By: Evan Coyle
In mid-August of this year, Daemen assistant dean of student engagement Kim Pagano released an email to students announcing Heather Maclin as the new director of student activities.
The email by Dean Pagano included a description of what the Director of student activities job encompasses.
The email said that the director of student activities, “oversees the Office of Student Activities, providing direction, training, and support for student clubs and organizations as well as acting as the advisor to SGA and IGA.”
Earlier this semester, Heather Maclin discussed her background, student involvement in the hiring process for her position, some of her goals, and how she would work to make sure that students are being heard.
Heather Maclin got her Masters in Higher Education Administration, from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
She was, “the Assistant Director of Wilson Commons Student Activities at the University of Rochester “for the past four years.”
Furthermore, her biography on the Daemen College website says, “Ms. Maclin comes to Daemen with extensive experience in student activities, event planning, contract negotiation, community building, and small group facilitation.”
Regarding student involvement in the hiring process Maclin said, “Students were present on the committee.”
She added that throughout the process, “opportunity was given to students to zoom into the interview process.”
During the interview process she talked to mostly “involved students” about “some of the things they wanted to see on campus.”
I asked Ms. Maclin, “why she decided to come to Daemen?”
She said that, “It’s a great professional step for me” and that she “loved the interactions I had with the students during the interview (process).”
She continued, “Most of the students that I talked to had really great things to say about their experience here about administration and about being heard.”
Heather Maclin spoke about some of her goals saying, “My biggest focus is making sure student organizations feel confident in their leadership right now.”
She talked extensively about improving the network of communication and knowledge between students interested in organizations, student leaders, and advisors/moderators.
Specifically, she spoke about making sure everyone is on the same page by, “fine tuning” the training process for the advisors as well as the student organization leaders.”
She spoke about educating advisors and moderators of clubs and organizations to “know the policy that we have at the institution.” So they can help the students successfully go through those processes and make sure the events are successful as well.”
Maclin described her work with the Student Government Association saying, “we’ve talked about goals for the year, we’ve talked about things we want to see done, and events we want to have. We want to get to place where we can voice those concerns in a way that we know can get results.”
Maclin also talked about enhancing activities on campus to “Make sure Daemen students are excited to be at Daemen.”
She said that it is important to focus on “Making sure that campus life is lively… and that we are not having to go off campus to get the things that we want on campus.”
Listening to Students
Heather Maclin encourages students to come to her office saying, “I Have an open door policy.”
She added, “I am very open (to students)
She talked about “listening to students” by “putting in new initiatives that I have done in the past.”
She continued, “If there are things that we are doing that do not meet student’s needs, I want students to feel comfortable enough to come and tell me that.”
Maclin continued, “I am very big into developing those personal relationships and also working with SGA.”