Farewell to Rosanne Greene

Rosanne GreeneRosanne Greene, who is retiring as the Manager of Graduate Student Services in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) at the end of June, has seen a lot of changes in her 17 years in the role.

What stands out to her the most is how much FIMS has grown over time, adding programs and accepting more students. When she stepped into what was then known as the Graduate Programs Officer role in May, 1999, the recently formed faculty had three graduate programs. Housed in Middlesex College, the degree options included a Master of Library & Information Science, PhD in Library & Information Science and Master of Arts in Journalism. Greene was responsible for supervising roughly 75 co-op students per year.

“Today we are located in North Campus Building, we have eight graduate programs,” says Greene, reeling them off one-by-one. “Two Library & Information Science programs, a Master of Media in Journalism & Communication degree, two Media Studies programs, two joint Health Information Science programs with the Faculty of Health Sciences, and a joint Popular Music & Culture program with the Faculty of Music. And I supervise about 115 – 120 co-op students per year.”

Such an expansion in size and scope might have been daunting, but Greene credits her staff and the Deans that she has worked with over the years for managing the changes smoothly.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had wonderful staff who willingly took ownership of their work which made it so much easier for me to accomplish what I needed to accomplish. I have been fully supported by the Deans and Associate Deans with whom I have worked; they gave me the freedom to lead my area as I saw fit and they were always available to provide advice and support when I requested it,” she says.

Today, the role of Manager, Graduate Student Services, is broad and diverse. Greene has provided academic counselling to students, overseen the administration of scholarships and awards, provided résumé and career counselling, and been a longtime member of program committees. But she says that the majority of her time has been dedicated to the MLIS Co-op program.

The long-running and highly successful co-op program is a major draw for students, and Greene has spent years cultivating strong relationships with employers to ensure that students get the best experience possible.

“Many of my co-op employers have become valued mentors to the students and over the course of 17 years I count many of these individuals as colleagues and friends,” she explains. “Working together we try to provide nurturing environments for the co-op students to put theory into practice and to gain the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to move into their desired professions.”

Having completed an MLIS degree herself, Greene has been able to use her own knowledge and skills to monitor and assess the variety of tasks and projects that the co-op students were undertaking during their placements. And after supervising approximately 2000 students over the course of her career, Greene says that seeing them grow as individuals has been one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

“Watching some students progress from shy, tentative individuals to confident working professionals is very rewarding and I am pleased to have been able to play a part in that transformation,” she says.

Nadine Wathen, Professor in both the Library and Information Science and Health Information Science agrees, emphasizing Greene’s key part in this process.

“Rosanne is incredibly student-oriented, and her expertise and care ensured that our students had excellent co-op experiences; I know of many who have themselves become leaders, and they come back to Western to hire more co-op students!”
Wathen adds that Greene’s steady presence was felt across FIMS’ graduate programs.

“Rosanne was always there - whether it was in program committee meetings, during review processes, or just for some friendly advice - making sure you did things the right way and keeping student needs and experiences front-and-centre.  It’s hard to imagine FIMS without her, but she created such an excellent team that I know our grad programs are in great hands.”   

With retirement beckoning, Greene has already lined up a number of activities she’s ready to dive into. She notes that what she’s most looking forward to is the luxury of time. More time to spend with her family, to become more involved with the animal rescue organization she’s been volunteering with, and to travel.

And of course, she’d also love to get around to reading the bookcase and a half worth of books that she’s been stockpiling for years, in anticipation of retirement. After all, once a librarian, always a librarian.

Greene says that she knows she will look back at her time in FIMS with fondness and appreciation.

“I have always said to students when I have been providing career counselling there is something to be said for waking up every day and being excited to go to work and enjoying what you do,” she says. “I have been extremely fortunate to have found such a career here at FIMS. I have enjoyed my time here immensely.”