Erik Hoegemeyer | Faces of Midland Employee Edition
Teaching and Entertaining
Being in a classroom in front of students doesn’t intimidate Erik Hoegemeyer. In fact, it motivates him.
Erik has been engaging with students for three years at Midland, the first two as an adjunct and this year as an Agribusiness Program Coordinator. Speaking to a room full of people comes naturally for Erik and probably explains why he would be in public speaking if he weren’t a professor.
“I love giving speeches on geopolitical trends and providing infotainment. As an economist and an ardent student of history, many of the issues in our world have a direct connection to events that occurred centuries ago. My background and inherent nerdiness allow me to both teach and entertain, and I like to speak and engage with audiences.”
Interacting with students is what drove Erik down this career path, and teaching in a smaller environment at Midland has made that choice even more rewarding. “I attended a large university as an undergrad, and I was just a number to be processed. Here, I really enjoy how personal connections create energy, from the students to the faculty and staff. It is a breath of fresh air. I enjoy the energy on campus, and it emanates from the students and my colleagues.
“When students engage with me, there is no better feeling. It’s why I got into teaching.”
Having smaller class sizes has afforded Erik the opportunity to get to know students beyond just occupying a seat in his classroom. “I truly enjoy learning about students and where they come from. Midland has such an amazing collection of students, and everybody has a story–and learning more about their story matters to me. I consider myself a very unique individual, so I want to see everyone for who they are and what I can do to help them.”
Even through his many different vocations prior to Midland (internal auditor, accounting manager, Chief Financial Officer, and commodity broker/trader), Erik always seemed to know that teaching would eventually be his destiny. “My father retired from running Hoegemeyer Hybrids to teach PhD. level quantitative genetics at UNL and I always knew I wanted to eventually get into academics. He is a great role model and showed me it is never too late. Even during my various careers, I was always taking night classes and online classes to prepare myself for this opportunity. I’m very grateful for Midland taking a chance on me as an adjunct.”
Despite being in his comfort zone with a room full of students, Erik actually considers himself “a recluse” and prefers his time alone to be spent reading history books, often pertaining to subjects like English history, German history, or European history from 1814-1839.
His social life consists of playing cards, Ticket to Ride (board game), or Mario Kart with his kids on the weekends.
Erik appreciates the ability to work with students on a daily basis and get to know them beyond their names. He encourages students to take the same approach with their professors. “My advice to students is to meet your professor within the first week or two, and don’t do it for their benefit; do it for yours. You will subconsciously work harder and do better in the class and will be more engaged and care more. Never be indifferent toward a class; it is a recipe for disaster. If you meet and personalize the instructor, you will care more about the subject. Even Economics!
Getting to know Erik Hoegemeyer
Snack that you can’t resist: Cinnamon Bears. They are my arch enemy, and I have no discipline when it comes to eating them. If I buy a bag and tell myself I will only eat x number of bears (given their calorie content), I will soon rationalize why I gobbled the whole bag down in less than a minute.
When flipping channels, I’ll always stop to watch this: Any Napoleonic or World War I documentary or period drama. I find it so fascinating that at a time when so much great literature, art, music, and science was being facilitated, barbaric and destructive wars broke out.
What artist(s) dominates your playlist? Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, or Zach Williams
What is your ideal vacation? Aachen, Germany, walking in Charlemange’s footsteps. I enjoy studying how Germany evolved so much differently than other large European nations and much of that is due to the development of the Holy Roman Empire. I would then also hit Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Augsburg as well, for some more great Medieval and Reformation history.
What is your most used emoji? Expressionless Face 😑, to communicate annoyance. I have four kids, aged 12-17, so my wife and I trade that emoji about 10 to 15 times a day.