I’m a Better Person Because I Went to Bishop’s…

I'm a Better Person Because I Went to Bishop’s...

Photo: Jackie (right) and Chaynna Hay. The two met at Bishop’s as basketball teammates, were roommates for two years when living in Edmonton and Chaynna was one of the bridesmaids in Jackie’s wedding- A lifelong BU friend!

As the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Jackie Bailey deals with discipline and student conduct, which might lead you to believe that you don’t want to find yourself in her office. But that’s not all she does. I’ve worked with her for many Bishop’s initiatives, including Orientation Week, and the Charity Fashion Show. I would consider her to be an ally, not just for those who have had the privilege of working with her, but also for all students. She tells us about her time at Bishop’s, and why she says Bishop’s gave her more than just a degree.

Let’s get to know you. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’m a wife to my husband Brent, who is the Offensive Coordinator of the Bishop’s Football team. I’m also a mother of two, our daughter Georgia is 10 and our son Bo is 8, and we have a dog Rocky. My family lives in Lennoxville; we walk to school and work. Lennoxville is our home, and our community; however, we also spend a lot of time at our cabin in Vermont.

Can you tell me a bit about your professional career?

Before this position, I worked in both private practice and hospitals as a psychologist. I also taught at the graduate level in counseling psychology. Now, I have been the Dean of Student Affairs at Bishop’s for five years.

Similar to many professors and faculty at Bishop’s, you are an alumnus. Can you tell me about one of your fondest memories of being a student here?

Well, definitely being part of the Lady Gaiter’s Bishop’s basketball team is one of my favourite memories. Individually, there are way too many memories with that team to count. It was a great experience; I made tons of friends and learned a lot.

Other awesome memories were made for me while I lived in in residence. I spent my first year in Mack (a student slang referring to Mackinnon residence), and my roommate, Christina, became one of my closest friends. We lived together for three years while we were at Bishop’s, and are still friends today. I actually moved back to campus in my third year and lived in Kuehner…it was great to be so close to both the gym, for practice, and Dewie’s!

Speaking of friends, do you still stay in touch with other alumni of your BU class?

Definitely. I’m still regularly in touch with basketball teammates. We speak almost daily, and plan trips together every 5 years. With broader alumni, I stay connected through Facebook.

As an alumnus, what has been the biggest change you have seen in the Bishop’s community?

There isn’t one. The heart of the community is still about family, relationships, and the overall Bishop’s experience. These things are all still the same as when I was there [as a student].

There have obviously been minor physical changes, though. Some of the buildings change, like Paterson Hall is new, but the people are the same. The faculty-student relationships and the close-knit community still remain the most important piece of this university. Over time, the feeling here has stayed the same. I attend the meetings of the Board of Governors, where most members are alumni, and they will tell you that Bishop’s is the same today as it was for them when they were students here.

You have said that some of the physical spaces on campus have changed over the years. Do you have a hidden gem or favourite place on campus?

Since returning as an adult, my favourite place is the duck pond in the fields. (I’m not sure where Jackie is referring to, so she explains to me that the duck pond is behind the Sports Plex, and can be found by walking down the gravel path through the fields). I walk through with my kids and our dog, and it’s beautiful.

Once, after a lot of rain, the pond was really high, and when it overflowed, little streams were created. When the water levels started going down, some fish were stuck where the streams had been. My kids and I spent an hour scooping up the fish and tossing them back in the pond. That was a fun day.

Looking into the future, what would you like to see for Bishop’s?

Wow, that’s a big one. I would like our school to continue to provide a university experience that fundamentally strengthens students. I want our students to be able to create lasting friendships and experiences here. I want Bishop’s to continue to give more than a degree. To know how special it is here, you have to experience it. I’m a better person because I went to Bishop’s: I’m a better partner, a better mother, a better psychologist, a better friend.

I think Jackie hits the nail right on the head: “To know how special it is here, you have to experience it.”

Until next time,

Natalie

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