Heather Soleim and Sarah Jegela. The spunky pair is well-known on campus for their wit and wisdom. Like peanut butter and jelly or chicken tortilla soup and grilled cheese, when you think of one, the other immediately springs to mind. While it’s nearly guaranteed a meeting with them will garner a chuckle or two, what you may not know is the registrar and associate registrar have a rich history spanning 15 years, two universities, countless conferences and laughs to last a lifetime.
Do you remember your first interaction? What was your first impression of the other?
Heather Soleim (HS): My first impression was that you were very competent and seemed really smart. Sarah probably thought I was loud.
Sarah Jegela (SJ): I actually was going to say she had a very outgoing personality. She was funny! I just knew we would click because we have very similar senses of humor and personalities.
How do you work together to get things done?
HS: I just tell Sarah what to do.
SJ: Yes. Heather always says I’m the brains behind the operation, but —
HS: Yeah! Sarah’s great at making things happen.
SJ: And Heather’s good at brainstorming ideas and looking at the big picture. I’m more of the detail-oriented person; putting it into action.
Would you want to swap places for a day?
SJ: Absolutely not. I do not want to be the registrar. She goes to way too many meetings and I like to just do my work.
HS: And I would probably do it more than she would. But she does all the DARS programming and that makes my head hurt. So, no.
SJ: I actually wouldn’t mind doing it for a day just so I could say I was in charge.
HS: And I wouldn’t mind doing it for a day so I could just sit in my office for the day and not have to go to all the meetings!
What’s one thing most people don’t know about the two of you?
SJ: I think a lot of people think we’re always joking and laughing, but we do have a serious side, too.
HS: Yeah, we do. I think we can both be actually really serious. And we both care a lot about people and things, and I think sometimes people don’t realize that. In a funny sense, I bet you don’t realize that in another life we could be restaurant critics and we think having a reality show as restaurant critics together would be really, really funny.
SJ: We’ve also talked about writing a book about the funny side of working in higher education.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done together?
HS: We almost died in a plane crash.
SJ: That’s right! Yes. Coming back from a conference, we were flying in a storm.
HS: We were in a horrible storm and the engine actually went out on the plane. Then it started again and we seriously thought we were going to go down. That’s probably the craziest.
What’s the best part about working together?
SJ: We have very similar personalities and we mesh well together.
HS: Yep. We have the same, very sarcastic, sense of humor, and we find that amusing in each other.
The next time you see this duo, be it via Zoom or from across the campus mall, be sure to give them a wave and ask the aspiring restaurant critics for a takeout recommendation.
Do you know a duo on campus who would make a great feature? Send their names to firstname.lastname@example.org.