Education program assistant offers guidance — and much more
By Wanda Praamsma, Communications Officer
On the Queen’s U Compliments Facebook page – a page dedicated to anonymously complimenting others in the community – Vicky Andrews is described as a blessing from above and an amazing soul who has made the lives of many concurrent education students much easier and much better. The post received more than 200 “likes” and in one comment, someone wrote “#VickyAndrews4QueensPrincipal.”
The concurrent education program assistant is clearly loved – revered, even – by the students she helps through her role as academic advisor.
“We have a symbiotic relationship,” says Ms. Andrews, who has been in her position in the Faculty of Education since 2010. ““I really like working with students. There’s something about this age group that is so wonderful. They’re blossoming, and so intelligent and well-mannered. I admire them so much – they’re starting to become adults and figuring out the world.”
Ms. Andrews provides “Con Eddies” with academic guidance and support, but judging by students’ acts of gratitude and appreciation, she does much more than that – she is a pillar of strength, a warm smile on a difficult day, a genuinely compassionate being who cares about them and helps them move forward in their studies and in their lives. In return, the students care about her and have let her know loud and clear that they are in her corner.
In addition to the Queen’s U Compliments Facebook page, many students send her personal notes of gratitude and one created an article called Vicky Andrews Facts that includes 17 favourable, if embellished, points, including: “Approximately 45 per cent of the world’s smiles originate from Vicky Andrews’ office,” and “Vicky Andrews has teachable subjects in unicorn taming, advanced thermonuclear physics, and rainbow production”.
“The students are so amazing. They make me love my job and want to help them,” she says.
Ms. Andrews says she has a unique position – she works in a relatively small faculty and can really get to know the students she sees. In her role, she talks to first-year students during frosh week, letting them know she’ll be their academic advisor. During the year, she provides one-on-one advising to all “Con Eddies” (except those in their final, fifth year) – essentially, she makes sure they get what they need and know what they need to know to graduate, to make it to the end.
“These students want to be teachers so they are naturally kind and caring. They’re go-getters in the best possible way,” says Ms. Andrews, who has a teaching degree herself but veered into different directions within education, working in educational publishing, admissions at a private school and in the Registrar’s Office at Queen’s before landing in her current position.
“I really appreciate working here and it is so lovely to be able to be myself in this job.”