Augustana hires new assistant director of student engagement

Augustana hires new assistant director of student engagement
Randi Maiers sits on a bench in front of the UBG sign. Photo by Ryleigh Tupper.

Students can expect to start seeing a new face on Student Street, as the Office of Student Affairs hired a new assistant director of student engagement earlier this month: Randi Maiers.

Maiers now advises four organizations on campus: UBG, SALT, Welcome Week and Viking Days. She also supervises the three student engagement ambassadors that act as “point people” on campus for students to connect with on-campus opportunities.

“My biggest goal is to get the student engagement name out there [and] be that point of contact for figuring out what to do during your time at Augie, just so that students know that we are a resource to help you get connected,” Maiers said. “I understand it can be super overwhelming. My doors are always open.”

Maiers was hired largely because of her extensive experience in higher education and student engagement at Montana State University.

“We really wanted somebody that knew what student activities did,” Beth Elam, the associate dean of students who was part of the committee that hired Maiers, said. “[Her experience] was really what set her apart I would say. That got us really excited.”

Maiers graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2010 with a degree in psychology. After graduating, she moved to Sioux Falls. It was here where she got her start in higher education, working at National American University to help non-traditional students get an education.

In 2014, Maiers moved to Bozeman, Montana, where she attended graduate school at Montana State University, earning a master’s degree in adult and higher education.

Maiers also worked at MSU for nine years, starting with a graduate assistantship in residence life. She spent her second graduate assistantship working with club support and student organization software.

“I managed the 230 clubs on campus, and then I managed the software,” Maiers said. “It’s exactly like Viking Central.”

After graduating from MSU in 2017, Maiers moved to the university’s community engagement office, which provides students with engagement opportunities and facilities for a variety of programs, such as student government, organizations and clubs.

“I started as the community engagement coordinator, and then, eventually, they created a new position for me: student organizations manager,” Maiers said.

The assistant director of student engagement position at Augustana was formerly held by Kally Jorgensen and has remained open since August 2022, when Jorgensen transferred to the catering manager position at Sodexo.

Bringing in a new staff member usually comes with an adjustment period, but thanks to Maiers’ prior experience, she is quickly settling into her new position.

“Because of her experience in student activities, we don’t have to necessarily train her,” Elam said. “We just have to, what I always say, ‘Augie-ize’ her. I think she’s been really good at integrating herself in. She asks a lot of questions, but she’s super outgoing and friendly, and she’s learning.”

After almost nine years at MSU, Maiers moved back to her hometown of Sioux Falls when she took the job at Augustana.

Maiers said she was drawn to Augustana because of the recent growth the campus has experienced and the plans to continue that growth.

“The good academics of the school, the involvement of the students from campus, [looking] on social media and just seeing how involved all the students are and how academically driven everybody is,” Maiers said. “And I was actually drawn to the smaller size of the school as well. [It] was really appealing to have that high touch with students.”