The pandemic called for a complete reorganization! exclaims Odette Rochefort. During the pandemic, this future retiree, a Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) laboratory work technician for over 25 years, missed the close relationship she usually has with her students. “I’ve always been one to work in direct contact with people, and there I was, working from home. Helping them out on Zoom was quite the challenge!” she explains.

At UQO, Odette Rochefort oversees the digital workshops at École multidisciplinaire de l’image. Each semester, she supports art, graphic design, comic strip design and museology students.

She is always close by to give them advice on various graphics, layout, binding and publishing software. She developed several very clear fact sheets to help her students get a handle on the laboratory’s software. “My goal is to see them become self-sufficient,” she explains.

Her advice is greatly appreciated: when she walked into the laboratory earlier this fall, her first group—thrilled to see her—gave her an ovation. “That was a very emotional moment,” admits the technician who considers her students as members of a very large family. She keeps in touch with many of them, though some have left the UQO decades ago. To this day, some still call her to ask for advice and guidance.

Being back in the classroom will give her the opportunity to take full advantage of her final year with those she deeply appreciates, coming full circle before enjoying her well-deserved retirement.

Lending her talent to her union

A former graphic designer, Odette Rochefort put her talent to good use by creating the current logo of her union, the Syndicat du personnel de soutien de l’UQO. But she’s done so much more for the labour movement!

This laboratory work technician was not only Vice President but also a Negotiating Committee member for the collective agreement of her union for eight years. She is a current member, for the third time, of the negotiations-related Mobilization Committee... and she created all the demonstrations’ visuals!