Ziegler Named Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

Nathan Ziegler, a staff member in the Office of International Affairs at South Dakota State University, has been named the university’s director of diversity, equity, inclusion and access following a national search. Ziegler has been serving as the director of English as a Second Language since 2013. The appointment is pending South Dakota Board of Regents’ approval.

“Nathan’s professional background and passion for SDSU will provide leadership and guidance in a very important area for our university,” said Michaela Willis, vice president for student affairs and chair of the search committee. “He showed tremendous vision for the position during the interview process. We are fortunate to have him on our team and I look forward to working with him in this role.”

During his time at SDSU, Ziegler served as the founding director of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program and was responsible for curriculum design, assessment procedures, course structure and other program offerings. He also designed and implemented the online ESL program to provide affordable and effective resources for international populations living and working in the region. The ESL program includes 13 faculty, staff, graduate assistants and undergraduate student workers under Ziegler’s leadership

Ziegler also collaborated with international affairs staff to help grow SDSU’s international student population by more than 400 students in four years. He developed programs to teach students about American culture and diversity-related themes. He also presented on the topics of diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as international student mentoring and inclusivity at the university’s fall faculty conference. This past February, Ziegler helped organize and moderate a campus town hall meeting to understand and support the perspectives of the university’s international community.

“I am excited to serve in this new role and to be able to do work I am really passionate about, serving both the university and, to a greater degree, the larger SDSU community,” Ziegler said. “University leadership has noted several times that this is a time of change and that means it is also a time of tremendous opportunity. I look forward to engaging with students, faculty, campus groups and the many key stakeholders vital to the success of the institution.”

Before SDSU, Ziegler served as a graduate assistant in educational psychology for the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the University of Toledo. He was also an ESL instructor at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio, from 2009-13.

Ziegler has international teaching experience as a curriculum and instruction consultant at the Hai’an Experimental High School in Hai’an, China. He was also a visiting professor for English and Linguistics at the University of Ulsan in Ulsan, South Korea, and an ESL instructor at the Daegu English Village in Daegu, South Korea, as part of a collaboration between Yeungjin College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Ziegler holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s in English from the University of Toledo. He completed his Ph.D. in educational psychology from Toledo in 2015.

Ziegler will begin his new role June 22.


About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing nearly 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 35 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.