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Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Sandy Noyes bids farewell


Sandra Noyes, Staff Assistant and Office Manager for the Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics Department, has graced the VTSU-Johnson community as the department’s fun-loving “surrogate mother.” But it was her wisdom, dedication to veterans, and boisterous energy that had always made staff, faculty, and students feel closer to home.
For most of her career, Noyes worked with the Writing and Literature Department at Johnson State and NVU Johnson. However, after thirty years of working amongst the Johnson family, Noyes will be retiring after the Spring 2024 semester.
Before she was hired in 1993, Noyes had been working with the Mount Mansfield Company. She was acquainted with one out of several “alumni” faculty members from the Business Economics Department and, after being interviewed by four other faculty members, Noyes was soon considered to be the best fit as Office Manager.
Noyes said that it was not until a few days later that she found out she got the job.
“I was outside mowing the lawn, and my son came out and he goes ‘Mom! Somebody named Jim Black is on the phone!’” said Noyes. “And I said, ‘You tell him I’ll call him back when I’m done mowing this lawn!’”
But Black was not willing to wait long. He called back again before she had finished mowing, and again her son came out to tell her Black was on the phone. Noyes said she was less than polite when she got to the phone, but that did not deter Black from sharing the good news that she was hired.
Eight years of her career passed, and a new entryway toward becoming Campus Chair for Represented Staff was something that Noyes had yet to expect. In early 2001, the Staff Assistant was told by a previous Grievance Officer that she would make a good fit as such. Noyes served in that capacity for twenty-two years, before stepping down for purposes of her well-being.
“I needed ‘me-time’ again,” Noyes said. “We could not make any plans, because my husband would say, ‘Do we wanna do such and such?’ ‘Nope! Can’t! Got a meeting.’”
Noyes expressed gratitude for the overall closeness of the Johnson community over the years, in good times and bad.
“My husband died, everyone rallied around me. And then when I got married later, they were all right there for me again,” mused Noyes.
Noyes explained that each time something devastating happened to a faculty member or staff member, everyone else would check in with the person to make sure they were all right. When it comes to what makes Johnson as it is, it is the fact that everybody seems to care about each other, be they students, faculty, or staff. It is the little things, like being respectful and kind, and the people are here to help the students succeed. Noyes also said she cannot emphasize the importance of always being kind and telling somebody you love them.
“I care about people a lot,” Noyes said. “I’m always smiling, and if you piss me off you got to know that too.”
Many of Noyes’ friends, family, and colleagues appreciate her for her laugh, kind personality, and her signature pair of earrings. We can even take these things from Dr. Janet Bennion, VTSU-Johnson’s professor of Sociocultural Anthropology, who favors Noyes for “not holding back.”
“In this order, she gives me free chocolate whenever I’m down,” Bennion added.
Even Russ Weis, a part-time Writing and Literature Professor, considers Noyes as the treasured “big sister” he never thought he would have. Weis favors Noyes for the care she shows for her colleagues, and for exemplifying far more than her job description.
“It’s clear that she cares about the entire community. Let’s put it that way,” said Weis. “Not only does she care about our academic community, and the college, and all that, but she cares about the wider community. She gets involved, and volunteers herself, and works so hard at that as a volunteer.”
“She was not only a wonderful colleague, but a wise and witty friend to me for thirty years,” said Tyrone Shaw, retired Chair of the Writing & Literature Department. “In fact, I still call her in the office sometimes just so I can be insulted in the way I had come to cherish.”
Shaw has immense adoration for Noyes’ knack for making faculty members’ jobs easier with the use of her “outsized personality and huge heart.” He also regrets the fact that future faculty members will not be able to bear witness to Noyes’ warm, nurturing presence.
“We all dreaded the day she would retire, and justifiably so,” Shaw added.
Because her work consists of assisting faculty members within a certain department, Noyes reminds professors of deadlines, meetings, and more. At the same time, she is also in charge of general budgeting and scheduling. Noyes admits, sometimes her job requires a take-charge attitude.
“I boss the faculty around all the time,” Noyes commented. “Sometimes you do it so much, you just don’t pay attention to what you’re doing anymore. You just do it.”
“Sandy is straight forward, and what you see is what you get,” says Alice Godin, VTSU-Johnson’s Resource Sharing Coordinator.
“You know where you stand, and she is not afraid to tell you what you need to hear,” said Weis.
Not only has Noyes been around campus for many years, but she also has a life outside of her office walls. She is an amazing Granny, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) volunteer, mother, and wife. At the VFW, Sandy has fun with the dances, the food nights, the various fundraisers, and being around people that care about each other.
“She’s a true-blue friend,” said Elizabeth Powell, writing and literature professor. “Extremely honest, family-oriented, and full of knowledge.”
Noyes’s drive to help others was the reason she wanted to volunteer for Hyde Park Veterans of Foreign Wars. She grew up in a family of veterans, including her grandparents and her stepfather. The result? For over 17+ years, that familial influence led Noyes to begin her journey with Hyde Park VFW, running its many fundraising events.
“I hoot, and I holler, end up with laryngitis the next day every darn time!” exclaimed Noyes.
When Noyes and her first husband met, several years before he died, the pair would often come together on the dancefloor as though they have known each other for a long time. While she is uncertain about a favorite dance step, Noyes indicated that a “two-step” was a common dance combination the couple had done.
VTSU-Johnson will remember Noyes for her essential contributions to cultivating the backbone of Academic Life. From assisting a student who may be behind on a Writing Proficiency Exam, to looking after a professor in need of emotional support, Noyes has made many of our lives better. She has certainly left her mark on VTSU – Johnson.
“I’ll miss Sandy so much,” said Powell. “She’s been the backbone of the Humanities/English Department and has given us her all and more. I admire her devotion to her family, her dedication to volunteer work, and stellar organization skills. Her sense of humor and many kindnesses will be missed!”
“I’ll miss her,” said Goddin. “But I know that she’s put in a lot of years of work, and she deserves to retire.”
“Not seeing her in her office will take some real getting used to,” said Weis. “But you know, I’m very happy she’ll have a chance to enjoy her grandkids, and her family, and take a well-deserved retirement from this place.”

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About the Contributors
Heike Chaney, Staff Writer, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Transfer Student, Interdisciplinary Studies (Theatre & Communications) Based in Hartford, VT Fall 2023-Present SLAP Coordinator & DANCELAND Club Member I can do a shockingly good Judy Garland impression, and I have been in over 22 Theatre productions since the sixth grade! ;) Favorite Roles: Adela Van Norman (THE IT GIRL); Martha Cratchitt (A CHRISTMAS CAROL); Chutney Wyndham (LEGALLY BLONDE).
Zach Davidson, Staff Writer
Zach enjoys being around other people and tries to live in the present as much as possible. Now this makes better sense, right? He also enjoys learning lessons; sometimes.

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  • H

    Hooper BobMar 14, 2024 at 11:12 pm

    Hot Damn!!!

  • W

    Wanda BrownMar 14, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Sandy is a fun loving person with a very positive outlook on life!!! I met her on the dance floor!!! Congratulations to Sandy!!🩷

  • R

    Ruth HaskinsMar 14, 2024 at 4:05 pm

    Best wishes Sandra.Enjoy your me time. Sleep late,wine and dine at your leisure and enjoy those special moments with your husband and family. Dana and Ruth Haskins