Interim Vice President Dr. Hegeman Shares His Story
The saying that college is “the best years of your life” is all too familiar to Dr. Jay Hegeman, who has been living the college life for almost thirty years now.
Dr. Hegeman, who was recently named Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, started his college journey as a promising student-athlete on the FSU soccer team in 1972. Soon afterwards, Hegeman found himself as the assistant coach to the team, and quickly earned a promotion to the head coach position.
“The transition certainly wasn’t easy,” said Hegeman. “It took a lot of work, but I ended up acting as a liaison between the coaches and the players because I had seen both ends of the spectrum.”
When he was asked about the changes that FSU has gone through, he said it was easy to see all the different adjustments that the people and school have underwent in the past thirty years.
“Back when I was playing soccer for the team, the coaches would make the soccer players wear sweatpants during the spring,” Hegeman said with a smirk. “As you could imagine, it would get very hot and the players would complain about feeling lightheaded, but back then the coaches were only doing what their past coaches had taught them. Nowadays we understand the dangers of doing those sorts of things to student-athletes and we have research to back it up.”
When asked about other changes that have occurred since he was a student, Hegeman was not shy about sharing stories from the past.
“When I was coaching the soccer team we had a game against WVU, and at the time, Lane did not exist. However, in Lane’s place was the big hill underneath, so vans would drive up that hill and the WVU van that came ended up bottoming out trying to get up it.”
While the years of student-athlete shenanigans are long over for Hegeman, he still uses some of the skills he learned as a student-athlete in his work as interim vice president. “Being a past student-athlete has definitely taught me how to work with different people,” said Hegeman with a beaming smile.
According to Hegeman, working with numerous types of people while making sure to maintain the focus on FSU students is something that he strives to do as the new interim vice president.
“As Interim Vice President, you are a lot more removed from the student body than you would think,” said Hegeman. “However, making sure that the focus remains on the students is something that is extremely important to the whole Student Affairs body.”
According to Hegeman, some of the top priorities that he has as the new interim vice president include changing the image of FSU to perspective students, stressing the high quality things that FSU can offer to students, and getting FSU’s name out to students all over the United States.
When asked about some of the upcoming things that FSU will be offering this year, Hegeman stuck to his priority of offering a high quality product to students. He stated “some things that students have to look forward to are electronic transcripts. Current students can ask for it, but it will really be something that could help older alumni.”
Hegeman continued by promoting a service that could truly benefit FSU students in any year. “Currently, we are working on an academic advising web-based way of picking your school schedule,” said Hegeman, visibly proud of the service.
“Basically this means that the service will allow students to choose the classes that they want and then have those classes sorted out in a bunch of different ways, and the student can decide which schedule they want all without the hassle of having to make their own schedule a million times.”
Hegeman tried this web based academic advisor with students over the summer, and they seemed to love it. “My goal as interim vice president is to continue to come up with creative ways to make student life a little bit easier,” Hegeman said.
“Students are expecting a lot of things, and it is our job as a faculty to meet those expectations as closely as we can.” With all the new leadership from people like Hegeman, hopefully FSU continues to evolve in a positive direction with the current faculty around it.