Friend to international students is retiring

Geeta Powell receives the Human Resources Distinguished Service Award for Leadership from President Jack Lightstone at the President's Holiday Celebration on Dec. 6.

Geeta Powell receives the Human Resources Distinguished Service Award for Leadership from President Jack Lightstone at the President's Holiday Celebration on Dec. 6.

A longtime friend to Brock’s international students is retiring.

After 22 years at Brock, Geeta Powell will work her last day today. Powell is associate director of International Services and Programs Abroad.

Powell started at Brock in the Registrar’s Office in 1990 before quickly moving to International Services. The highlight has been the students, she said.

The office is more than just University administration. Its employees become friends to international students who often move to Canada with no family or social support here, she said.

As a result, the office organizes barbecues, trips to Toronto, Christmas parties and other social events to foster a feeling of family.

“When the students are in need, we want them to consider us a friendly place to go for support.”

Powell is leaving on a high note. She is this year’s recipient of the Human Resources Distinguished Service Award for Leadership.

“She has touched the lives of so many people through her concern for others,” said John Kaethler, director of International Services and Programs Abroad. “She has an uncanny ability to problem solve by looking at things from many directions.”

Powell said she’s received more than she’s given to Brock, from her friends, co-workers, and especially the students.

“I would really like to say thank you to my friends and colleagues.”

Powell lives in St. Catharines with her husband Benjamin. She has two children and four grandchildren. Her son, Anik, is Brock’s manager of financial aid.

For fun, she likes to travel, and has gone to countries such as Ghana, India, Namibia and Botswana. She also plans to read more.

“I’ve enjoyed my old life, and I’m looking forward to my new life.”

Posted on December 22, 2011

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