As a faculty member and Associate Director in Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC), Joyce Meier embraces her role and goes above and beyond what it means to be an outstanding supervisor. Her empathy, selflessness, and compassion extend past her role as a supervisor and into her colleagues’ lives as well.
“Joyce’s empathy for my family status enabled and supported my flexible responsibilities in my faculty role and additional professional development opportunities. She has ensured my teaching schedule remained consistent so I was able to take care of family responsibilities. I have grown as an educator through Joyce’s inclusive, humane, and empathy-driven leadership.”
Meier has been instrumental in her mentees’ lives and has put on workshops in her own home in the past in order to help support and enrich her colleagues’ work experiences. “In her administrative and supervisory role, Joyce has been an exemplary citizen not only of the department, but also of the larger university community. She has created innovative learning opportunities for new and returning teachers to address various pedagogical needs and problems, has created ways to make the work we do in FYW ‘travel’ outward into other public beyond the department and university, and has initiated projects to inquire into what has emerged as the needs of our various constituents of learners (in particular, multilingual and international students).”
Meier’s fellow faculty members not only admire her active participation within their department, but how responsive and caring she is during times of personal strife or hardship. “A recent story that I think reflects her thoughtful nature is how much she supported me with a family crisis. My family asked that I come home and I ended up taking on many caretaking responsibilities. Dr. Meier was the most adamant person around me who ensured me that I should not feel any guilt for prioritizing my family in this time. She encouraged me to prioritize my caretaking duties because that time was important. She never made me feel like I needed to apologize for taking extra time to finish projects or for delaying things,” Meier is always fully supportive of his endeavors that extend beyond her obligations as a supervisor. “Whenever I’ve led workshops or other colleagues led workshops addressing critical, intersectional issues, she is consistently the only administrator in the audience. She is always there. She is always attentive and present. She is open to change and constructive criticism, which too-often feels rare in antiracist work.”
Meier’s empathy, wisdom, and guidance make her the definition of an outstanding supervisor. Her never-ending support and willingness to show up for her colleagues and students truly shows, and they know Meier will always be someone they can count on. As someone who consistently goes above and beyond her professional obligations, Meier possesses all the qualities and more that make her an outstanding supervisor.