ISoN bids a fond farewell to Margie Gabriel, Student Affairs Officer, who is retiring after 35 years of service at McGill University
Full name: Margaret (commonly known as Margie) Gabriel
ISoN position/title: Currently Student Affairs Officer, formerly Administrator
Start date for working at ISoN: August 1997 at ISoN; June 1985 at McGill
What is your job in a nutshell?
Go to for all things Nursing Student Affairs and Student Advising
What is the best part of your job?
Advising students and coaching staff. I see my job as a captain who is steering course over, around and through icebergs ahead. A captain cannot steer course alone but usually has an eye for the destination and can help the shipmates handle and survive all the challenges to that end. Once arrived at the destination, the captain steps back to give the shipmates the time to recover and the opportunity to celebrate. A shipmate can be interchanged with a passenger in this analogy. Shipmates = staff; passengers = students.
A standout memory from your time at McGill?
There are too many to choose one. I would rather answer the question in this way – what will you take away as a treasure from your time at McGill. The answer to the rephrased question is without a doubt the working relationships and the outstanding, unfaltering commitment of the administrative support staff (managerial, clerical, technical) and academics I encountered, and with whom I have had the privilege to work. During my time at McGill, I worked within several faculties (Continuing Studies, Education, Medicine) and I have seen heroic efforts, incredible imagination, clever problem solving, and ambitious impressive drive from my colleagues. These relationships formed the foundation of my knowledge and my experience. The strengths of the individuals molded my perceptions and actions. The treasure is in the wealth and diversity of the people around me, the vision and the empowerment of the leadership under whom I worked, the loyalty and the hard work of the staff I had the privilege to supervise. We were all united in the common desire to improve, to build on existing foundations and to forge new ground.
What are you most proud of?
My patience has withstood the test of time. I first started at McGill because I was burning out from my former career and needed a 9 to 5 job. That was in 1985. I never thought then that I would be here still in 2020. Patience is an interesting virtue. It is one that focuses away from the finish line and toward the process; stopping along the way to take in the beauty around you, to reflect on your next move and to capture both the good and the not so good for purposes of learning and growing from the experience. I have always seen patience as my strongest ability. I hope that by seeing me as a patient person, others learned that patience helps them to cope better with stressful situations and helps them to feel grateful and more connected to the people around them.
A Farewell to the Nursing Students, from Nursing Student Affairs Officer
As you know, I am retiring at the end of December 2020. Though I can extend a personal goodbye to faculty and staff, it is not possible for me to reach out to each of you to personalize my farewell before I leave you in the capable and experienced hands of the NSAO team and Program Directors.
The variety of people I encountered colored my journey at McGill. The students I met, who I coached and advised, and with whom I shared time will remain dear to me. I with for you too a rainbow of experiences as you continue your studies, graduate and apply your knowledge in practice.
Here is my short ADIEU that I hope resonates with you.
Acknowledge who you are and who others may be as well as your accomplishments and the acts of kindness toward you.
Dream big. Your hopes lie in dreams and dreams lead to reality when combined with patience, tenacity and drive.
Inspire yourself to improve and continue developing; and others to reach for the stars.
Edify and enlighten all that is good; educate by sharing your passion and skills.
Understand: what was, what is and what is yet to be. Never stop learning.