Mick Steiner is the new director of Student Engagement, Dean of Campus Life Laura Kane announced in an email to students on Feb. 2. The post was formerly held by Sam Filkins, who on July 17 of last year became vice president of the Area Development Foundation of Knox County. Filkins had worked in the Office of Student Engagement for seven and a half years before he departed.
In his role as the director of Student Engagement, Steiner will work with student organizations, the Student Council’s Student Life Committee and Greek Council to facilitate and support student activities. According to Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92, his role is especially critical since the Office of Student Engagement has been understaffed during the pandemic. “He’s going to be … injecting more programming into student life, which is terrific, because we’ve been without that position now for several months,” Bonham said. She also encouraged students to reach out to Steiner with any ideas for events.
Steiner most recently worked as housing coordinator at a satellite campus of The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute. He has also worked at Ashland University, Sonoma State University and Hiram College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Baldwin Wallace University, a small private liberal arts school in Berea, Ohio, and he looks forward to working at Kenyon, a school more like the one he attended.
“That is more or less who I am, through and through,” Steiner said of the liberal arts.
According to Steiner, the most important part of his job as director will be connecting with the student body. “Working with students on a daily basis is really fundamental to the work that I do and important to me as a person,” he said.
Steiner acknowledged the difficulty of stepping into this role in the midst of a pandemic, but said he viewed it as an opportunity for innovation. “I like to think of this as an opportunity to think creatively, to remind ourselves that it’s ok to do things differently,” he said.
Steiner went on to say that, despite the fact that he has not been able to spend much time on campus, he already feels embraced by the community. “I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome I received this week,” he said. “I was impressed with the level of energy and enthusiasm.”