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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Judy Harvey leaving Guilford after 21 fruitful years

In the fall of 1969, a young shy girl from Indiana arrived on the Guilford campus. But at the end of this semester, the woman she became will retire.

Judy Harvey, engaged learning specialist in the Principled Problem Solving department, is leaving Guilford after 21 years of dedicated service to the community.

“Guilford was the perfect place for me to come as a student,” said Harvey. “Even though my family was mortified that I came so far, two important things happened.  I learned how to learn, and I found my voice.”

Harvey has spent her entire career encouraging students with her unwavering support in the same way she was encouraged as a student.

“I learned from Judy that our work as teachers and learners never stops,” said Mark Justad, director of Center for Principled Problem Solving.

“Patience is a necessary requirement for effective teaching,” he continued. “I will miss Judy’s presence and her contributions to the CPPS and the college greatly.”

Over the years, Harvey has held five different positions on campus: Director of Internships, Director of Community Learning, Director of Multicultural Education, Director of Interdisciplinary Leadership for Social Change, Engaged Teaching and Learning Specialist. She has always engaged with students and helped them grow.

“The most important thing I learned from her is to always keep an open mind and perspective,” said Darius Verdell ‘12. “By being relaxed and patient, one can arrive at some of the best solutions possible. Judy, along with the rest of the PPS instructors, encouraged me to think outside of my comfort zone.”

Harvey considers students to be partners in problem solving.

“I believe I have brought to Guilford a commitment to the students,” said Harvey. “I see students as colleagues first. They have challenged, used and taught me over the years. Some of my best work has been done with students.”

“One of my memories has a lot to do with students,” continued Harvey. “In the early years, I built the community-learning program with students. Their passion is what made the time exciting.”

Even beyond the classroom, Harvey worked closely with her students.

“Judy opened her home to my classmates and I last fall,” said junior Faris El-Ali. “It struck me that she was so willing to welcome her students into her home and treat them as if they were her own children.”

Harvey’s main passion as an instructor has always been getting students engaged in the world outside of Guilford.

“I use my life as a text,” said Harvey. “Learning is more complex when you mix experience and academics.

“Experiential learning like PPS is much deeper and better prepares students for life outside of college.”

All PPS students including senior Tim Leisman have felt Harvey’s encouragement to go out and become integrated in the community.

“Judy’s class was the first one that ever got me off campus and engaged in work in the surrounding community,” said Leisman. “She has certainly been one of the key figures in my academic career.”

Leisman and other PPS scholars interviewed have a deep appreciation for Harvey and memories that they will carry with them.

“A pretty good memory was hearing her reminisce about her peyote experiences in our PPS class,” said senior Erika Swiger.

Harvey used peyote and had a vision of her heart exploding, which she took to mean that she had to feel the sadness that the rest of the world was feeling.

Senior Madison Heltzel shares the same favorite memory from her time in PPS.

“My favorite stories that Judy tells are those about her experiences on the Crow reservation,” said Heltzel. “They remind me that life is full of important lessons in unexpected places.”

Harvey used those experiences as well as her Guilford experiences to leave PPS in a good place.

“I think the framework she created will really blossom with a fresh set of ideas and skills,” said Heather Sparks.

Harvey has been unselfish and always tried to help people learn new skills.

“I have benefitted from working wih Judy because she had been so generous with teaching strategies that took her 20 years to learn,” said Kim Yarbray ’05, project and communication manager at the Center for Principled Problem Solving.

Following her commitment to students, diversity remains another of Harvey’s passions.

She considers beginning the anti-racism team among her favorite memories.

“I have also gotten to know Judy through the curriculum committee, a sub-committee of the Diversity Action Committee,” said sophomore Sara Minsky. “Her work on the committee has been crucial this year.”

Those interviewed would like to send the warmest wishes for a happy retirement to Harvey.

El-Ali sums up what Harvey means to Guilford.

“Judy, while you may be retiring, I know you will never leave Guilford.”

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    AlexanderMay 14, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Good on you, Judy…thank you for everything you have done for the students, campus and our community!