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In Memorium: Joan Sevick

This post was written by retired NCCFT member Mike Steuer.

It is with an extreme sense of sadness that we report on the recent death of our esteemed colleague and strong union supporter, Dr. Joan Sevick, Professor Emerita of English.

Although never an officer of the NCCFT, Joan worked ceaselessly for the union by promoting comradery and collegiality in writing and producing the annual operettas over a thirty year period beginning in 1983.  Her song parodies poked gentle fun at all aspects of NCC life, which included satirical portrayals of faculty, students, administrators, staff, trustees, and even politicians.  We looked forward each year to laughing at ourselves and our foibles.  These shows served to unite the campus community in a humorous fashion, helping us to reflect on advantages of working together in a spirit of cooperation.

Joan served the college in many other ways as well, as Chair of the College Wide Curriculum Committee, as Vice Chair of the Academic Senate, and as Chair of a Middle States Self Study Committee that succeeded in maintaining accreditation without controversy.  Joan played a major role in developing and establishing the MDC courses, which have had an extraordinary impact on our students, and she was, as well, a valued member of the English Department, publishing several volumes of her poetry.

Since Joan’s retirement several years ago, we have missed her intelligence, her satirical wit, and her warm good humor.  Fortunately for us, her songs still remain, with many continuing to find relevance in our annual NCCFT operettas.  Joan Sevick set the example for all, as to how to get along with a chuckle and a twinkle in the eye.  We sorely mourn her loss, but we will continue to uphold her legacy.

11 Responses

  1. Joan devised the innovative Humanities 101 and 102 courses within the English Department and worked them through the Curriculum Committee until approval. She taught them herself, then recruited and trained other professors to teach them. I was one of her lucky ones to work under Joan’s tutelage. She had an incredible mind, a human warmth, a great sense of humor, a real work ethic. She has made NCC proud.

  2. In addition to all that has been said about Joan Sevick, she also created the MDC courses which are multi-disciplinary classes that have titles like “The Making of the Modern Mind” which uses Freud and others to show students how Psychology and English (think modern authors here) work together!
    Joan had an incredible mind and a wicked sense of humor demonstrated each year with her satirical operettas. She was a force in the English dept.
    Joan was cheerful, funny and clever. I miss her and mourn her loss.

  3. So sad to hear the news of Joan’s passing. She was consistently supportive of the Union, had a wonderfully creative mind, and always had a warm, welcoming demeanor.

  4. So sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. Her creativity will remain with us for a long time. She will surely be missed by her family and many friends.

  5. Very sorry to hear this news. Joan changed my life, and the lives of many others, at Nassau. She put me on the stage and in the fellowship of terrific faculty and staff in almost all of her productions. She invited me to join the committee to establish interdisciplinary studies. She and Larry welcomed me to their home. Joan was a generous and brilliant colleague who believed in the power of the union to help build a better institution.

  6. Joan and I served together for two years in the Academic Senate Executive Committee back in the 2000s. She was a warm and loving person, generous with her advice, gifts and compliments. As Joan departed our Senate group, she gave me a card with a beautiful Maya Angelou poem that I framed and placed in my NCC office, and a gift –a sweatshirt with a witty phrase that told me how highly Joan thought of me. I was honored by our friendship. Rest in peace, dear Joan!

  7. In addition to what everyone has said already, Joan was a humble and modest human being who brought out the best in everyone around her. Her brilliance and talent was evidenced in the operetta (now cabaret), and in campus politics. In both spheres, she knew how to maneuver with humor, tact, and a rapier-sharp wit that she could temper to the situation.
    Thanks to Mike Steuer, another wonderful faculty member, for his beautifully-written paragraphs about this great woman!

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