Story by Tom Doetsch, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Aquinas College
Aquinas’ very own Sara Haviland is far more than just the Reading and Study Skills Specialist.
Haviland was an AQ Saint herself. As an English and Sociology secondary education major, she took advantage of a lot of opportunities and events. She went on the Ireland study abroad trip and multiple service learning trips to Appalachia, Pine Ridge, and Oaxaca, Mexico. She was also a resident assistant in St. Joseph’s Hall and was an active student senator.
After her time here at AQ she spent some time in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), working with impoverished teens in various communities. She came back to Grand Rapids to do her graduate work in reading at Western Michigan University, while simultaneously teaching middle school. Some years later she moved on to being an adjunct professor of English at GRCC and Davenport University.
At this point she didn’t even think about coming back to AQ, until GRCC Provost Laurie Chesley recommended her to the head of the Inquiry and Expression department, Dr. Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil. When she came back, she found that the same teachers that taught her were still there, and they instantly welcomed her back with the same warmth that she had left behind.
Haviland had her first taste of the TRiO program when she worked in the Writing Center with Julie Bevins, the center’s coordinator, and other student consultants.
Today, Haviland is the Reading and Study Skills Specialist as well as being one of the Program Advisors for Student Support Services. She loves her job saying,
“I have the best job in the world. We have a very reliable and dynamic team.”
On a day-to-day basis, Haviland is teaching students how to be more effective in their studies. Students of all ages usually drop by just to say, “Hi” and catch up or for help.
Sophomore Michael Gehan said, “Sara Haviland is awesome. One of my favorite professors.”
Outside of Aquinas, Haviland lives with her husband, Chris, and their three girls in Forest Hills. Even though everyone is busy between school, work, and countless extra-curricular activities, they find time to have family game night. The Havilands enjoy a variety of board and card games. With euchre being one of their favorites, the Haviland girls participated in an Aquinas euchre tournament last year.
Sara Haviland contributes a lot to the Aquinas community, from being an active member of the Trio team to being someone to talk to when you need a friend.
About the Writer…
Tom Doetsch is a Sophomore at Aquinas with an English Major and a minor in Sociology. A couple of his favorite hobbies are biking and table tennis. He is a staff writer for The Saint and his favorite section to write for is news.