Farewell Joan

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

After working at SDSU for over two decades, Joan Carey is retiring.

During her 23 years of employment at SDSU, Carey has “served as teacher and mentor, advisor and counselor, a respected professional and to some? an SDSU icon,” according to Jennifer Novotny, the director of The Union.

Carey has been the secretary of student activities since Oct. 15, 1984. In this job, she has worked closely with administration and student organizations on campus, including UPC. She has helped different student organizations as they were being formed. In her own words, she is the “support person” for student organizations.

“This is never a boring position,” she said. “It never has been.”

Carey is originally from Chippewa Falls, Wis., where she was born, raised and graduated high school. She was a surgical secretary for 10 years, ran a day care out of her house while she was raising her own children and then moved to South Dakota with her husband.

Carey has two adult sons, Patrick and Daniel. One lives in Brookings just down the street from Carey and has two children of his own, and the other lives in Australia.

Carey said that she has enjoyed her job

here at SDSU. One of her favorite things about the job is that it was a 10-month contract, meaning she got June and July off in the summer. It gave her a chance to recharge, she said.

One of the best things about her job was, “the students and people I’ve worked with,” she said. “After 23 years, [the job] just becomes a part of your life. I’ve seen lots of kids growing. I’ve seen a lot of change over the years.”

Those Carey has worked closely with over the years will miss her.

Novotny said Carey has, “weathered change and relocations, remodels and restructures,” and has done so “with willingness, with openness and without arrogance or attitude.”

“I was three years old when Joan started working in the Union,” Nick Wendell, the adviser for the University Program Council, said. “She really has been the history of the department? I have learned more from Joan in my time as a student and a professional at SDSU than from any other individual I can think of. She is a true original, and she will be missed.”

“Joan Carey’s contribution to the Union and the services it provides has been invaluable in a number of ways,” Adam Karnopp, assistant director for Student Activities and Orientation, said. “She’s been instrumental in the student organization recognition process. She’s also been a great resource on all things historical for the Office of Student Activities, providing insight on how things have been done in the past and what’s worked well and not so well. As for working with [her], I couldn’t have imagined a better working relationship.”

“Working with Joan was great,” said Bethany Wuttke, Vice President of the University Program Council. “She is a really caring person, who was always willing to help you in any way that she could. I think student organizations are really going to notice her absence.”

Carey said that after retiring, she and her husband-who will retire from his job in Sioux Falls this summer-will stick around Brookings. For about six months, she said she plans to do nothing, though she is planning a fall trip to Australia to visit her son. In the meantime, she said, she will visit friends and “do all those things people do when they retire.”

“As I said goodbye to [Carey]? I really realized that we will not be able to replace her,” Wendell said. “There will be other secretaries, but Joan Carey is an SDSU icon.”

#1.882923:1418149029.jpg:joancareyretirementweb.jpg:Flowers abound on Joan Carey’s desk as she prepares to leave her job as secretary of student activities.: