It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gael Howell, former IES Abroad Auckland Center Director, on January 19, 2015. Gael was instrumental in the establishment of our New Zealand Center. She will be remembered as a gentle and cheerful soul, dedicated to enriching the lives of her students with local Auckland culture and cuisine, adventure, and experiences.
Over the years, many of our Auckland alumni have written to let us know how Gael has had an impact on their lives. Read a sample of these comments below:
“Our advisor, Gael, was fantastic! She was like a friend and mother figure who made me feel secure, yet free while studying abroad.”
“Gael Howell was amazing! She was extremely helpful throughout the entire semester!”
“My representative in Auckland, Gael Howell, was fantastic. She planned great activities for us and was very knowledgeable when it came to anything we had a question about. She was always ready to help us if need be.”
“The first day upon arrival in Auckland, we met the Program Coordinator for IES Abroad Auckland, Gael Howell. Gael is a very sweet and compassionate lady, and she is always around to answer questions, listen, and be that 'Mom away from home.' Any concerns that I had were quickly addressed and resolved with the assistance of Gael and the homestay staff.”
Gael was calm and collected in the face of disaster, as she proved after the horrific Christchurch earthquake of February 22, 2011, where she was invaluable in fostering the immediate relocation of all Christchurch students.
Gael stayed close with the IES Abroad Auckland Center after she retired in 2012 to pursue her own adventures in Australia. Unfortunately, that time was far too short.
We fondly remember Gael and think of her husband, children, and grandchildren during this difficult time.