Congratulations to Ms. Kama! After 31 years of service to Georgetown, she retired from the university this fall. Here is a look back at her 31 years.
Mandy Kama first arrived at Georgetown to teach for the summer of 1987 with what was then called the American Language Institute (ALI). There she met Professor Oveman and Professor Romett, who are still part of our faculty. She returned in 1988 and has been an irreplaceable teacher, colleague, mentor and friend to many ever since.
While many know her now as Associate Director of the Intensive English Program, Ms. Kama worked in the ALI at Georgetown College until 1991. That year, the institute merged with what is now the Intensive English Program, and in 2006, she transitioned from teaching to administrative responsibilities. In 2017, Ms. Kama, along with the Intensive English Program (formerly known as the EFL program) moved downtown to the School of Continuing Studies to the newly-named English Language Center.
Reflecting on her time spent at the Hilltop campus, she said, “I had this feeling for many, many, many days. Every time I made the walk from the parking lot to the office, I thought ‘how lucky am I to work here on this beautiful campus. It was an overwhelming feeling every single morning.”
To celebrate her retirement, colleagues and students, past and present, gathered on Zoom from all over the world to share their praises, memories, and well wishes. Many mentioned her kindness, generosity, and commitment — someone that students, faculty, and staff could turn to in fun times and tough times. She always made time for those who needed it and saw the human needs of colleagues and students.
One colleague said, “When I first started at Georgetown, I had teaching experience but I never had someone who I felt could be my mentor or my role model… and you’ve always filled that role for me. I hope that my students can look back and think of me in a small percentage of the kindness you’ve shown all your students and all the teachers.”
Ms. Kama has always been revered for her aptitude for teaching basic level students and having a knack for helping them excel. She is known for being extremely patient and understanding, and students always left their conversations feeling better than when they first came in.
One former student stated, “You have to know that you have people everywhere in the world that love you. I am here in Saudi Arabia and I can’t stop thinking about you. Thank you for everything you have done for us, you are the mom of all international students at Georgetown.”
Ms. Kama later echoed the sentiment of her colleagues. “Teachers in the language teaching field, they are unique in their quest to understand and to share and work with people from different cultures, and that means that they have certain values that I am so comfortable with. So I’m happy to be a part of that community.”
To Ms. Kama from everyone at the ELC, past and present — we will miss your warm smile, generosity, and delicious cookies!
We can’t put it better than this: “Semester after semester, you have welcomed with open arms students from all over the world. We have watched you embrace them as your own and as part of the larger Georgetown community. Through your kindness, warmth and example, you helped shape them to be true citizens of the world. Your open door helped to foster this feeling of community among students, staff and faculty alike.”
We wish you the best in this next chapter.