This semester, LaTasha Stiger, Director of Campus Programming Orientation, Student Activities Board (SAB) and Multicultural Organization liaison, is leaving Drake University for new experiences.
“I wouldn’t call it resigning. I’ve had an awesome time working here, but every time you’re in a position there are times that you feel like you’re ready for some more challenges,” Stiger said. “I’ve decided to look for some more challenges in other locations.”
Stiger, who has been a part of the Drake family for over six years, came to Drake to fill a brand new position, Director of Campus Programing. The position was originally a part of a Student Senate proposal to create a central liaison and student resource for the multicultural organizations.
Melissa Sturm-Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success, hired Stiger and acted as supervisor for the new position.
“I was her direct supervisor for six years, and so we worked side-by-side in a lot of things over in the Office of Student Leadership,” Sturm-Smith said. “Then, when I transitioned to this current position, she and I still maintained very close connections.”
While Stiger has impacted and impressed staff, it is not just them that Stiger has interacted with. Whether Stiger was serving as ELM instructor, SAB advisor or a supervisor to orientation leaders, Stiger has proven herself a successful and effective part of student affairs.
“She has impacted me in countless ways as a mentor and a friend,” said Natalie Larson, psychology major. “Tasha is someone that I can always count on to support, challenge, listen and inspire me.”
A national search for Stiger’s replacement is underway. A search committee led by Tony Tyler, Director of Olmsted Center Operations, was formed and have begun looking for Stiger’s replacement
“We are going to have to work really hard to find someone who isn’t going to be the next LaTasha Stiger, but is going to bring that same commitment to students and willingness to dig in and work side-by-side with students, faculty and staff,” Sturm-Smith said.
The search may be harder than initially thought.
“She’s going to leave a big hole for a while,” Sturm-Smith said. “She’s a go-to person. You think about the go-to people in our lives, and she is one of them.”
While some may feel a little lost without Stiger’s guidance and assistance, Stiger has faith in Drake’s ability to continue without her.
“I know that everyone is going to do great work. They’re going to continue doing everything they were doing while I was here,” Stiger said. “I truly know that.”
Although students and staff are sad to see Stiger leave Drake, they wish her the best.
“I am excited for her and her next adventure as well as for the new students who will have the amazing opportunity to work with her,” Larson said.
“We’re going to miss her, but her journey is taking her to a new place,” Sturm-Smith said. “When you love people, you have to let them go, and Drake has loved Tasha but now we have to support her in what she is doing next.”