Dr. Lan Gien became the School of Nursing's (SON) first professor emeritus at fall convocation last Friday evening, Oct. 25, 2013.
It was a special moment for Dr. Gien who retired last winter after 41 years with the school. Says Dr. Gien, "I like to be connected to the school...after 40 years, you still want to know what's going on. And I have projects that I want to do!"
During her 41 years as a faculty member in the SON, Dr. Gien made significant contributions to teaching and program development in the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs.
She is also the winner of numerous awards, particularly in the area of international development and nursing research excellence.
In 2002 she was recognized with the Leadership Award for Women’s Health in Atlantic Canada by the Maritime Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and, in 2010, with the National Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Development by the Vietnam National Women’s Union in Hanoi, among other awards.
The energetic Dr. Gien addressed graduates at the school's graduation ceremony last week, telling them to be passionate and persistent about what they do.
"These two ps will lead to third p, which is possibilities!," she told her audience.
"Some of you may already have plan for your next step in life. For those who are not sure yet, don’t worry, as it takes time to find yourself. Many great people did not know what they wanted to do when they started out. The key is being flexible and adaptable! So you can map your life trajectory as you like, but do it in pencil!"
Dr. Gien inspired, and entertained graduates, SON faculty and staff and special guests in her remarks.
"When I completed my BN program, I had no idea that would be in Newfoundland and Labrador," she said. "I didn’t even know where it was! I was a newlywed working in Paris, France and loved it there.
"My husband was offered a faculty position at Memorial University, so we asked for some information about the place, but the immigration officer wouldn’t give us any. There was no google at that time so we looked in the Webster dictionary and it said that St John’s is on the same latitude as Paris, France. So we thought that’s good enough, let’s go!"
Dr. Gien reminded new graduates that there is no perfect job.
"Don’t wait for someone to hand you a perfect job as no job is perfect and no one is perfect. You should make the job interesting for yourself. Do extra things to spice it up, enrich it with your new ideas and actions to make it unique and you will like it much more. Go beyond what is expected of you and doors will open up."
Great words of wisdom from Dr. Gien!