VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s new director of Native Student Services, Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, discussed the importance of creating welcoming spaces on campus on the Credit Hour podcast.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity for us to engage as friends and colleagues,” said Red Shirt-Shaw. “Just being able to make these connections across disciplines and do community building is important.
Red Shirt-Shaw, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, started this fall as the director of Native Student Services and the Native American Cultural Center. She has previously held positions in undergraduate admissions, college counseling and student advising at the University of Pennsylvania, Questbridge, Santa Clara University, Albuquerque Academy and the 7th Gen Summer Program.
Red Shirt-Shaw said she is excited to bring different Indigenous voices to campus.
“I think some of the challenges we’re facing in student services with being really cognizant and responsible with social distancing and mask wearing is that with the power of zoom, we can bring different Native people into our spaces virtually from across the country,” said Red Shirt-Shaw. “I think it is so important for students to see themselves reflected in a lot of different ways—especially in the fields they are pursuing or are excited about.”
Red Shirt-Shaw earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Higher Education. At Harvard, she was co-chair of FIERCE — Future Indigenous Educators Resisting Colonial Education. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a focus on Higher Education and a minor in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.
Red Shirt-Shaw is the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth.
Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.