“I really enjoy bringing people together who are very diverse.” –Janice Maatman
Janice Maatman, a warm professor full of knowledge and willing to share it, who prefers you call her Jan. Jan is a masters faculty specialist and director of the undergraduate nonprofit education program at Western Michigan University. She graduated with a BA from Hope College with a major in English, minor in Music, and a teaching certificate. Jan also graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Jan will be retiring in May 2017 and serves as a wonderful example that yes, you can follow your passions and have more than one career. She always desired to work in the public sector and feels it was a part of her heritage. Jan has taught 8th and 9th grade English in New Jersey, been a campus minister in Ohio, a CEO and planning director in Michigan, and will retire at WMU after 15 years with the University. No matter what role she’s in Jan always creates a personal mission for each job which helps motivate her.
Jan admires Jimmy Carter especially for his work post presidency with The Carter Foundation, his desire for diplomacy and concern for people. She also remembers a regular volunteer she met when she was CEO at Ministry with Community named Mary Bader who was a Sister of Saint Joseph. Jan admired her leadership style and always remembers a quote Mary said, “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to leave you that way.”
Jan experienced barriers early on in her career related to being a woman. However she always followed her calling and has always had the support of her husband, Vaughn. They even job shared at a time while raising their two children. Jan encourages women to advocate for their rights in the workplace and believes a woman can have a family and a career.
If you have the pleasure of working or volunteering with Jan expect lots of laughs, stories filled with practical advice, and for her to ask you technology questions. Jan is motivated by helping people understand complexities. She also desires to treat people as equals whether it be the homeless, her students, or colleagues. Jan is a truly collaborative leader who welcomes participation from those around her.
Jan plans to enroll in comparative religion classes in the near future. She feels that taking a comparative religion class can help students with conflicts and open them up to different perspectives. You may not know that Jan has lived above a choir college where she recalls being woken up by music at 3am. Another fun fact about Jan is that her first real job was at a fluoride treatment center. Sixteen year old Jan encouraged the workers to get their jobs done in a timelier manner so they could leave early and go to the beach.
Post retirement you may find Jan at her book club, skiing, sailing, or hiking. She also can’t wait to spend more time with her granddaughters and watch them grow. If you’re lucky Jan may make you a strawberry rhubarb pie or offer you sweet tea on her deck. If you’re looking to get Jan a retirement gift, she enjoys a dry Chardonnay.
Jan encourages future leaders to:
Always… say thank you and appreciate those who work with you.
Never… drink too much at a party.
Follow… your emotions with your mind. So if something makes you feel, open your mouth and your mind will begin to articulate what you’re thinking.
(Jan especially gives this advice to women who may be introverted or afraid to speak or ask questions in a classroom or work environment.)
Connect with Jan:
To learn more about:
NLSA at WMU: http://www.nlsawmu.org/
SPAA at WMU: https://wmich.edu/spaa