Thanks Bran & Sean

Parc Naturel Régional Nord Pas-de Calais

Yesterday I had one of those milestone moments.  It was my last “let’s meet one day before work” breakfast with Branon and Sean. Bran has been hired by U of M Flint as an instructional technologist and Sean is headed across the pond for a new adventure in the Netherlands. The MSU campus will be at a tremendous loss without their expertise present at vuDAT.

I met Bran 6 years ago when we taught together in the East Lansing summer cohort with Punya.  We had interacted a few times before, but it was our first real “bonding” experience.  I met Sean in 2008 when I was his “advisor” for the MAET program.  I use the word “advisor” loosely because basically, I just helped make sure he had the papertrail cleared up to graduate :)

Sean and Bran are two incredibly influential people in my life.  I have had the distinct pleasure of co-teaching with both of them.  It’s a rare treat to find a teaching partner who can eloquently balance your shortcomings and accentuate your strengths.  I’m trying to find the right words to express one of the other reasons I admire Sean and Bran – to have two male friends who treat you, not just like “one of the guys”, but as a person, a regular person is extraordinary.

Over the years I have watched Bran grow not only as a professional but also as a father.  I remember distinctly a time when I stopped in at the coffee shop one morning, Brandon had not noticed me yet and I watched he and his daughter were engrossed in their morning routine.  The memory still brings tears to my eyes. Brandon’s love for his family radiates through everything he does – not in an overly “gushy” way, but in the most natural, loving and inspirational way that I have witnessed.

I have also watched Sean grow over the past few years that I have known him.  He has become an integral asset to the MAET program. He openly and eagerly shares his expertise with me, pushing me to improve my own photography, video and design skills.  He is a constant source of strength and encouragement in my work.

Brandon and Sean were my travel buddies during the MAET overseas program – we shared many a pint, glass, bottle and meal during our adventures.  Their willingness to indulge in my foodie adventures was much appreciated and it was comforting to be in my element with all three of us having camera in hand taking pictures of the food, beer, etc.

This is not a sad goodbye – in actuality I may see Brandon more since he’s moving closer to me and I’ll be in much closer contact with Sean since he’ll be working directly with the MAET program.  They’re both growing as professionals and the new opportunities they’re headed towards are perfect fits for their expertise and passions.  Though, selfishly, I am sad that a much cherished part of my workflow will be disrupted.  I loved every breakfast, coffee and beer we three have shared together over the years. I know we’ll all get together again, but an impromptu breakfast to geek out, vent, or collaborate will no longer be a text message away.

Cheers guys.

Parc Naturel Régional Nord Pas-de Calais

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