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‘Renaissance woman’ Jan Haynes reflects on 43-year career

Monica Chapman | Jul 29, 2017

Jan Hayes


Jan Haynes has been described as a Renaissance woman. Given her breadth of professional experience, the assertion is hard to dispute.

Over the course of four decades in the workforce, Haynes has dabbled in just as many career fields: from banking to civil engineering to realty to education. Her job titles have included cell biology technician, high school science teacher and message therapist, just to name a few.

Haynes is quick to admit that her career transitions didn’t always come about by choice. In many cases, she had to reinvent herself and her career to keep her family afloat during tough economic times. But in the end, Haynes said her broad resume of experience has been a source of strength.

“It’s my fiber. It’s made me who I am,” she said.

Prior to her retirement in June, Haynes served as an administrative coordinator in the Dean of Students Office, but her connection with Ohio University runs much deeper. In fact, Hayne’s earliest childhood memories trace back to the Athens campus, where she often enjoyed lunch on the town with her grandmother, who worked in Catering. Due in part her to her grandmother’s encouragement, Haynes became the first college graduate of her family in 1974, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Harding University.

Upon returning to the Midwest, OHIO served as a backbone of Haynes’ professional endeavors. Her first University placement came in 1988 with Diagnostic Hybrids Inc., which was then located in the Innovation Center. Over the years, she also worked in the Edison Animal Biotechnology Center, the College of Medicine, the Purchasing Department, the Health and Safety Department, and the Office of the President, where shesupported the Cutler Scholars Program. Aside from her professional duties, Haynes also served the OHIO community through participation in a multitude of committees, advisory councils and special programs.

In 2012, Jan transitioned from the Cutler Scholars Program to the Dean of Students Office—a career move that Haynes said expanded her horizons. “It was like jumping from 34 students to 24,000 students,” she said. “It’s just a whole different world over here. It’s a larger scope of support.”

Though Haynes never aspired to be an office assistant, working in the Dean of Students Office suited her nurturing personality. Providing support to students in times of crisis and watching her student assistants grow as professionals are among her fondest memories. But following 43 years in the workforce, Haynes said she is looking forward to leisure time activities: from house projects to travel to reading and golfing. She also looks forward to helping out with her new grandchild, Gwenevere Shay.

“Jan certainly embodied the culture of care that we all hope to achieve at Ohio University,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “She went out of her way to support students, even visiting ill students in the hospital. Her contributions will be missed, but we all wish her the best in her retirement!”