Darla Hettinga, Administrative Assistant in the Student Development office, is a familiar face to most students. She monitors chapel attendance and sends out those handy emails every Friday telling you how far behind (or ahead) you are with chapel credits. But that’s only part of what she does here at Northwestern.
Hettinga has worked here full-time since 2003. She also worked part-time at NW from 1992-93. In addition to monitoring chapel credits, she oversees the workstudy students who collect cards. Apart from chapel, her administrative position has a variety of duties.
She works alongside Residence Life, specifically in recording the Quality of Life surveys. She performs administrative tasks for housing, tracks discipline contracts and is involved in putting together the handbook and the event calendar. She also makes the ID cards and is the one to see if you need to get a new one.
Hettinga’s favorite part of working at NW is “contact with the students and building relationships.” She said, “I like to be able to help people. A big part of my job is being there to answer questions.”
She is an organizer, which carries into her non-work life as well. Recently, she has begun to organize the family photo albums. Darla and her husband Marvin have four children and eight grandchildren—and another one on the way.
Hettinga shared a hobby that she thinks “may surprise students.” Her favorite thing to do, apart from spending time with her children and grandchildren, is travel on motorcycle with her husband. They enjoy sightseeing—“riding in the open and viewing nature.”
Last year, Darla and Marvin took their longest trip yet—3,900 miles in 10 days. They traveled to Glacier National Park, on the border of Montana and Canada. “We took the scenic route through the Black Hills and Yellowstone. It was beautiful. I’ve been to those places before by car, but you see different things when you’re on a motorcycle. Everything seems closer when you’re riding in the open.” It is Marvin’s goal to travel to Alaska by motorcycle someday. To that, Hettinga said, “We’ll see.”
In her spare time, Hettinga enjoys being outside as much as she can. She loves to garden and landscape with her husband. Now that they live in town, she keeps a flower garden. When she and her family lived in the country, she kept a large vegetable garden and made all her own sauces.
Darla Hettinga’s desk is in the Student Development Office in the RSC. Next time you’re in there, or you have a question, stop by. She is always there with a smile and a full candy bowl, ready to help.