Featured Grad: Haylee Heits '21
Hometown: Rulo, Nebraska
Major: Health and Human Performance, Emphasis in Exercise Science
Organizations involved in at Doane: Women’s Basketball, Athletic Training Club, SALT, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Catholic Newman Club, HMOC
First off — congratulations on reaching graduation! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?
I would be lying if I said I was nervous or anxious, because Doane has fully prepared me to take on anything in my next phase of life. I know that the skills and knowledge I have gained here will help me excel further!
What’s your next step after graduation?
I will be starting school in June at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa to get my Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree.
How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
As I said before, Doane has given me all of the necessary skills and knowledge I will need to excel in the future. I not only gained the skills and knowledge from the classroom, but also through the various organizations I was a member of and from the many amazing mentors I gained during my 4 years here.
What do you consider to be the best part of your Doane experience?
This is always such a tough question to answer because I had a ton of great experiences at Doane. The best part of my Doane experience would be getting the privilege to be a part of so many different organizations and each of them allowing me to have time for the others! Sometimes it is hard to balance being involved in many things, but the people at Doane made it more stress free and enjoyable.
What will you miss the most about being a Doane student?
I will miss Doane in general and being able to see the beautiful campus every day. I will also miss being able to walk down the sidewalk and see a smiling familiar face anywhere I go.
Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you?
I think I could list 15 different people for this question, but 4 people really stick out in my mind- Greg Seier, Cindy Meyer, Tracee Fairbanks, and Ryan Baumgartner.
They all have pushed and encouraged me to be the best version of myself.
Greg has been my advisor for the past 3 years and has played a huge part in my academic successes. He has always been there to help me with school work, listen to my rants, and helped prepare me for my future as a Physical Therapist.
I have worked for Cindy for the past 3 years as her teaching assistant and she has always given me the best advice for basketball and always made sure I was doing alright. Cindy has taught me by her example that passion and hard work will lead you to success in life.
Tracee and Ryan have both been my basketball coaches at Doane. I think I have spent more time with the both of them than I have any other mentors. They both held me to a high standard and believed in me when I thought things were impossible.
What is something you’re proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
I am proud to have been awarded the Exercise Science Major of the Year for the State of Nebraska through SHAPE Nebraska.
I am also proud of myself for playing basketball all 4 years at Doane. It would have been easy to quit multiple times throughout my career, but I am glad I stuck with it and believe I am a better person because of it!
What advice would you give to incoming students?
When they say 4 years goes by fast, they are not lying! Make the most of your time at Doane- hang out with friends, get involved in activities, and have fun. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and build a relationship with your professors.
Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in 2020 and 2021 — what has helped you overcome the challenges of the past three semesters?
A positive attitude and the great support from my professors made it seemingly easy to overcome any challenges I faced during the past 3 semesters.
Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?
I am very excited to get married to my fiancé, Cole Bruns, whom I met at Doane during our freshman year and to get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy, so that I can one day open my own Physical Therapy clinic in an underserved area in Nebraska!