June 13, 2024

Graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 2001, Heather Craft has recently returned to her alma mater to serve as Shawnee State University’s Director of Grants & Special Programs. Prior to accepting the new position, Craft spent 17 years as the Chief Deputy Auditor for Scioto County.

Heather Craft

“With the county government, the auditor is basically the fiscal agent for all county government agencies,” she said. “From the actual courts in the courthouse, to the Job & Family Services Board of Developmental Disabilities, and all the accounts payable – we always said the auditor's office was kind of the catch all.”

Stepping into her new role at SSU, Craft is grateful for how her past experience working with grants from federal and state institutions can impact the university as a whole.

“It is nice to have that background because it's prepared me for a lot of the kind of ancillary things that you deal with when you deal with grants,” she said. “I was able to establish a lot of relationships with different local government folks and people at state government agencies. That's already served me well in this new role.”

Working with grants that impact the campus community, Craft feels the importance of her role’s impact.

“What I like the most is that I feel like I get to do good things that matter,” she said. “We’re writing grants that help the students and the community. It's almost an instant payoff to see, and it is very exciting to me.”

Relying on her attention to detail and knowledge of numerous government systems and practices, Craft is looking forward to what she can bring to her new role and the university as a whole.

“This is a great opportunity to look at how we track and manage our grants, and evaluate the communication process with our department level grant directors,” she said. “Those are the ones, department by department, that actually manage the activities and the outcomes as we call them.”

As she has started reviewing current grants and looking towards upcoming university projects, Craft is taking the time to establish goals that evaluate current grant management processes, are more persistent in applying for grants that will help the university reach its strategic goals, and gain feedback from her grant directors on how to continue providing a grants process that is smooth overall from start to finish.

Embracing her new role at her alma mater, Craft is thankful for the experience and education she gained while enrolled in SSU’s C.H. Lute School of Business.

“My degree opened a lot of doors for me that I would not have otherwise had access to,” she said. “The business school is definitely a great area to get into because it translates into so many other things – you get the background and marketing, economics, business law, things like this that can help you in any field that you're in later in life. I always loved the small class sizes. You can get to know the professors here and receive guidance from them on a more personal level.”

To learn more about the C.H. Lute School of Business at Shawnee State University, visit