GRCC retiree biography: Joan Gearns

Joan Gearns bio photo

Joan Gearns will be retiring from GRCC today. Joan has taught at GRCC for 16 years in the English department.

When asked about her favorite story to share about GRCC students she shared this story, “For the very last class session Kellie Roblin and I taught before my retirement we had a student who began the semester trying to get his life balanced again after losing his wife and surviving serious injuries caused by a drunk driver. At the end of class, he raised his hand and said he wanted to share his story because all of the students had shared theirs over the semester. There were a few agonizing minutes as he composed himself and then shared with the class that he had survived such an awful trauma. Kellie and I knew at the beginning of the semester he could not bring himself to talk about it. To witness this huge step he took was more than I could ask as validation for what we do and the best send off to retirement.”

Joan felt that she belonged at GRCC at her first opening day, Dr. Juan Olivarez showed his concern for and how much he valued faculty by saying very clearly and slowly faculty needed to eat right, sleep well, exercise and take care of themselves. She felt at that moment she had found the right college for her.

In retirement she is simply going to travel, read, relax, write, live well and laugh. Those sound like amazing plans, Joan! Thank you for all that you have done for GRCC and your students. Congratulations on your retirement! We hope you will stay in touch.

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