to say that their first, real, full-time job in higher education was a system-level Director position that encompassed almost every aspect of the field that drew them down their chosen career path in the first place. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity.
I work for the South Dakota Board of Regents as the first ever Director of Student Preparation & Success. My position was created as the result of a study conducted by the Board related to the college-going experiences of the Native students within the regental system. You can find that study here if you’re interested in reading it. Anywho, since it is a brand new position, it comes with its own unique set of challenges. For me, the biggest has been that there is this huge vision associated with it, but no set action plan. However, I am embracing this challenge and seeing it as an opportunity to make the position what I want it to be and use the knowledge I have acquired during my 26 years on this earth to best serve the people of the Oceti Sakowin and the state of South Dakota.
In the past month, I have managed to take a whirlwind tour of all six campuses within the regental system, meet many of the individuals who work so hard on all of our campuses to provide the direct line of support to our Native students, and hear about some of the challenges and successes unique to each campus. I am now taking a moment to use all of that information coupled with some data sets to write the vision and mission statements for my position, define objectives and strategies, and develop an action plan and timeline moving forward.
One of my colleagues joked that he was trying to find my cape because of everything I want to accomplish in the coming years, but I am no super hero. I am just a woman on a mission to better the lives of her people one small step (or student) at a time.
I am happy to have you here and look forward to sharing my life/thoughts/experiences with you.