Section: News

Office of Student Engagement undergoes changes in staff

The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) is restructuring amidst current understaffing. Former Administrative Assistant Wendy Newell will assume a new role as the coordinator of Student Engagement, overseeing the Business and Finance Committee and Senior Class Committee. The OSE is also seeking to hire a new administrative assistant and an assistant or associate director this spring. Once hired, the assistant or associate director will advise student organizations including Social Board and Student Life Committee.

Two previous staff members resigned this past year, leaving their positions vacant. Ashley Rastetter, former assistant director of Student Engagement, started a new position at Denison University’s Leadership and Involvement Center over the summer, and Kim Wallace, former associate director of Student Engagement, adopted a new role as associate director of Alumni and Parent Engagement in a different division of Student Affairs. Wallace had worked within the OSE for seven years, and her last day in the office was Friday, Jan. 24. 

Though the OSE attempted to find a replacement for Wallace last semester, the search proved difficult. “Because of the timing of the search, we were unable to attract a strong candidate pool, so we decided to suspend that search until the spring,” Bonham said. “We didn’t want to hire someone just for the sake of hiring. We want to hire the best person for the job.”

As the hiring process proceeds throughout this semester, Filkins hopes to have students involved in reviewing applications, interviewing candidates and deciding who to hire. This resembles past hiring processes for new administrators, which have included student leaders on search committees and open forums when top candidates visit campus.

Until the end of this academic year, administrators in other Student Affairs divisions have assumed some of the responsibilities typically assigned to Student Engagement. Dean of Campus Life Laura Kane and Director of First-Year Experience and Student Success Lacey Filkins will temporarily oversee several student government organizations, including the Senior Class Committee.

“It’s important that we don’t have any impact on the student experience as much as possible, even though we’re in this time of transition,” Filkins said.

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