Dean Jean, as she is affectionately known, began contributing to the Faculty of Environment in 1983 while pursuing a PhD in geography. Growing up she never imagined herself as an academic. But, despite these (very) early doubts, her impact on academia was bigger than she could have imagined.
Dean Jean’s research interests include determining the implications of climate change for transportation infrastructure and operations, as well as hazards and risk assessment. Her research has been a significant contribution to the field with over 4,000 citations. She received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service/Leadership to the Canadian Association of Geographers in 2016.
More than just a researcher, she was also well-known around campus as Professor Andrey, a highly regarded teacher and mentor. In 1995 Dean Jean was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award, and she gained the respect of her students thanks to the mix of learning methods used in her courses, as well as her energy, enthusiasm, and humour.
“The greatest impact her teaching has had on me is that I will look a little deeper in whatever I am doing to get a more conclusive answer/solution," says alumnus Brian D., (BES. ’95) “She is a role model that all of us will strive to be like in our future work.”
Not only is Dean Jean an academic mentor but she is an inspiration to women and girls everywhere. As a daughter to a mother who had to stop school at age 12 just because she is a female, Dean Jean never let this put a stop to her dreams. In 2012, she won the Women of Waterloo Region Award. In a nomination letter, Marilyne Jollineau, professor of Geography at Brock University called her the most outstanding and most influential teacher she ever had.
Under Dean Jean's leadership, the Faculty of Environment emerged as a national hub for climate action, sustainability solutions, flood adaptation and powerhouse of environmental research. The Faculty witnessed a doubling of Canada Research Chairs, a 40 per cent increase in research funding, and 25 per cent increase in graduate student enrolment.
“I know that this is the last time that publicly I get to tell you what a thrill and honour it has been to be a UW professor for 33 and a dean for eight years,” says Dean Jean. “And not just any Dean – but the Dean of the Faculty of Environment! As you know, I have engaged with both my head and heart, and I am so proud of the Faculty.”
As a final goodbye, and to solidify Dean Jean as a part of the Faculty of Environment forever, a scholarship has been made in her honour — the Jean Andrey Environment Leadership Scholarship.
It’s been said the sign of a leader is that people feel more hopeful after working with this individual than they were before. Dean Jean is leaving the Faculty of Environment with an abundance of hope for the future. We congratulate and wish her good luck in the next chapters of her life.
You can watch the special tribute to Professor Jean Andrey.