Jeanette Nugent is retiring from the University of Waterloo, after a career spanning more than four decades. As the Associate Director, Admissions, a colleague and friend, Jeanette will be missed by members of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) as well as the campus community. Below, Jeanette reflects on her career at Waterloo.
After 41 wonderful years at the University of Waterloo, I am retiring, with my last day in the office set for March 31. The word bittersweet comes to mind!
I have truly enjoyed working at Waterloo - waking up and coming to work each day was a pleasure.
I am thankful for all the great opportunities over the years – I especially enjoyed meeting hundreds of students during my international recruitment travels to Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey and Venezuela.
I’ve always really loved graduate admissions, especially investigating non-standard admissions.
So many business processes have changed over the years, from manually opening thousands of application packages and manually entering them, to being the first Ontario graduate program to process applications through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) to our own Slate in-house online application system last year. Back in the day, we manually typed those Offers of Admission, with five pages of carbon paper for distribution of copies. You didn’t want to make a mistake!
I am most thankful for meeting and working with so many awesome colleagues over the years that have become friends! First in “Correspondence” (now Centre for Extended Learning) to all of the fantastic staff in GSO/GSPA, especially the “Awesome Admissions A-Team” along with the Awards, Comms, Postdoc, Records, Systems and Leadership teams – I will miss you! The same goes for working with the Faculty Admins, Graduate Co-ordinators, Officers and Associate Deans – it has been a slice and I will miss working together.
In retirement I am looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, spoiling my nieces and nephews (even more), getting that hole-in-one on the links, playing pickleball and with our new puppy, and travelling the world when things are better.
While I look forward to enjoying my free time, I will miss you and this place!
Tributes from GSPA colleagues
"When I first came to GSPA, I didn’t know enough about our processes. When I got questions from outside the office, my first reaction quickly became to ask Jeanette – she knew EVERYTHING. I don’t know how I would have survived those early days without her.
In all my time at GSPA, Jeanette has been an invaluable colleague. Whenever there was anything that was complicated, or that required tact and diplomacy, I knew that Jeanette and her team would handle it with great sophistication and see whatever the issue was to completion. And, she took on these responsibilities (in addition to her every day work) with an eagerness to support our office, her colleagues, and most importantly our students (and applicants).
Jeanette has been a treasure for GSPA and the University of Waterloo. Her 41 years here have been filled with accomplishments, all fueled not just by a can-do attitude, but by a personal warmth and kindness that made others eager to work with her.
We’ll miss Jeanette – our admissions leader – and “Aunt Nettie” – our friend and colleague who made GSPA a better place."
Jeff Casello, Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA)
"I have had the pleasure of working with Jeanette in various roles outside of the GSPA since 2007. In 2010 I came to work with her directly as part of the admissions team and after almost 12 years together, I honestly cannot imagine our team or the GSPA without her in it. Jeanette is one of the most positive people I have ever met, giving her time and energy to those around her. One of my favourite memories is a question she asked on during our initial and subsequent interviews – how lucky are you? I’m pretty sure it was that questions, along with my ability to average a transcript that got me my first job with GSPA. Jeanette, you have been an amazing boss, mentor and friend and you will be deeply missed. I wish you nothing but the best as you head off to plan the upcoming golf season with Gerry."
Julie MacMillan, Graduate Recruitment and Admission Transition Project (GRATP) Implementation Manager, GSPA
"I regret not having more time to work alongside Jeanette. From the moment I arrived at GSPA, Jeanette has been a source of knowledge, and counsel for me as I navigated the transition to both GSPA and the University of Waterloo. I would characterize Jeanette as always looking forward, anticipating changes and student needs, along with trends both here at Waterloo, and across the admissions landscape. I know she is well loved by her team in admissions, but also the broader graduate studies community.
March 9 marks 41 years of service for Jeanette with the University of Waterloo. Congratulations Jeanette and much joy in your retirement!"
Marianne Simm, Director, GSPA