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Words of Wisdom from the Great Lakes

Sunset Career Awards at the 2014 Great Lakes Regional Sea Grant Meeting

By Tammy Newcomer Johnson, Sea Grant Knauss Fellow at the National Sea Grant Office

These Sea Grant greats were honored with Sunset Career Awards at the Great Lakes Regional Sea Grant Meeting in Erie, PA June 16-18, 2014.  They all plan to retire before the next Great Lakes Regional Meeting so they were asked to each share some words of wisdom.

Each honoree took a turn at the microphone to share their words of wisdom.  Here is their sage advice:

Eric Obert, Director of Extension for Pennsylvania Sea Grant, “Treat others or your employees as you would want to be treated.  When someone asks you for information or help give them a little more than they are expecting to receive.”

Jeffrey Gunderson, Director of the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program, “Back in the late 1980s things looked pretty bleak for Sea Grant when our budget was zeroed out. I wondered then whether I would ever retire from Sea Grant. Now after 35 years and plans to retire, I know I’ve made it. My words of wisdom are — don’t get too caught up in the funding uncertainties that you’re sure to face. Trust that this is an awesome program and just continue to do your best work and I’m sure Sea Grant will be around when you’re ready to move on.”

Dr. Jurij Homziak, Director of Outreach & Education for Lake Champlain Sea Grant, “Make sure to be adaptable and stay positive.”

Frank Lichtkoppler, Extension Specialist and Professor with the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, “One of my first Ohio State University Extension supervisors the late George F. Wadlington said to, “Get out there and do good things and when (not if) you make a mistake, learn from it and do not repeat the mistake.”  I always thought that it was pretty good advice worth passing on to others.”

Dr. Marty Jaffe, Environmental Planning specialist for the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program, “You have to maintain your idealism. Changing the world is hard work and change isn’t always apparent so you have to keep the faith.”

Thank you all for your contributions to the Sea Grant Network!

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