By Ian Jackson
The President of Roosevelt University, Ali Malekzadeh had a retirement party for all of the faculty that are retiring this year on Jan. 31.
The faculty and staff members retiring this year are as follows: Laurie Cashman who has been the assistant provost for adult and experiential education for 20 years, Donna DeMille the assistant director of hospitality and tourism management who has been at Roosevelt 26 years, Michael Gabriel an instructional/learning librarian for 22 years, Jeff Helgeson a tutoring coordinator at the Academic Success Center for 37 years, Tom Karow, the assistant vice president of public relations for 33 years, and Laurel Tryforos, the associate registrar of systems and graduation services for 46 years.
Malekzadeh said the process to replace these hard working individuals will be a tough task to do.
“It’s a bittersweet event because we are saying goodbye to some long, long term valued employees, colleagues and friends, but at the same time they’re opening a new chapter in their lives, which is always nice to see,” Malekzadeh said. “Our faculty is so experienced that you don’t even attempt to replace them, because brand new people usually don’t have that much of experience. In almost every office we have people who have been working here for 15, 20, 30 and sometimes 40 something years so that’s wonderful.”
While these professors are opening the next chapter in retirement, Roosevelt looks toward the next chapter in hiring processes to make employees want to feel a part of Roosevelt.
“What we want to do in the next few years is to be one of the best employers where everyone like to work here at Roosevelt University, so our HR office has been looking at all of our employee benefits and so forth and overall you would have people feel at home,” Malekzadeh said.
“Michael [Gabriel] has been my officemate for the short time that I have been working in the library but I want to thank him for helping me with the transition and for also being a great resource to me and we will wish him the best of luck,” Head of Instruction and Learning Barbara Anderson said. Gabriel will be moving to Madison.
“What can’t I say about this amazing woman standing next to me? She has been like a mother and a sister to me over the years. Our relationship really blossomed that it was a true partnership it is really bittersweet for us, we’re happy for Donna [DeMille] and we are really going to miss her,” Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Carol Brown said.