Jo-Anne Stevens   2011 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Jo-Anne Stevens has been a mainstay of the Biology Department for over three decades.  During that time she has seen the undergraduate enrolments increase over six times and the number of Biology majors increase from one to four.  Technicians in small departments encounter a wide range of courses in a set of diverse subjects.  Not only are they preparing labs for first to fourth year level classes, they are also dealing with courses in botany, zoology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, and more recently, cell and molecular biology.   With the advent of new technologies, new courses and revisions to courses, Jo-Anne has practised life-long learning ever since she was one of the early Biology graduates from UNBSJ.

As a technician, Jo-Anne provided all of the necessary components.  She brought her expertise, love for her job and a gentle good natured approach towards students and faculty.  There are many examples where Jo-Anne was able to improve the lab session, get it ready on a moment’s notice or help find a way to make sure the students had the best possible lab experience.  Jo-Anne regularly contributed to the financial well-being of many course budgets via redefining the term "disposable".  Thus disposable items such as a petri dish or specimen collection bags etc. were recycled long before the advent of blue boxes.  She has had to cope with finding out at registration in early September that enrolments in some lab courses that term had doubled over the previous year.  Getting labs set up on time and put away on time requires lots of planning, hard work and dedication. Jo-Anne performed these tasks so efficiently that faculty never felt the need to check up on how thing were going - the labs were simply ready to go on time.

Jo-Anne’s involvement in the Marine Program has been deep and fruitful; indeed her work over the years has helped make the program the success it is.  Field trips to collect specimens for student labs often provided Jo-Anne with a variety of challenges, especially as the Bay of Fundy has such high tides and headlands that separate beaches.  Jo-Anne's expertise in identifying marine organisms was regularly called upon by students and instructors alike.  On the seashore, in a salt marsh or on board the Mary O, she was in her element.  Jo-Anne's vigour and good humour during the heavy weather labs helped keep things moving along.

Jo-Anne was also in charge of the ecology field lab sessions and an expert in local ecology; especially in invertebrate ecology and identification.  This lead to her expertise being sought out by industry and government, allowing UNB Saint John to be recognized in important local and provincial ecological issues and research.  She did all of this while making sure her heavy responsibilities as a teaching lab technician were completely looked after. 

Perhaps her greatest contribution besides her work and dedication was the manner in which she participated in the grand enterprise of university teaching.  Jo-Anne was always helpful and a source of information.  She was approachable to the students and responsive to the faculty needs.  Jo-Anne was proud to work at UNB Saint John and this showed.  Her work ethic, combined with passion for education and compassion for the students and faculty resulted in Jo-Anne being a deeply respected colleague and mentor.  There will be a big gap to fill with her richly deserved retirement; she has left UNB Saint John a better place for her time here and she has made it easier for us to move forward.  Jo-Anne is an example of the very best UNB has to offer and we feel it fitting her career is recognised.

J. Johnson
J. Keiffer
J. Terhune