SDSU graduates return to fill diversity positions


Andrea Huete, Copy Editor

The university recently hired two former South Dakota State University students to recruit students and promote a diverse and welcoming campus. 

D’Shaun Herman, the new multicultural recruitment coordinator, and Paige Cain, the new coordinator of American Indian student recruitment are the newest SDSU faculty members. 


D’Shaun Herman- Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator

Herman worked as an admissions ambassador during his undergad and has now come full-circle in his student recruitment career at SDSU.

According to the job posting online, the Multicultural Center needed someone responsible for developing and implementing an effective recruitment plan while focusing on enrolling underrepresented students.

It was a smooth transition in terms of working with staff members because of his time as an admissions ambassador. He would provide tours, information and share his experiences. 

“He seems very excited about the work he’s doing and excited to be engaged with prospective students and their families,’’ Shelly Bayer, the director of Multicultural Affairs, said. “He’s able to relate to students and share his experiences and be really authentic…so students have a really good understanding when they’re making their decision as to whether or not SDSU is going to be their home.”

Within his position, he and other coworkers travel to attend college fairs or high school visits. They work closely with high school counselors and faculty members to better represent the university.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity to think a little differently or out of the box when it comes to not only recruitment, but retention for our multicultural student population,” he said. “I think it’s important to understand that diversity includes everybody, regardless of backgrounds, creed, sexuality, all of that stuff.”

Because of the demographics that he works in, he says that he would love to have more opportunities for students to visit and see what the multicultural organizations are all about.

The initial transition for Herman to SDSU out of high school was impactful because he grew up in a super small town in Minnesota, where he graduated from a high school with 15 other students.

He didn’t let anything get the best of him as he had the mindset of creating experiences that bring people together to learn more about themselves and the people around them. 

“When I came to SDSU in 2013, I was involved and did everything from orientation leader to admissions ambassador, all the way to a union manager, you name it. I was all over the place,” Herman said. “I had a really strong understanding of knowing that the work that I put in college was going to be monumental in helping me shape my career after graduation.”

Herman majored in advertising with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing. With his degree, he moved to the Twin Cities and worked for a Target corporation as an internal communications associate producer for three years.

After the murder of George Floyd and with the heat of the pandemic, he shifted to working remotely for two years and decided to move to Los Angeles where he worked for Electronic Arts, a videogame company. However, after his time in those two positions, Herman realized he wasn’t as competitve as the job required.

After some time, he came back to South Dakota and SDSU in the spring of 2022.

“I’ve been very grateful to be blessed with opportunities that I’ve worked in and for what SDSU has given me so far,” Herman said.

When he returned, Herman filled the position of Residential Hall Director for Binnewies Hall. Then in March, he worked part-time between ResLife and admissions. Once the semester ended, he moved fully to admissions, where he’s now the multicultural recruitment coordinator.


Paige Cain- Coordinator of American Indian Student Recruitment

Cain, 22, is the new American Indian Student Recruitment coordinator, a role that Herman interviewed and hired her for. She graduated May 2022 and triple majored in American Indian and Indigenous studies, history and geography. 

]Cain is one of the youngest people in the admission staff. She serves as the coordinator of American Indian student recruitment and continues to work in admissions. 

Going into her position, she mentions that her strengths help her become a hard worker so that she can go beyond to help students whenever they have challenges placed in front of them.

She does mention that speaking and talking in front of people is kind of nerve wracking because it’s not something she’s good at, but she is gaining confidence over time with presentations.

Cain is a tribal descendant of the

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. They are members of the Mdewakantonwan people, one of the sub-tribes of the Isanti Dakota, originally from central Minnesota.

She mentioned that it was difficult to find a topic to study while at SDSU. She wanted to pursue her studies based on the things she loves: history, world wars, geography and her own American Indian culture. Therefore she decided to triple major. 

She’s now graduated college with a bachelors of Arts in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. She also has a double bachelor’s of science in history and geography. 

She plans on continuing her degree here at SDSU, but the programs American Indian and Indigenous studies and lakota language are currently  unavailable. So it’ll be later down the road that she plans on obtaining her masters degree.

Cain mentioned that she looks up to Morgan Catlett-Ausborn, a former advisor in the AISC, who Cain said always pushed her to be the best person that she could be. 

“I look up to [Catlett-Ausborn] because she spent just so much time and energy every single day to help me and all of our indigenous students here,” Cain said. 

Because her advisor provided so much guidance and support, Cain felt that she needed to give back because she got so much help when she was a student.