Engineering Now .: Volume 2 - Edition 10 .: April 21, 2006

Margaret Mousseau retires after nearly 39 years at Western

Margaret Mousseau came to Canada from Ireland in 1967 to work for six months and tour Canada on the weekends. Thirty-nine years later, Margaret is still here but admits she hasn't seen all of Canada quite yet.

"I came to Canada with a girlfriend of mine from Ireland," explains Mousseau. "Our plan was to work for six months and tour Canada on the weekends. You don't realize how big this country is until you get here."

Enjoying her time in Canada, Margaret decided to extend her stay and apply to The University of Western Ontario.

"People were always telling me Western was a great place to work so I took my chances and applied," she explains. "I was very lucky to get the job."

Over the years, Margaret has seen many sides of campus. Her first role at Western  was as a Secretary in Physical Plant in 1967.  After three years with Physical Plant, Margaret decided to test the waters in a Faculty. She chose the Faculty of Engineering, where she has worked ever since.

"Once again, I was very lucky," explains Mousseau. "Engineering was hiring at the same time I was looking for a new job. I took a chance, applied and got the job."

Since joining Western Engineering in 1970 Margaret has worked in different departments and has taken on many different roles, including a 10 year break to raise a son and a daughter.

"Taking some time off to raise a family was something I really wanted to do," Mousseau explains. "Coming back was intimidating, but there were a few familiar faces still here when I came back, making the transition much easier. I'm glad I came back when I did."

Upon returning to Western Engineering in 1984, Margaret worked part-time in Western Engineering's Bio-Engineering Building. She became a full-time member once again in 1986 in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Her last move within the Faculty was in 1996 when she joined the Undergraduate Services Office (at the time known as the Student Liaison Office).

"The only office in Engineering that I never wanted to work in was the Undergrad. Office," admits Mousseau. "I wasn’t too sure what they did in that office, but there always seemed to be a line-up of students which I found a bit intimidating. At first I hated it, but very soon after I really enjoyed working with the students. Engineering students are the best!"

After nearly 39 years on campus, Margaret has seen many changes. "There are a lot more students around and a lot more buildings on campus," she explains. "When I started in 1967 we used Selectric typewriters and made numerous carbon copies. We had to type all the professor papers with those beautiful equations. Then came the Micom word processors which everyone had to share. We only had two in the faculty and you had to reserve one if you had a paper to type. Finally came personal computers.  Now the instructors and grad students do most of their own papers."

Looking back over the years at all the changes and personal accomplishments, Margaret knows she will miss many things about Western. "I love the people I work with," she explains. "I will miss them dearly. Especially the students. I will also greatly miss my my daily lunch-time walks with Kathy Lesko."

The Faculty of Engineering, and The University of Western Ontario, will also greatly miss Margaret Mousseau.  Please join the Faculty of Engineering Friday, April 28 between 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm in the Spencer Engineering Building Cafeteria to celebrate Margaret's past accomplishments and future endeavours.

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808