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Majors & Degrees

Kiana Dowdell joins DSU Foundation

August 2, 2021

Kiana Dowdell, Director of Prospect Research and Information Management.

Dakota State University welcomes Kiana Dowdell to the Foundation and Alumni Association as director of prospect research and information management.

As director of prospect research and information management, Dowdell will leverage existing data to help the development team identify and communicate with DSU’s constituents and assist DSU students, alumni, and friends in achieving their philanthropic goals. She will also facilitate overall data integrity and quality control functions at the Foundation.

Dowdell, a Sioux Falls native, earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a Master of Science Administration degree with specializations in health services administration and long-term care from the University of South Dakota (USD).

After completing her undergraduate degree, Dowdell began working at the USD Foundation. She began as an intern and ultimately held a variety of positions, including constituent engagement coordinator assistant and associate director of data management.

Her experiences at USD prepared her for the DSU position, as she came with extensive experience in project management, data integrity, utilizing databases, and mining data for prospects. She is excited to take that experience and expand it by researching beyond the databases to further improve data quality and develop process improvement strategies.

“We are thrilled to have Kiana joining our team,” said Sami Zoss, executive director of constituent services and engagement. “Her precision and intellect in data management and her experience not only in the field of higher ed philanthropy but also in the state of South Dakota made her a formidable addition. Outside of being a professional asset to the team, Kiana brings an energy that is contagious, and she inspires a great team-first mentality.”

A few goals Dowdell has for herself in her new position include creating a clean, efficient, and automated data system, learning about the wants and needs of the Trojan community, and building support for the university. Success in a year will consist of a well-organized strategy and coordinated team efforts to get there.

She’s also looking forward to engaging with the DSU community and building relationships. In addition to her time behind the computer screen, Dowdell plans to be a frequent attendee at the campus, athletic, and fundraising events.

“I want people to see me as a friendly face,” she added. She wants all DSU constituents to know “they’re not just a number in our database, that they truly mean something,” and are deeply valued by the university.

Dowdell will be commuting to Madison, S.D. from Sioux Falls, S.D. where she lives with her significant other, Tim, and two dogs, Ellie and Tripp.

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