When she moved to Ann Arbor in May, Heather Klein had limited opportunities to explore the area, especially during a pandemic.

She went biking to both explore the city and get active.

“I enjoyed the ease of access to so many trails as well as the ease of biking to work with the bike lanes and trails,” she said. “I’m lucky that I can bike from my apartment to Angell Hall.”

Though she has only done a fraction of the trails in the area, her favorite trails are the ones in Kensington Park for biking. She’s also enjoyed Gallup Park for scenic riverside walks, weather permitting.

When Heather Klein started her job as a coordinator of advising training and professional development at LSA’s Newnan Academic Advising Center in May, she explored the area on her bike. (Photo courtesy of Heather Klein)
When Heather Klein started her job as a coordinator of advising training and professional development at LSA’s Newnan Academic Advising Center in May, she explored the area on her bike. (Photo courtesy of Heather Klein)

“I’m still learning about different places to go, but every time I drive, I notice new places and trails that I want to try out,” she said.

While living in Canton, Ohio, she utilized the bike trail systems in her area, but with COVID-19 restrictions, biking became one of her favorite hobbies because it could easily be done solo and it gave her time to unwind outside.

Before moving, she hadn’t spent much time in Michigan, only briefly visiting Grand Haven and Holland. She hopes to explore more of the state, particularly northern Michigan.

“I’d definitely like to explore the numerous parks around Sleeping Bear Dunes, Lake Leelanau and Mackinac Island,” she said. “I’m still learning and accepting suggestions of parks and places to explore. I’ve heard Belle Isle around Detroit is somewhere I should visit.”

She received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa where she studied communication disorders, speech pathology and audiology, and then community mental health counseling.

Because of a physical education requirement during her undergraduate studies, Klein became an avid dancer.

“They had various dance options as part of how you could fulfill that requirement, so I tried a country line dancing class for a semester. That was back in the day when country line dancing was a big deal,” she said. “But my favorites were a swing dance class, and then they had an entry level ballroom class. I got some of the basic steps of the ballroom stuff, so it was just really fun.”

Despite enjoying it, she has not had many occasions to continue her love of dancing since graduating.

“It has stagnated, unfortunately, but I have heard that Ann Arbor has a good dance scene,” she said. “I wouldn’t know yet, but I’m excited to hopefully scope that out if that returns after COVID.”

After receiving her master’s degree from Northern Iowa in 2002, she worked as a hall and complex director at Kansas State and Case Western universities. She then transitioned to academic advising at Kent State University, where she worked for about 13 years before working at Ohio State University at Newark for a year and a half.

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Klein joined LSA’s Newnan Academic Advising Center in May as a coordinator of advising training and professional development.

She was drawn to the position because it allowed her to work closely with students as well as plan and implement professional development for the Newnan staff.

“Ever since grad school, I’ve always had an interest in training and development types of work as well as organizational learning,” she said. “So, this position really was kind of the perfect blend of my prior experience in higher education and my understanding of how higher ed works, along with my love of training and development.”

Klein appreciates how her position allows her to connect with others and help them find solutions in their academic, professional and personal lives.

“My favorite part of my job is collaboration, because I really love brainstorming and getting to know people and seeing how I can help them in some way either meet a goal or be more efficient or decrease stress of their job,” she said.

“So the natural ability and the need for this role to really collaborate across so many partners and natural tendencies, to have conversations and learn about people and then try to help figure out how we can help them is really great.”

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