Joan Reid is retiring from Michigan State University after 32 years, having served in three other campus roles before becoming the Academic Program Coordinator for the Department of Anthropology in 2015.
Reid plays an invaluable role in helping Anthropology graduate students matriculate through the program, assisting them from their prospective student visits all the way until graduation. In her role as Academic Program Coordinator, Reid keeps graduate students informed of important deadlines and program requirements, assists with paperwork and department procedures, compiles reports, maintains academic and personnel files for graduate students, and provides key support to the department chair, graduate program director, and faculty members. Further, Reid can always be found advocating for students and attending department and GSA events and fundraisers. When asked about what she enjoys about her job, Reid stated: “Working with graduate students has been the most rewarding aspect of my entire career. I am very grateful for the appreciation and respect shown by graduate students when they thank me for my help throughout their program matriculation. The feeling of accomplishment that I played a small role in helping students succeed through a very rigorous Ph.D. program and I am so happy when they graduate!”
Reid’s impact on student success is echoed by students across the department, with students praising her dedication to their success, her helpful and supportive attitude, and her quick email responses to last minute questions. Cara Jacob, a fourth year socio-cultural Ph.D. candidate was effusive about her working relationship with Reid, saying: “We have been so lucky to have her- for all the reasons people know and for the ones they don’t. It truly won’t be the same without her.” Jacob recalls how helpful Reid was in navigating the GradPlan process, among many other ways she received above and beyond assistance from Reid during her time in the program. Micayla Spiros, also a fourth year Ph.D. candidate, said that it is difficult to put into words how integral Reid has been during her graduate experience, and that she has felt welcomed and supported by Reid since her first visit as a prospective student. She says of Reid: “The diligence, knowledge, communication skills, and innovation that Joan provides for the Anthropology department is unparalleled”, and also states that the department will not be the same without her. Emma Zblewski, a second year Ph.D./M.D. student, says Joan has been instrumental in helping her navigate her dual degree program, and that she “helps us balance our priorities and stay up-to-date with department happenings during our med school years.”
Dr. Todd Fenton, Department of Anthropology Chair and Professor, says: “It’s difficult, if not impossible to list all the achievements, support, and dedicated service Joan has provided MSU and the Department of Anthropology. For over 30 years, Joan had dedicated her career to Michigan State University. Having joined the Department of Anthropology in spring of 2015, she has provided exceptional support to our graduate students. We’re beyond grateful for Joan’s effort and the joy she’s brought to our department for the last 7 years. We will really miss her.”
When asked about her retirement plans, Reid says she looks forward to sleeping in, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and celebrating her 39th wedding anniversary with her husband, Tom, in June. Joan will be missed by students and faculty alike, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.05.19.22