By Michelle Maria Oliver
It is hard to believe our lovely Anatomy professor has passed away. Time passed, but seemed not to phase her. Strong, bold, and elegant as a pearl, she would be the first one in Dickinson Hall, pulling her Vera Bradley bags with wheels; of course she had the lunch box and smaller bags to match the same print.
No matter what weather, or perhaps how ill she was, she would always be there in class ready to teach early in the morning. Not once did she demonstrate her exhaustion.
She had her microphone to ensure her voice was being projected properly and would call in Leslie who would rush in to help with the projector.
She would ensure the students were able to follow what she was saying and, yes, she would call out students during the lectures to ensure they were paying attention. Sitting across her desk, her generous hospitality was soothing.
She would offer hazelnuts, a high energy and beneficial snack that would help you feel at ease with your class, programs or the future choices being discussed in the meeting.
Although her shell was sturdy, it would gleam to students who expressed their strategies and ideas. She appreciated hard work, a trait that seems so difficult to find in an educator today.
Anastasia’s admiration of work ethic and respect for diligence is rare yet it came naturally to to her. The most endearing trait about Anastasia was her ability to laugh with students and share personal experiences that would motivate them in turn. At times, this humility and honesty was needed from our mentors.
Often, as students, we measure professors on a polarized spectrum as either perfect or not. As students, especially from the Biology department, we are overzealous about study material, we often forget that our educators are also human beings.
Anastasia embodied the values of perseverance with her everyday actions. She gave early lectures and kept up to date with the latest resources, including online labs to aid with comprehension.
Despite her age, she would commute alone at least an hour a day to get to the university and still managed to put on aesthetically floral attire. She was pro-student, encouraging each student with tough love, and she truly wanted to see them succeed.
Anastasia was an emblem as a strong woman because she had dedicated her whole life to study, motivate and transfer her knowledge to others in hopes of a better future. Although tears can’t bring you back, you will continue to live on in the hearts of all you students, shining like a beautiful pearl stone.
Those of us that were lucky enough to sit across from you in your office are blessed because we are the ones that are moving forward with the what you taught us; applying your principles of strength, boldness, and elegance each day.