Thank You Hope

Last month Hope Parmeter, UFGI’s Graduate Program Academic Assistant, retired after working at the University of Florida for 17 years. Hope grew up in a one-block town in Colorado with seven brothers and seven sisters. After moving to Florida, she began her career and looked for opportunities to work with people. From her first job working at a retirement home in Melrose, Florida to working as the Graduate Program Academic Assistant, Hope always gave her whole heart to her job and the people around her.

Hope has left a monumental impact on the Genetics and Genomics Graduate program and the graduate students here. She worked for the Genetics Institute for 14 years and played a big role in helping establish the G&G graduate program at the University. When former UFGI director, Dr. Berns, tasked her with many of the technical jobs that were needed to start the program, Hope was excited for the challenge.

“I was always learning something new and definitely asked a lot of questions,” Hope said in regards to the program’s early years.

Hope helped to develop the program’s original curriculum and established many of the annual events that the G&G program does for students.

Hope with the 2018 G&G Graduates

“All of my kids are grown up so I really loved being able to work with so many wonderful students,” Hope said. “Many of the students are international and unable to travel home often so I did my best to make them feel safe and at home here.”

Hope said that she loved introducing the international students to American traditions and holidays so she would often organize events and fun activities for them. She would ask students to help decorate the office Christmas tree, plan regular holiday festivities and give them many opportunities to enjoy time together outside of the lab.

Hope stated that her favorite part of her job was working closely with the graduate students and getting to know each of them. Hope has helped many G&G cohorts go through the program over the years.

"I learn so much from the students," Hope said. "Each year the group of students is a little bit different than the group before."

G&G Students 2009

Cornelia Frazier, UFGI’s Administrative Assistant, had nothing but great things to say about the time she spent working with Hope.

“In working with Hope the past seven years, the passion she had for her students and their success has never changed," Frazier said. “She always went above and beyond to make UF Genetics Institute feel like home away from home. The students loved her and respected her highly. They valued her knowledge of the Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program and they valued her opinion when they needed someone to talk to.”

Last month UFGI faculty, students and staff came together to celebrate Hope's retirement and thank her for her many years of service to UFGI and to the University as a whole.

Hope will be missed dearly at UFGI but we are excited for her to begin this next chapter. Hope is looking forward to using her retirement to spend more time with her family, travel and invest in her many hobbies.