The North Campus’ English & Communications Department will soon feel a gargantuan void when its chairperson, Josett Peat, who has been at Miami Dade College for 29 years, retires.
Peat’s last official day will be Jan. 4.
“Working with Josett is a joy. She always has a good sense of humor,”said Ellen Milmed, who serves as assistant to the chairperson. “I tell everyone that I wish everyone had a boss like I have.”
Peat, who was born in Jamaica, found her way to MDC in 1986 when she ventured to Florida with her family. The College is the only place she has ever been employed.
Her first position at MDC consisted of coordinating exams for students. Two years later, Peat was offered a faculty position in the English department at North Campus.
In 1994, Peat took the reins of the English Department as the chairperson. Her calm disposition has been a fixture at the campus ever since.
With the recent merger of the college prep and English departments, Peat oversees 26 faculty members.
“I don’t see myself as a boss,” Peat said. “ [They are the] best people to work with. They make my life easy. Everyone I work with has their own skills and help me anytime I have a problem.”
Peat, they say, has served as an inspiration during her tenure at North Campus. Poet, playwright, and novelist Geoffrey Philp, an English professor at InterAmerican Campus, is among those she has touched.
“Josett has been a mentor and friend for many years,” Philp said. “Her guidance was always safe and welcome. I will miss her.”
During retirement, Peat plans on spending time taking massive open online courses, which are provided to the public virtually while providing interactive forums to assure interactions between students and professors.
She also wants to remain active both physically and mentally. Peat plans on taking a variety of yoga classes and indulge herself in the reading of a kaleidoscope of news outlets such as The Washington Post.
Peat also wants to immerse herself even further with her family. She plans to coordinate many visits to see her five grandkids and to return to her roots, in Jamaica.
But the only thing that is certain, Peat said, is that she wants to remain carefree.
“I don’t know,” Peat said. “I’ve never been the type of person with a five year plan. I haven’t been counting down.”