Lynn Sullivan reflects on a career of student service

Lynn as Director of A.A. Advisement

By Christina Giddings, Communications Assistant

As the 2013 holiday season came and went and an unusually frigid January drew to a close, a bittersweet cloud hung over Santa Fe College. Faculty, staff and students alike knew that the end of January signaled the time to bid farewell to SF’s beloved Lynn Sullivan. Lynn Sullivan, currently the College Registrar, has been a member of the SF family for the past 33 years and retires on Friday, Feb. 7.

Lynn first began working at Santa Fe College in 1981, working in the Office of the Registrar. She worked there as a Career Service Administrator for a year, before moving to Financial Aid, where she worked for two years. She was offered a position in A.A. Advisement soon after, and served as an Academic Advisor for a little over 20 years, serving as the director for a portion of that time.

Lynn with David Yonutas at Fall 2001 Graduation.

During her time as an Academic Advisor, Lynn worked with IT to help create the first online Degree Audit, a project that helped her win an award from the League for Innovation for her excellent strides in providing a new way to help students plan out their degree and classes. Additionally, while serving as an A.A. Advisor, Lynn, along with Dr. Carl Barfield, helped create the first ever Gator Day@SF, a program in which over 70 UF Advisors come out to Santa Fe College and set up tables to help prospective transfer students and provide them with information.

In 2006, Lynn was offered her current position of College Registrar from where she will shortly retire.

“My favorite thing about Santa Fe is definitely working with the students,” said Lynn. “I have a policy—you just go one student at a time. It doesn’t matter if there are 20 more waiting, you give your entirely undivided attention to the one student in your office.”

Lynn receives award for her service to SF on Thursday, Jan. 30

Barbara Jessie, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, has worked with Lynn at SF for the past 12 years and is sad to see her go.

“Lynn’s knowledge and compassion when it comes to working with students has been instrumental in helping me–to what I hope–deliver the same quality of service not only to our students but to my colleagues,” said Jessie. “She will be missed but we have made plans to keep in touch.”

When asked about her biggest accomplishment during her years here at Santa Fe College, Lynn sat quietly and thought for a while, her eyes misting over with memories.

After a couple of minutes, she proudly stated, “It’s hard to choose just one. I consider every student I have ever helped an accomplishment… but if I had to choose something, it would be running into students around campus and having them say ‘Hey, remember me? You gave me a second chance—thank you for believing in me when no one else did.’”

Lynn and College President, Dr. Jackson Sasser

As a parting message, Lynn would like to leave behind a legacy of sorts, a mantra by which she has worked for the past 33 years, “You have to focus on the individual student. Listen to them, help them, and care about them. Students probably won’t remember every single thing they learned in their classes, but they will remember the relationships they built and how they were treated by everyone they encountered here at SF.”