Austin Arias

Austin Arias is a leadership expert who uses personal stories and experiences to help students have an impact on their communities, grow personally & ensure their organizations have a lasting legacy.


▪Authenticity ▪Community Building ▪First Year Experience ▪Fraternity & Sorority Life ▪Leadership ▪Officer Training ▪Orientation ▪Organizational Development ▪Personal Growth ▪Recruitment ▪Values


▪Recruit with Purpose: Strategies for Successful Recruitment
▪The Balancing Act
▪Time to Refocus: Getting Your Community Back on Track
▪Ace Year One & Beyond




Austin creates a space where students feel they can be honest with themselves, their identities, leadership experiences and state of their organizations. He accomplishes this through integrating humor, life experiences and what he learns about the campus community he is working with. He wants to challenge with care, asking students the tough questions with the hope they can be honest with themselves. Austin hopes to provide students with tangible, strategic practices they can integrate into their daily lives that will allow for personal, professional and organizational progress.

Austin’s approach is honest, but comes from life experiences. He understands the perils of a student leader, the difficulties to learn from missteps as a person and a leader and the want to be successful. When an audience member leaves his programs, he hopes to provide them strength, the tools to allow them and their peers be successful, the motivation to care for themselves, and the confidence to be the leader they are capable of being. Austin has been fortunate to work on a variety of college campuses from private to public, from small to large.

Austin’s Bio

Austin Arias is an educator, speaker and mover + shaker. Austin helps college students and organizations realize their potential. His own experiences as an over-involved student leader at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg help him understand and support the passion students have to make an impact on their communities and ensure their organizations have a lasting legacy.

Austin has been fortunate to work for and travel to college campuses around the country to share ways students can maximize their leadership potential. He has advised fraternities, sororities, programming boards and philanthropy groups on how to be effective and work through difficulties no matter how big or small. He strongly believes our missteps can be opportunities for growth and will lead to success.

A brother of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Austin believes strongly in the power of the fraternal experience. He is fortunate to not only volunteer for his own organization but also for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity for Women, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.

Austin resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he serves as the Director of Student Involvement at William Peace University and spends most of his free time with his rescue dog he named after a fraternity founder and playing adult recreational kickball. He is originally from Tampa, Florida.

Austin’s Blogs

The following are past entries Austin has written for the CAMPUSPEAK Speaker’s Voice Blog


Organizational Development

Personal Growth

““Austin had great energy and was able to provide tangible content for our students while challenging their current recruitment tactics being used. He gave the community ideas on how to improve and put many things into perspective with his honest assessment of what was being promoted by the chapters. He had a great balance of information and humor while making connections with the students”

Brittany Bowles

Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at Coastal Carolina

“Austin was so incredible to work with – he made a point of catering his program to what would truly resonate with the men here at SJSU. He provided a much-needed articulation of issues, and provided a space where the fraternity men where challenged to reflect on how their recruitment tactics could progress.”

Alex Richards

San Jose State University


The Balancing Act

Being a student leader is hard work. You want to balance it all – academics, involvement and a personal life. It may seem like all three need your attention at the exact same time. You don’t want to let anyone down, including yourself. In “The Balancing Act,” we will talk about ways you can be a person first, then a student and then leader and how they all can work in harmony. You will understand how to best prioritize, keep mental health a constant theme and lead their organizations more effectively through building a team so you are not the only one working to ensure organization success.

As a student leader, Austin was all over campus and practically lived his programming board office. He spent more time there than he did the classroom or at home recharging. Austin constantly tried to challenge a balance between student and student leader but one part was missing – himself. Good mentors along the way helped Austin see the need to better understand himself and how this priority can work in harmony with his roles and student and leader. It was okay to leave the office and focus on something else, especially the reason we all go to college in the first place. He learned how to develop a team so there was a collaborative force to organizational success. Now as an everyday educator, Austin has turned this vital lesson into a successful advising with a variety of student organizations to help student be holistic individuals

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to recognize the common practices of student leaders that prevent growth and development,
  • the importance of person-first behaviors in our daily lives and the need to keep mental health at the forefront,
  • strategies for how to integrate person-first behaviors into our daily lives, while still upholding our responsibilities as students and student leaders,
  • how to create a positive culture around student leadership,
  • how to identify individuals on campus who can help them when they are struggling, and
  • how to be confident and how to lead with purpose in all facets of their lives
Recruit with Purpose: Strategies for Successful Recruitment

Recruitment – we need it to ensure our organization can survive but you are struggling. Your numbers may be down or you may feel you do not gain quality members through your formal or informal processes. Are you recruiting with purpose? Let’s assess what you are currently doing, reframing each action into become a best practice. It is time to get beyond the same rotation of events and instead, build events that integrate our values. What is the image of your chapter and how do we market ourselves to find the best men? Do you understand the power of the referral? It’s all about the building a STRATEGY your current members can use to find quality individuals on your campus who are ready for brotherhood.
*This program can be customized for a more general fraternity and sorority audience.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to understand the importance of purposeful recruitment to progress the fraternal movement and the community,
  • how to assess the community’s current recruitment practices from the community and chapter levels,
  • the strategies for success including diversifying events, building a brand identity, conversation tips and network creation,
  • the importance of a community-wide commitment to better recruitment,
  • the ways to improve conversation with potential new members, build rapport quickly and think on their feet, and
  • how to welcome these new members into the group, living up to how you recruited them and the promises made.
Time to Refocus: Getting Your Community Back on Track

Frills, competition and matching shirts – those are the only things your fraternity and sorority community cares about. Well, it’s time to get back on track and that starts with you. Let’s go back to the basics and remember we were founded to be better men and better women, where things like the best bid day theme, the right Tervis tumbler or being intramural champs did not matter.

Through an honest dialogue, Time to Refocus encourages all members to take accountability for the legacy of not only their chapter but their campus community and greater organization. It is everyone’s responsibility to advance the fraternal movement.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to identify the current issues plaguing the fraternal movement and how they may manifest in their own community,
  • how to honestly diagnose the key issues and areas for growth in their chapter or community,
  • the communication techniques for working with members and stakeholders to gain buy-in, how to repair relationships and work to build stronger cross-council accountability, and
  • how to have the confidence to tackle issues from an intentional and positive place through solutions rooted values-based action.
Ace Year One & Beyond

​The first year of college can be filled with a lot of feelings – excitement, fear, worry, stress. You want to “fit in,” make friends and find your niche. College can be the best four years of your life but only if you take the right steps from the start. Through sharing his own difficult turned rewarding college journey and stories from his everyday work, Austin encourages new students to embrace their new adventure. Students will walk away with a toolbox of steps they can immediately use to set themselves up for success in year one, continue to hone and apply throughout their college journey continues.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to cope with the anxiety and stress of starting college,
  • tips on how to balance academic expectations, social life demands while still maintaining positive mental health,
  • the importance of getting involved in the full collegiate experience, utilizing campus resources and speaking up, and
  • the social skills and communication tips for meeting new people, understanding different backgrounds and building meaningful relationships