SIOUX FALLS, SD – Lost&Found is proud to announce the hiring of Susan Kroger as its Director of Research Initiatives. Susan will lead data gathering and student mental health research strategy for all four of Lost&Found’s current partner institutions.
Susan is a familiar face to the Lost&Found team, spending the past year leading a student mental health needs assessment in partnership with South Dakota State University administration.
As Director of Research Initiatives, Susan will be responsible for designing, assessing, and implementing mental health needs assessments at the University of South Dakota, University of Sioux Falls, and Dakota Wesleyan University. At the same time, Susan will continue to provide strategic program guidance to leaders at South Dakota State University after a highly successful student survey process that reached over 1,100 SDSU students.
By applying a public health lens to the work of understand student mental health needs, Susan’s ultimate goal is to establish a Campus Health Score, as well as individual resilience metrics, that can help both students and entire campus communities better understand and address mental health conditions.
“Susan brings incredible talent and energy to this much-needed space in campus mental health,” says Executive Director Erik Muckey. “When Lost&Found understood that student outreach alone was not the only means to addressing challenges facing our campus communities, Susan stepped forward and began to create processes that has now led to our Research Initiatives programming. Susan’s brilliant research skills and entrepreneurial spirit are the perfect fit for this new part-time role, and we are excited about the tools she is co-creating with local campus communities to change the way we address student mental health conditions.”
Susan is a seasoned veteran of the Sioux Falls research and nonprofit communities. She brings 15 years of nonprofit experience to Lost&Found and has served in leadership positions in several organizations in South Dakota. She holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently completing her PhD in Rural Sociology at SDSU with an emphasis in gender and policy. Her research interests include the use of social media within social movements and barriers to social movement participation.
Outside of her academic pursuits, Susan is the co-founder of LEAD South Dakota, an organization that has helped thousands of new South Dakotans become involved in politics since its inception in 2016. Susan is also employed full-time as a research director with Sanford Research, where she consults on over 20 evaluation metrics projects as a data scientist. She enjoys helping nonprofits establish sustainable data processes and has consulted with several local organizations on development and strategic planning.
Susan currently resides in Sioux Falls with her 9 year old daughter and 8 year old son.
Lost&Found is a Sioux Falls, SD-based 501c3 organization that builds resilient communities and people with compassion, understanding, and inclusion. Through student-led resiliency programs, campus counseling research support, and capacity building efforts, Lost&Found strives to end suicide for young adults nationwide.