Rachid Welcomed Me…

Rachid welcomed me into the mathematics department as a new faculty member in 2017. His leadership made the department feel like a family in many ways. He encouraged us to do what was right and inspired us to remember that the students and our colleagues are what mattered the most. He greeted us with a warm smile and checked in to see if we were doing ok, showing he cared about each of us so much. Just like a family, he wasn’t afraid to disagree with others with his booming voice and advocate for what he thought was right. But we all knew that even if he disagreed with us he still loved us and ultimately had our back in the end. In our last department meeting I shared with my colleague that I am pregnant, expecting a new baby in May of 2021. Rachid was SO happy and so full of joy for us. His eyes were shining as he made many comments and even joked about our wonderful news. This was the last time I saw him, and I cherish the memory of his beautiful reaction and celebration for our family.

-Nicola Justice

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