Although her warm welcome will be missed by all who walked through the doors of the Welland Campus’ International Office, NC International would like to congratulate Sue Gerow on her retirement. After 28 years of service at NC, her last day was on July 10.
“Sue has cheerfully supported our entire department through exponential growth in the last 5 years,” shared manager of International Student Services, Shawna Luey. “With such growth comes challenges and I am very grateful to Sue for her positive outlook and knowledge sharing, particularly with our Student Assistant crew. All the very best in a well-deserved retirement!”
Before joining NC in 1991, Gerow was working at the St. Catharines Hotel Dieu hospital as a supervisor for a data entry system, transferring their records from index cards to a computer. As her position was temporary, one of Gerow’s co-workers shared a Niagara College job posting with her. Gerow ended up applying for this position and began her NC story at the Welland Campus as a Clerk C in NC’s Continuing Education (CE) Department.
Providing customer service and micro labs support for the CE Department, Gerow helped respond to student inquiries in addition to other office assistant work. After four years in the positon, Gerow transitioned into the role of technical support liaison. She helped anyone in the department having computer issues in an era of floppy disk drives.
“Also, my responsibility was taking care of computer labs at Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake Campuses,” shared Gerow. “I would install software and fix any problems with the computers. Four years later I produced the Continuing Education website and their course booklet including night course offerings, in addition to helping those with computer problems.”
One of Gerow’s proudest moments at Niagara College was when she was working in CE and transitioned the department from the Vax system to Peoplesoft. She shared that nothing was setup in PeopleSoft for her department. “Right from the start working with Maria from the IT department we looked at each process to put in place processes of how we could work around what needed to be done with our jobs,” said Gerow. “I continued this process working closely with IT, Financial, Marketing, Registrar’s office and Continuing Education staff to change processes, create the Continuing Education course booklet, create and maintain the information on the website for Continuing Education, create manuals and train staff members on the new processes.”
After 12 years in technical support liaison role in CE, she joined Liberal Arts and Science at the NOTL campus. Gerow worked as the program secretary and then moved to the role of administrative assistant for Liberal Arts and Science. She then moved to The English/Math department which is part of the Liberal Arts and Science department as an administrative assistant before her last move to the International Department in 2012.
The environment and global partners of NC’s International Division were familiar to Gerow as her ex-husband had started an international business in 1990, allowing her to gain experience working internationally.
One of her most memorable moments working at NC was helping onstage for Niagara Day and the Awards of Excellence. “I was the Vanna White of the College,” Gerow shared. “I did this for twelve years with nine years of being Vanna; Sean Coote was my partner.”
Helping so many students from around the world, Gerow hopes she made a positive impact to better their experience in Canada. “I also continue to keep in touch with previous students and international student assistants,” she said.
After her retirement, she is planning to contribute to charities and help people be healthy, financially stable and to travel the world with friends and partners. Building her business with Max International is a large component of her future retirement plans. “Our company has the only glutathione by pill that will get into your cell and being the most powerful antioxidants out there, glutathione is needed in every cell of your body,” explained Gerow. “There are 74 diseases that are known related to low glutathione. Published articles on pubmed.org range to 145,000 which is twice as many studies than vitamin C.”
Two days after retiring from NC, Gerow will travel to Montreal and in September, she going to the Dominican Republic for her company’s convention. She also has plans to travel to Nigeria in October and Ecuador in February.
“Working in International has made me a better-rounded person and I have learned many things about the countries that the students have come from,” Gerow imparted. “I will miss the great staff members and students I have met during my time at NC. I am very grateful to have worked at Niagara College.”