YoungHee Chudy began working for the IMS Polymer Program in 1986. Hired by Dr. Leonid Azaroff, director of IMS at that time, YoungHee began her career as a part-time administrative assistant to Robert Weiss who was then head of the Polymer Program. As the program grew, so did her role. Eventually the position transitioned from part-time to full time. On June 30 YoungHee retired leaving an extremely big pair of shoes to fill.
The current IMS Director, Dr. Steven Suib, announced YoungHee’s retirement on June 15 including a long list of accomplishments. While all of her accomplishments are outstanding, the items on the list that stand out most have to do with YoungHee’s dedication to people and the Polymer Program’s success:
- “Mother Hen” of the Polymer Program, especially with regard to graduate students, junior and mid-level faculty members
- Accommodates many international student visitors at her home. She would then help them find a place to stay, give them utensils, bed sheets, and other things to make their transition to life here easier and to ease financial burdens
- Lunch buddy to students and faculty members
- ”Welcome Wagon” to Program visitors and seminar speakers, always making them feel extremely welcome
Reflecting upon her tenure in IMS and the Polymer Program, YoungHee noted, “The people and the relationships of my IMS years, they mean the most to me.”
Among those attending the farewell reception for YoungHee was former head of the IMS Polymer Program, Bob Weiss, and his wife Cindy, faculty, students, and staff. Students honored Chudy by painting a special message on Spirit Rock where they refer to her as #PolyMOM.
Indeed, YoungHee Chudy has been an inspiration, a guiding force, a welcoming smile, and a friend to many. Everyone at IMS wishes YoungHee the very best in the next phase of her life journey.