Today marks the end of an era in the dean’s office as we bid happy trails to a College of Medicine stalwart: Kathy Kalyn.
And if we were able to sum up the overall impression Kathy’s presence in the College of Medicine has had, it would boil down to: humour, capable, helpful, generous, and cheerful. Or at least those are the sentiments her co-workers associate with my hard-working, and perpetually friendly assistant.
As a farewell, we wanted to show Kathy how much she’s been appreciated over the years, and how sorely we’ll all miss her. So here is a small sampling…
Susan Fillo, Administrative Assistant, Council of Health Science Deans
“I support the Council of Health Science Deans which involves really all the Deans in the health science college. I always needed Kathy’s assistance to help set up the meetings – she had so much knowledge. It was so much fun working with such a generous lady with such a wicked sense of humour.
She’s such a generous person, and has the patience of Job. I understand that her job is so intense with requests coming left-right-and-centre but her utter patience was awesome.”
Doreen Stumborg, Administrative Coordinator, Research Groups
“I am very happy for Kathy. She’s worked a long time on this campus, but I’m really sad for us because she’s a great presence, a great friend. She has history and the experience, not only with this college, but with this campus – she will be sadly missed.
If I was to say anything to Kathy, I’d say it’s been such a pleasure to work in the same office as you, I’ve treasured our times together, and especially the knitting times, I will definitely miss our conversations. I know she will absolutely love retirement and she’ll be able to do all those things she wished she had the time to do now.
So I’m happy for her, and I’m sad for us.”
William Albritton, former Dean of Medicine
“When I joined they were having difficulties finding secretaries for that position, so I told them I would find my own secretary. I figured the secretary of the department of surgery would be able to handle the kinds of issues that were present – she was a little tentative about it at first, but I think she grew to like it.
Kathy can handle problem people with great grace and style, I’ve never seen anybody who was that good – she never got worked up or upset.
She kept me sane – I don’t know what I would have done without her. From what I’ve seen in those ten years there was no one else quite like her.”
Brenda Engel, Executive Assistant, Department of Surgery
“I have known Kathy for 14 years, and to me she is the most popular person in the College of Medicine and Department of Surgery. I’ve never heard one bad thing of her, she’s just so genuine, helpful, nice, and so happy all the time – the most positive person I’ve ever met.
I obviously wish her well, I know she’ll love being at home with her granddaughter, and I hope for all good things for her.”
As for myself, my first reaction to hearing that Kathy intended to retire was “Oh no, you can’t!”
But she’s at that point where she has every right to retire, and she has a growing family that she wants to spend time with, so I’m happy that she’s getting the opportunity to focus on what she loves.
But that doesn’t mean that she won’t be missed in this office.
Her wisdom has been an invaluable resource since I became dean in June. Kathy really does know everybody and everything, and she knows how to get things done around here – which is no easy feat! A favour asked by Kathy will always be answered with a ‘yes’, because she’s the kind of person who’s unquestionably respected.
So Kathy, thank you for being here – you made my transition to the dean’s office so much easier. And on behalf of myself and all your co-workers, past and present, we’d like to offer our best wishes for your retirement.
We’ll miss you!