A Well-Deserved Retirement: Karen Comer’s Legacy


A picture of working at a health center. Long shifts, piles of paperwork, echoes of coughing students, and ringing phones probably come to mind.

Not when Karen Comer is around.

A 26-year office manager at the University of Miami’s Student Health Center, Comer loves what he does and the people around him love what they do.

“I like it here,” said Comer. “My biggest passion is helping students. I helped them with insurance. I’ve helped them with medical issues over the years.”

Kammer and her colleagues brought light to the office by turning lunchtime into a mini party with catered food and a potluck.

“[The medical director] One day I said, ‘If you’re going to party around here, you’ll find everything,'” said Comer. “So we laughed and decided to hold a national Pickle Day in his honor.”

The next day, Kammer and her co-workers bring pickles in costumes ranging from snowmen to sunbathing.

“He was surprised that we would do something like that,” said Comer. “I’m glad we all had a good time playing [the job]”

After working at a health center, Kammer moved to the Student Affairs Department, where she worked as an administrative assistant.

Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students, Lindsay Toyan, is a colleague of Comer’s and works closely with her at Warfield Hall.

“She’s the best. I tell you the sweetest person,” Tonyang said.

Tonyan said he will miss the unexpected laughter moments and inside jokes Kammer brought to work.

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“She’s really witty. Her jokes will come out of nowhere,” Toyyan said. “We’re always laughing in the office.”

Tonyan said he misses her, but Kammer won his retirement. One of her greatest contributions to Miami was her role in making her Student Health Service an independent organization.

“She’s a very humble person. She never boasted about some of her achievements.”

True to her personality, Comer said she misses the people of Miami the most.

“Some of my best friends now, and my true best friend, I met here in Miami,” said Comer. The feeling of being grateful.”

Ms. Comer said she looks forward to reading books and taking care of her granddaughter when she retires.

“There are a lot of things that are very special about working in Miami,” said Comer. “It was a great place to work. They were very nice. It was a nice ride.”



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