Heidi Roland Honored with BVU Education for Service Award

Buena Vista University recognizes Heidi Roland for her outstanding commitment to students and the BVU community.

Heidi Roland, Administrative Assistant for the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business at Buena Vista University (BVU), received a standing ovation at this year’s Employee Recognition Ceremony as she was named the recipient of the Education for Service Award, an honor presented to BVU’s top employee of the year.

In her role as Administrative Assistant, Roland is at the center of the School of Business. Whether collaborating with faculty or assisting students in connecting with advisors, she is known for her unwavering support. Every semester, students gather around Roland’s desk, seeking her encouragement and guidance, often referring to her as their “mom away from home.”

“In my role, I don’t have the responsibility to teach or challenge the students. Instead, I offer a space with no pressure, allowing me to connect with students on a different level,” Roland commented. “I see their worth, dignity, and value.”

Beyond her duties in the School of Business, Roland has served as the Staff Advisor for the past four years for the BVU student Christian action organization, Impact. This student-led group helps coordinate the weekly chapel on campus called Jesus and Me (JAM), along with bible studies and volunteer opportunities for students.

“Being the Staff Advisor for Impact was especially rewarding this year due to the enthusiasm and growth we’ve experienced,” said Roland. “More people are finding their place at BVU, and it’s great to help provide opportunities for connection.”

Roland credits her faith for guiding her journey. “I want to thank the Lord, the ultimate servant leader. My beliefs about value, dignity, and beauty in each individual all point to Him,” she shared. Roland’s commitment to her faith is echoed in her family, with her husband, James, serving as the pastor at Hope Church in Storm Lake.

Expressing her gratitude, Roland said, “I am grateful to the University, my boss Dr. Lisa Best, the faculty and staff I work with, and my family. Being nominated and receiving this award is incredibly sweet and meaningful.”

When Roland went up to receive the award, her eyes filled with tears upon seeing her family present. “I feel so honored to be chosen, and it was such a fun surprise,” said Roland. “Everyone else on the list deserved it. There are so many people at BVU who dedicate themselves to caring for students. I am so impressed with BVU and grateful to be here.”

Roland is looking forward to the opportunities this recognition provides. In the coming year, she plans to use the professional development stipend to grow both personally and professionally.
The Education for Service Award was established by former Vice President for Enrollment Services, John Klockentager, and his wife, Connie. The recipient receives a framed certificate, a professional development stipend, and a crystal award inscribed with the Education for Service seal.