A Farewell from Chelsea Chee

Last Tuesday night I was suddenly overcome with emotion. I thought about the place and people I would be leaving. It made me sad, happy, and grateful all at the same time.

When I interviewed for this Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator position, I dressed up in one of my favorite outfits and met with people who turned out to be a great influence in my life. I didn’t know much at the time, but knew that I would do my best to learn. Now, 5 years later, I look back on all I’ve learned and experienced—things I never thought about before.

I never thought…

  • I’d work someplace for five years.
  • I’d work in a University setting and call faculty members by their first names instead of Professor.
  • I’d consider New Mexico my community when coming from Arizona.
  • I’d work in a setting where my co-workers who didn’t know me and weren’t from my similar background, would have my best interests at heart.
  • Some of my out-of-the-box ideas would become reality.
  • I’d contribute professionally at a national scale.
  • I’d feel this way about a job I have had.

I know I am going to miss the community I have built at EPSCoR deeply, both in NM and nationally. At the same time, my time with this community has prepared me for my future endeavors, including my new job as a Program Officer with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. For that, I thank everyone that I have worked with.

Thank you…

  • For taking my thoughts, words, and actions seriously.
  • For expanding my worldview.
  • For the constant support.
  • For the professional and personal growth.

Most importantly, THANK YOU for making me feel like I belonged. Feeling like I belong someplace besides my home community means more than you know.

Note from Natalie: Chelsea's last day with New Mexico EPSCoR was Friday, August 24. We will miss her smile, her joyfulness, her intelligence, and her thoughtfulness around the office, but we are so excited for her to begin a new journey with AISES and beyond. Thank you for all you've taught us and brought us, Chelsea—we will miss you dearly and carry all you've taught us into the future.