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Cougar Queries: "The faculty and staff are bright, talented and experienced."

Name: Jan Scharman

BYU employee since: August 1992

My job at BYU is… Student Life Vice President. The primary focus of my responsibilities is to oversee the support services intended to help students have a positive and successful experience at BYU.

I work at BYU because… of the learning and spirit, and the people are great.

When I have 30 minutes of free time, you can find me… sitting in a massage chair reading a good book.

My advice to incoming freshman is… to relax and enjoy many of the involvement opportunities we offer. I must add, of course, [to] get enough sleep and do your homework.

The best-kept BYU secret is… how broad and varied the backgrounds and experiences of our community are. As an example, visitors and colleagues from other institutions are often surprised to learn that nearly half of our students have spent some significant time living in other cultures and 63 percent speak a second language.

My favorite spot on campus is… The Museum of Art. I am amazed by the number and quality of exhibits we have been able to attract. I love the art. But just as much I love the stories behind the exhibits – of the artists, how we acquired the art, the relationships that have been developed in that process.

My most cherished memory at BYU was when… Vice President Dick Cheney came for Commencement and, at the conclusion of his visit, his staff said, “There really is something special about this place.”

The greatest attribute of the staff and faculty that I work with is... they are some of the brightest, most talented and experienced staff and faculty who can be found anywhere. At the same time, and I think this is quite unique, they are also some of the most humble and collaborative individuals I know. Their focus is on serving students and those around them, and personal ego is left behind. I see master musicians teach graduate courses during the week, who are then happy to accompany the Primary during singing time on Sundays. I know that being surrounded by these colleagues helps me to be a better me.

The title of my autobiography would be… What You Can Learn Commuting 500 Miles/Week.

I'm currently reading... Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

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