Joyce Valiquette, a 42-year staff member in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, died Nov. 18, 2018, at 61.
She was most recently program coordinator for the master of public administration, master of public policy and management and undergraduate programs.
Mary Ann Gebet, executive assistant to the dean and associate dean of GSPIA, joined the school just two years earlier than Valiquette. “I guess you could say we both grew up here together at GSPIA,” Gebet says.
“She had a great presence about her,” Gebet says of Valiquette. “She talked to anybody and everybody and was always helpful. She knew the school inside and out. She was always readily available to lend a helping hand with everything and anything, whether it be a smaller event the school was holding or a larger event, such as our graduation.
“She’s really going to be missed here.”
The pair were friendly outside work as well, trading babysitting and teaming for family trips to Cedar Point. Valiquette was a roller coaster enthusiast, and on weekends worked as a dispatcher for public safety at Kennywood Park.
Valiquette had become a grandmother just six months ago.
“She loved her grandbaby — she was constantly showing pictures,” Gebet says. “Just a few weeks ago we were in the outer office. I said, ‘Joyce, remember all those times when we would chuckle to ourselves about those little old ladies? Here we are — the little old ladies.’”
On her 40th anniversary at Pitt, master of public policy and management director George Dougherty commented: “Joyce is a joy to work with. In addition to being kind, fun and professional, she goes out of her way to help GSPIA and the faculty she works with shine.”
“We fought all the time. We made up all the time,” Gebet says. “But it took her 42 years to make me cry.”
Valiquette earned her associate’s degree from Bradford Business School in 1976, then joined the University. She began her GSPIA career working in the public and urban affairs program, then moved to the dean’s office and then to her current posts.
She is survived by husband John “Jack” Valiquette, daughter Nicole, grandchild Gianna and brother Joseph.