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Speaking of Teaching podcast: 'Change doula' Heather Klare helps students boldly try new things and be successful

April 6, 2023, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Heather Klare has enjoyed many roles in her career – even “change doula.”

Klare is an assistant professor and clinical coordinator of Grand Rapids Community College’s Radiologic Technology program. She appears on the latest episode of the “Speaking of Teaching” podcast, talking about her approach to her career and life.

“Speaking of Teaching,” in its second season, was created by the GRCC Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department, with hosts Meg Lockhard, Rachel Lutwick-Deaner and Ian Matthews.

The podcast focuses on talking with professors on a personal level, learning about their journey and expertise.

Klare is a proud “cheerleader of students” who recently helped three of her students earn seats in a prestigious program at Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Medical Imaging.

Klare shares how she wasn’t sure what we wanted to do while growing up.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, with a Computer Applications minor, from Grand Valley State University. She worked in banking after graduation. But then, like so many adult students who attend GRCC, she decided to make a career change.

Klare attended GRCC and earned an Associate of Applied Arts & Science, Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer.

After graduation she worked at Metro Health and then Mercy Health St. Mary’s as an interventional radiology technologist. The field was changing from film to digital imaging

“I knew technology was going to catch up with this particular industry. I was already doing the IT, and the customer service and doing the training,” she said.

“No matter what is handed to you, you have to be open to it, even if you don’t like it, or you don’t agree with it, you have to learn how to manage it and work with it.”

The hosts probe into Klare’s thoughts about trying new things, even joking that she is a “change doula.”

“The thought of doing the same thing for the rest of my life is intimidating to me,” Klare said. “And, it feels like I’m putting barriers in front of myself. Because if you are, like, ‘This is the only way I can do something,’ then you’d artificially put a barrier in there. When it comes to my growth or education or teaching, or just inspiring somebody else, push the edge of the box just to see what happens. Sometimes things won’t work out. But sometimes they do, and you don’t know where they’re going to go. You have to keep pushing a bit and see what you can do.”

“Speaking of Teaching” is available here, and on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast hosts.