Mourning a great teacher

December 11, 2008 —

I do not know much about Roxane Joens-Matre, but with few encounters, it was apparent she enjoyed teaching, which made me enjoy my online class in Social and Behavioral Science with her. She made the time to help many of us on our final project; she organized conference calls to help us sort out our ideas and was always available when I needed her academic advice in the master’s program. Today is a very sad day for many of us connected to her because she died this morning from breast cancer.

Director of the Public Health Program Wendy Ringgenberg, Ph.D., sent this message:

The breast cancer she had years ago came back this year. It was in May when she was told the cancer had come back and spread to her bones, lungs and liver. She was on an aggressive chemotherapy since August and, until about a month ago, had hopes of returning to DMU.

She was able to see her first grandchild adopted from China, travel to South Africa with Dr. Blessman, watch her son marry his sweetheart and spend her last days with her wonderful husband, Jim. And, of course, she was happy and fulfilled being your professor and advisor.  Each of you brought her joy, and contributed to her enthusiasm for teaching.

I am so sorry for our loss, and just extremely sad.

I send my condolences to her family and friends. I don’t know if there’s anyone else that can replace her.

Tea Nguyen is a dual degree D.P.M./M.P.H. student at DMU. She was born in Utah but raised in California and left the great state to be at one of the best podiatry school in the country.

She has aspirations in international medical service trips and hopes to hit several continents during this lifetime. Traveling is also on the top of her to-do list and she often reminisces about her prior travels to Italy, France and Greece. She also enjoys eating adventures with her boyfriend Paul and is a major food-snacker. It is not uncommon to find her lapsed in a food coma in the middle of her studies.