Aimee Zadak, an associate lecturer in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, specializes in grief and bereavement. Having graduated from NSU with a master’s and a doctorate, she spent the last 18 years teaching.
She said, “It is one of the greatest joys of my life.”
Before beginning her teaching career, Zadak spent 14 years in the corporate world, where she led special action teams in strategic planning. Zadak left to concentrate on her doctorate, teach and raise a family. During this time, she wrote her dissertation “Psychosocial Effects of Grieving in the Workplace” and developed her monthly newsletter “The Countdown to Success.”
“The one thing that makes me happiest is helping other people, and as a professor with four classes, I certainly have that opportunity,” Zadak said.
Because she understands the stress many endure in college she enjoys teaching and finds the interaction with her students rewarding. Zadak said she loves “teaching more because I enjoy working with the students.”
In addition to teaching, Zadak counsels adults and teens about obtaining their goals. She believes every individual has the potential for success, but the first step is to “take the time to know who you are.” In her practice, Zadak strives to create individualized processes for reaching a targeted goal. In her newsletter, she outlines a monthly strategy for success.
“Life is not easy,” Zadak said. “You must make things work and find a solution. The first step is learning to like yourself.”
In addition to the newsletter, Zadak also developed Count Down to Goodbye, a program she began for grief counseling when she lost her mother. She learned a powerful lesson when her mother told her, “I feel sad for those I’ll leave behind. I don’t want them to be in pain.” This sparked her interest in helping others deal with the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows.
Zadak said her mothers’ statement had a profound effect on her and helped her understand that “Death is not about you, but rather the people you leave in pain.”
Through her work, she has noticed a lack of empathy as one of the world’s greatest problems, particularly in the U.S.
“People have lost the ability to feel what other people feel and her work in grief counseling reflects her compassion for those in pain,” she said.
Aside from teaching or working in her clinic Zadak likes horseback riding, reading and just thinking quietly.
Trent is a junior communication studies major who is minoring in sports management. He is part of First Tee of Broward County and plays competitive amateur golf.