Dr. Angelyn Hayes recently retired from her 27 years at Clayton State University after starting as an instructor and building her way up to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Through her guidance for students and departments alike, Hayes has gained a greater perspective on what it means to help students become successful at Clayton State.
Hayes, an Atlanta native, began her Clayton State experience by first helping individual students in her classes discover opportunities on campus and from this Hayes ultimately discovered her own career. While her underlying priority was always to serve students, she enjoyed viewing the bigger picture of Clayton State by supervising or assisting the various departments that comprise the Division of Student Affairs..
During her previous years in the Office of Career Services, Hayes worked with students in experiential learning through workshops and individual meetings on internship and career goals. Hayes’ first step is to identity the students’ passion, and from there, “we have to have focus on what matters and give action to that focus.”
“Success is individualized,” Hayes adds, commenting that her main personal value is inclusiveness and how Clayton State shares this vision of giving every diverse student a voice no matter the age, gender, race, nationality, etc. Success for Hayes is contributing to the success of students and departments at Clayton State.
“To me, Clayton State means colleagues who have become friends, a huge chapter in my life, opportunity, and honoring my parents and grandparents for the value of education they have instilled in me,” Hayes says.
Although she retired with an administrative title, Hayes defines herself as an educator. Her greatest satisfaction is to see students gain an understanding or insight that indicates learning has occurred.
Hayes not only helped to hone students’ educational and career focuses, but she was also always certain to teach students how to perform a professional handshake. “Firm, connected, one up, one down,” Hayes says, noting how she is avid to give even the smallest details to add to students’ opportunities for success.
Hayes’ most meaningful moment at Clayton State is to have the honor of leading students into graduation, a task she has performed many times over the years.
“They are taking a step to a new chapter of their dreams,” she says.
Hayes led the students one last time in May 2015, before she retired to play with her grandchildren, take care of her mother, volunteer in her hometown, and write.