I began to tidy up my life at PLU today. I brought a rubbermaid bin along with to store a few of the items in my office. My office is really small but I chose it for that reason. I can be a pretty messy guy (see Kevin as a kid with his entire bedroom floor covered in legos -- sorry Mom!) and wanted a space that I couldn't possibly clutter up with paper. The laptop I use as a desktop there served as my dumping ground for nearly everything I could get in digital form. Everything else either ended up in the recycling bin or in a folder in my filing cabinet. As such, I didn't have much to pack up but really enjoyed going through things before storing them. The wall of my favorite Simpsons daily calendar panels will return!
This afternoon my supervisor Layne and the folks in the library threw me a going away party. We ate some tasty sandwiches (note to self: dill + cream cheese + tomato + lightly toasted bread = mmm), a great cake, and I filled everyone in on where I'm moving on to. Layne, co- and student workers David and Darren, respectively, and the current Dean Chris said some very kind words of appreciation and admiration. I said some stuff too but didn't write anything down. Fortunately, Darren did -- so I have proof! I'm not a bad guy to work with! Here's what he said:
I think I speak for just about any member of the PLU community who ever got to know Kevin, when I say that I am going to miss him. Kevin has been my supervisor for nearly three years now, and I feel blessed to say that I can scarcely imagine a more suitable person to fill his role.
I think the reason why so many of us have so much fondness and respect for Kevin is that he truly embodies the values promoted by Pacific Lutheran University - values such as service toward others, thoughtful inquiry, respect for the community, as well as setting a high standard of quality for all that he has done throughout his time here. Unlike many others in the field, Kevin's opinion of the Web development process is much more than a simple means to an end. During his time here at PLU, Kevin has been the leader in promoting the adoption of Web standards and other development practices that ensure maximum accessibility and usability for as many users as possible.
As a supervisor, Kevin has helped to instill the values of service and friendliness into the students who work in the Digital Media Center, and I have witnessed countless people benefit directly from Kevin's intelligent and friendly advise and instruction.
As a mentor in the work place, Kevin will leave having imparted a number of his many virtues on me, for which I can express nothing other than immense gratitude. Not only has he taught me the value of service in the work place, but he has led me on a pathway of continued inquiry into emerging technologies and standards, which has helped me to stay on the forefront of the field and has inspired me to continue on this pursuit of continual learning.
But most importantly, itís hard to find a better description of Kevin that this: Heís a good person to be around. Heís kind, respectful, conscientious, good-natured, and funny. All these qualities are undeniably revealed in the ways Kevin treats his colleagues, his student workers, lab patrons, and his friends.
To Kevin, I wish you the best of luck and continued success, and I thank you for all the good times and for all that you have taught me, and I look forward to hearing about your accomplishments along the journey ahead!
They put together a great booklet with samples of a bunch of projects I worked on while there and gave me a great T-shirt with some very nerdy HTML and CSS that is supposed to sum me up. Stay tuned for action shots of me in that!
Anyway, I'll miss PLU and the wonderful people and, as I said to Layne, I won't lie and say I'll visit often but I'll definitely be back from time to time. Thanks to everyone there that truly make PLU a great place to study, live and work.
Update (8-12-2005 @ 6:34am)
Here's a little something Dave wrote:
What can I say about Kevin? Thereís so much I could say in regard to his web and media expertise, his care for the PLU community, his love of photography. Unfortunately, I think anything Iíd say would be an understatement. But Iíll try anyway.
Kevin emailed me almost four years ago inquiring as to whether or not Iíd be interested in a job in web development. Realizing such a career was much more in line with my goals than my employment at the time, I jumped at the opportunity. A few weeks later, I was sitting in the Digital Media Center, learning about cascading style sheets, web standards, and how to help people with media projects.
I quickly began to see the excellence that is Kevin. Now in no way am I exaggerating when I say that he knows everything web and media related. Although lofty, Iím confident making such a statement. I cannot fathom the number of times I meekly requested Kevinís assistance with a studentís project. Cheerfully, heíd figure out the issue every time.
Ok, so maybe he doesnít know EVERYthing. However, he can find a solution to almost any problem involving the web, media, or, well, computers in general. And he always does so with the utmost respect, courtesy, and generosity. Itís quite impressive, actually. And inspiring.
Iíve learned so much from Kevin, both professionally and personally. Observing him assist lab patrons, give workshops, and develop projects has been quite a learning experience. His patience, his knowledge, his skill. Frankly, whomever adopts his position has some mighty large shoes to fill.
Iím confident that Kevin will excel wherever he goes, doing whatever he chooses to do. I just hope he continues to surround himself with people who speak about him in the third person.
I'm also withholding photos of the shirt they made me until I proudly brandish it at my new job. Stay tuned... (it's brilliant!)