Robin Byerly is leaving us. But this may not be news. Yet the words are bittersweet.

Some of you in the CCSA family know that Robin avoids the spotlight. And you also know that I have had to put her on spot a few times this last year. Between the 40th Anniversary celebration in October 2022 to the Board meeting in in April 2023, Robin has had to put up with my celebrating her contribution to CCSA and beyond.

Now… as agreed between Robin and me, she gets the last word.

From Robin Byerly —

I wanted to take this opportunity to send out a huge THANK YOU to all board members, faculty, administrators, fellow staff members and providers with whom I have worked over the years with CCSB/CCSA. I hope each of you know how VERY MUCH your friendship has meant to me. 

I approach retirement with bittersweet emotions. On one hand, I am looking forward to the (hopefully) more relaxed pace of life beyond CCSA. Yet on the other hand, I know I will greatly miss the daily interaction with my CCSA friends and colleagues.

Thanks to each of you who donated to the “Robin Goes for Broke” retirement fund. 😉

I am SO VERY appreciative of the many gift cards to my favorite theatres, cinemas, restaurants, etc. Even more special are the personal notes many of you took time to write. And the beautiful CCSA plaque will always hold a place of honor in my home.

I wrote the below remembrance for Mike Klembara’s “passing of the torch” back in April 2009, but every memory is still as meaningful today as it was back then. 

“Who would have thought that a chance meeting while strolling along Sherman Avenue would have changed the course of my life? Had it not been for that momentous day in August 1992, would I ever have experienced…

  • the enchantment of live theatre on the West End?
  • the richness of AUTHENTIC Cadbury fruit and nut bars?
  • the thrill of racing with my children to the top of Dover Castle?
  • the delectable taste of hard cider?
  • the awe-inspiring view looking down on Sydney Harbor from the window of a seaplane?
  • the exquisite sensation of Irish smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers?
  • the thrill of tracking wallabies and koalas on Kangaroo Island?
  • the delight of sampling scones and tea at The Muffin Man?
  • the breathtaking climb to and view from Arthur’s seat?
  • the beauty of the Barossa Valley AND Rockford Black Shiraz?
  • the excitement of the Edinburgh Festival?
  •  the spray of the sea while strolling along the shore at Brighton Beach?
  • the enthralling view of the fly over from Trafalgar Square during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Weekend?

As much as these wonderful moments have made lasting impressions on my life, I value even more the knowledge I have gained while working with you. I am ever grateful that you chose to share with me your passion for study abroad and pride in a job well done. I couldn’t have been gifted a better teacher.”

While Mike was my first “teacher,” both Maggie Monteverde and Jerry Barnaby also contributed to my ongoing “international education.” And I would be remiss not to mention Jeffrey Williams, who has been a part of CCSB/CCSA even longer than have I! Each of you brought different strengths to the table, and I value the knowledge and friendship you shared.

Included here are pictures from my first CCSB experience in 1994, a few from my most recent visit with son Jesse in 2018—as well as a handful from travels in between. Hair and clothing styles (as well as camera technology) have certainly evolved over the years, but my love of travel has never changed.

I wish I had time to thank each of you personally, but please know how very much I appreciate you. The crossing of our paths has enriched my life far more than you’ll ever know. 

In closing, I sincerely hope this is not “goodbye,” but rather “ta ta for now (TTFN).” If ever you’re in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area, please let me know. I would love to visit with you!

FYI, I’ll be holding on to my CCSA email address and phone number, so you’ll know where to find me. And who knows? I may show up in your neck of the woods someday—now that I’ll have more time to wander. 🙂

Robin Byerly – Program Coordinator – CCSA (until August 31, 2023)