When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Judy Jewison smiles. “I love convocation. It’s like seeing the end result after so much hard work. I enjoy the students, especially international students who have such barriers. It’s magnificent to see them walk across the stage. I shake each graduate’s hand side-stage as they go by and address each by their first name,” she said.
Ms. Jewison has been involved in this “end result” since 1984 when she began working in the Registrar’s Office as Margaret Pynn’s secretary. She learned all about convocation, from administrative beginnings to final ceremonies and all phases in between. She works with the Registrar’s Office, Distance Education, Marketing and Communications, Computing and Communications, Printing Services, the Arts and Culture Centre and many others to successfully graduate about 3,000 students annually.
Ms. Jewison missed two convocations over the years, when she delivered her two children. Another year, her finger was badly broken, requiring surgery, but she still came to Memorial to celebrate the students’ convocation. She cites the dedication and knowledge of many mentors along the way.
“Maire O’Dea, who has retired, was deputy registrar. She provided such guidance and was a real ‘calming of the water’ for all who worked with her. Margaret Pynn, who is also retired, was the assistant registrar/graduation manager. She was a real team builder and leader,” recollects Ms. Jewison.
In 1998, a module of Banner technology significantly contributed to Memorial’s ability to help students. A Curriculum Advising Report (CAP), or a degree audit, is available to students to outline what they’ve done and what they have left to do in order to graduate. A big part of Ms. Jewison’s job is to maintain, regulate and apply CAP to benefit students. This is done with XWave and C&C support. In the future, these requests for audit reports can be made online. Currently, many services are available online (student self-serve) such as academic eligibility and applications to graduate.
“It’s the phone I like least about my job,” said Ms. Jewison. After 23 years focused on graduating students from Memorial, that’s not a bad complaint. Ms. Jewison is half-way through a bachelor of arts (linguistics, French) degree and there is no doubt many will be there to shake her hand as she walks across the stage to graduate.