Jamie Hooyman, Northwest’s provost, came to Maryville to learn, laugh and, perhaps most importantly, live with a group of people that she calls family.
Jamie Hooyman took her position as Northwest’s first female provost about four months ago after serving as vice provost for almost a year and a half. While her role is vital to campus life, many do not know what exactly Jamie Hooyman does as provost.
“I get asked that a lot,” Jamie Hooyman said when asked for specifics on the provost position. “People know most positions like president or vice president, but most places don’t have a provost. A provost is the chief academic officer. I help guide everything that is academic related.”
Despite a somewhat short amount of time as a faculty member, she knew from the moment she arrived on campus how impactful Bearcats can be.
“When I stepped on campus and saw the atmosphere, I knew I could thrive here,” Jamie Hooyman said.
Jamie Hooyman says this confidence comes from her roots, as family and learning has always been paramount in her life. Her passion for pushing the educational envelope goes hand in hand with her family values and maintaining this love is something she shows everywhere she goes.
“I think it is important to believe in what you’re doing,” Jamie Hooyman said. “Integrity is something that is extremely important to me. Doing things for the right reasons, I could see myself doing that here. Being able to do a job, do it right, make good changes to better people. The biggest goal of any educator is to help others accomplish their goals.”
A love for learning and the care she has for her family are two aspects of Jamie Hooyman’s life noticeable just by stepping into her office. However, what lies beneath the surface is someone who has been surrounded by higher education since she was only a child.
A background immersed in schooling started while her father was the dean of North Central Missouri College (NCMC) and has continued on ever since.
“I went through undergrad pretty quickly; I graduated in under three years and moved right on to my master’s degree,” Jamie Hooyman said. “Then, I moved to Northern Illinois with a specialty in exercise science. After I graduated there, moved to Amarillo, Texas, to work with High Plains Baptist Hospital to do all of their fitness testing, cardiac testing and other clinical work.”
After moving to Texas, Jamie Hooyman traveled back to Kansas City where she would shortly after meet her husband, Gary Hooyman. Eventually, she found her way back to education in the University of Central Oklahoma as a faculty member.
Soon the Hooyman family started to grow with the couple now having three girls. With an interest in bringing their children up around a family environment, the Hooymans made the trek back to Missouri with Jamie Hooyman picking up a position as associate dean at NCMC, where her father had previously worked as dean only 25 years earlier.
Jamie Hooyman was practically born for education, as she only took short breaks away from learning or teaching. She worked her way up until she was approached with the opportunity to be a Bearcat.
Jamie Hooyman says her respect for Northwest and the school’s passion to achieve student success is ultimately what drove her interest in the University.
“I have been very blessed throughout my whole career to work in places where the people are great,” Jamie Hooyman said. “That is something that Northwest exuberates. The people are here for the right reasons, they are doing things for the betterment of the students.”
Gary Hooyman, a captain for Southwest Airlines, says he has been Jamie’s husband, companion and best friend for 25 years. Gary Hooyman says his wife’s loyalty is only matched by her integrity and ability to lead.
“One thing I know most people immediately see in her is ‘Leader,’” Gary Hooyman said. “ She has this aura, when you meet her, of competence and self-assuredness that naturally have people looking toward her for guidance and advice.”
Gary Hooyman added his wife’s skill to listen with intent is unfailing. She has been impressing him for 25 years and shows no signs of stopping thanks to the love he sees she has for Northwest.
“Most people didn’t know how young she was when she first started in the working world after her master’s,” Gary Hooyman said. “Good thing too, because she immediately started in positions of authority and responsibility that might not have been afforded to her otherwise if they looked closely at her age. Her family and close friends see her as a rock of dependability and unfailing loyalty.”
Something most would agree on is Jamie Hooyman’s joyous nature that she carries with her throughout her days.
Karen J. Dowd, the retired associate vice president and chief of staff at the University of Central Oklahoma, says this trait of happiness is one of Jamie Hooyman’s most recognizable characteristics.
“I expect that most people recognize Dr. Hooyman as a person who embraces the world in a high-energy, passionate and joyful manner,” Dowd said. “Concurrently, Jamie’s intelligence and ability to communicate are clearly evident. I suspect that upon meeting Dr. Jamie Hooyman, many people feel as if they have met a new friend.”
Dowd went on to explain how Jamie Hooyman is an example of individualism in the finest sense and that she fully expects and eagerly anticipates the day Jamie Hooyman takes the role of a president at university.
“She is genuine, brilliant, caring and highly organized,” Dowd said. “Dr. Jamie Hooyman does not play to the crowd, she attracts and serves a crowd; Jamie does not just say the ‘right things,’ she demonstrates the ‘right things’ in her actions and behaviors. Jamie does not follow the trail that has been beaten down with traffic, she blazes new trails.”
Finding anyone who can’t think of positive experiences they have had with Jamie Hooyman is next to impossible. Jamie Hooyman says her reasoning for why she emits the aura of joy that she is known for comes down to something her dad taught her at a very young age.
This lesson she learned from her father is part of what drives her to teach and inspire with every move she makes.
“My dad taught me really young that when you go someplace, your goal should not be just to contribute, but to make that place a better place,” Jamie Hooyman said. “As long as you do something in a positive manner to make things better, then you are doing good. I believe that, and it is easy to do that with our faculty and staff here because they really want to do things for the right reasons.”