The Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences (KHS) commemorated the retirement of four exceptional long-time staff members last week: Laurie Jones, Jing Ouyang, Janet Coulter and Denise Hay. Together, they have worked at the University for more than 130 years, with 110 of them in KHS!
Laurie Jones started as a student in 1976 and became staff in 1980, retiring in 2021. She taught and supported many classes and labs and mentored faculty and graduate student in both the biochemistry and physiology academic and research labs. She was a skilled lab instructor, dedicated to ensuring students received the best possible academic experience and understood the material. As one of her former colleagues noted, she provided such excellent student support that a line of students outside Laurie’s office was the norm.
Jing Ouyang retired in 2021 after almost 23 years in the Department. She had been trained as a medical doctor in China, and while in the Department, supported the research programs of many faculty, especially in the Physiology and Nutrition group – including that of the current chair, Russ Tupling, as he was starting out as a student and young researcher. She was also well-known for having a gentle touch with blood and muscle sampling and for being a stickler for high-quality work in the biochemistry lab.
Janet Coulter retired this past January after more than 36 years in the Department, most recently as undergraduate program manager. A humorous “Top 5 list of things no one has ever said of Janet” included: Janet’s voice gets on my nerves (no. 5), Does Janet ever stop complaining? (no. 4), and Janet gave me the wrong advice again! (no. 3). Instead, her friendly and welcoming disposition, coupled with clear advice, made her an invaluable advisor and program manager.
Denise Hay is the most recent retiree, having worked for more than 30 years at the University until this July, most recently as graduate studies and department coordinator. For this event, Professor Bill McIlroy prepared an ‘academic paper’ titled “Denise Hay is Awesome! An Annotated Review.” Using longitudinal observational case-report methodology, the findings showed that, among other things, Denise’s support and concern for graduate students and faculty members were greatly appreciated: Her office would be filled with gifts from students and staff just before the December holidays. She was also praised for her patience and ability to revive plants.
All four staff members will be greatly missed, but the Department thanks them for their loyal service and wishes them well in their retirement.