By Jacqueline Meldrum, Alumni Relations associate co-op student
As a bright blue food truck pulled into the Modern Languages loading dock on Monday April 4, 2022, Environment students and geese alike flocked to the path outside Environment 1 to celebrate the Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Jean Andrey.
Dean Jean and many of the attendees were especially pleased with the banana-shaped custom cookies, which read "We love you bunches Jean". Most of all though, all were excited to see each other in person again after so long.
"With this being the first term to have faculty-wide events in-person since the pandemic, it was wonderful being able to connect with peers and faculty members I haven't seen in months,” said Eloise Fan, a third-year student of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (ERS). “I also appreciated the opportunity to speak with Dean Jean on a personal level and hear her advice one last time before her retirement.”
Dean Jean also noted how special it was to connect with students one last time.
"It was because of how warm and inviting you were to potential students that really attracted me to the faculty,” said Phillips in her video message to Dean Jean.
According to Jodi Koberinski, a PhD student, Dean Jean’s steady and confident leadership has been an inspiration. “My experience here at the faculty has changed my pre-conceived notions," said Koberinski.
Many students at the event expressed how amazed they were that Dean Jean has been with the University for 33 years.
An impressive tenure to be sure, Dean Jean began her career at Waterloo as an Assistant Professor in Geography and has been a beloved member of the faculty ever since. A trailblazer and esteemed administrator, she has served on numerous important committees and won several awards for her outstanding teaching, including a 1995 Waterloo Distinguished Teaching Award and a 2012 Women of Waterloo Region (WOW) award in the education category.
Dean Jean has built a culture of inclusivity, creativity, and caring; something that students love about the faculty.
"You truly care about all of us. Just your presence and kind words made a great difference," said Navya Vikraman Nair, a PhD student of Sustainability Management in her message to Dean Jean.
Under Dean Jean’s leadership, the faculty maintained a leading role in the campus sustainability efforts. For this, Nathanael Bergbusch, president of the Environment Graduate Students Association (EGSA) at the event thanked and applauded Dean Jean for her support over the years to make the campus more sustainable.
The University of Waterloo and the Faculty of Environment will surely miss Dean Jean for her profound contributions to the campus community. We wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life.
All the heartfelt video messages for Dean Jean will be compiled and sent to her to enjoy at a later date. There will be an additional cocktail reception in June, 2022 to allow faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees to reconnect with Dean Jean. If you are in one of those groups, stay tuned for more details to come.