“It’s great to be back where I came from,” Cabirac said. “It’s amazing that Tom and Ana are still in the department, which is a testament to their years of productive research. I enjoy being colleagues with them and so many other wonderful people. I’ve also immensely enjoyed forming relationships with students throughout my years at ASU. I still stay in contact with students from over 10 years ago, and just had lunch with a student from seven years back. Some of the students we meet are remarkable people, and their stories are so varied and interesting. Every year, I come away with the sense that I’ve gained a better understanding of the world, especially through the eyes of our international students.”

Many students, both on campus and online, appreciate Cabirac’s teaching style and sense of humor. It is in the classroom where Cabirac has undoubtedly left his mark.

“Professor Cabirac is really great and very caring,” one student noted. “He makes everything very clear, which is super helpful in a class comprised of mainly freshmen. He genuinely cares about his students and gives lots of solid advice, along with being funny!”

“Gary has been central to the success of our online degree programs, regularly taking on the enormous task of teaching classes of over 400 students at a time. I am really not sure how we will make it all work without him,” said Ian Gould, associate dean of online innovation in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Teaching at such scale requires fastidious attention to class organization, structure and detail. But Gary isn’t just a skilled instructor, he cares about each student and is truly loved by them; his students will miss him as much as we do.”

Cabirac, a lifelong learner, doesn’t anticipate getting bored in retirement, whether traveling, mountain biking or gardening.

“Sarah and I want to do some traveling in the states. We’re planning on renting a trailer and visiting national parks across the country. We also want to volunteer and give back to society. We enjoy hiking, and I’ve developed an interest in gardening. I’d like to learn to fly fish and pick up some other hobbies.”

Cabirac, of course, also plans to try his hand at home brewing again.

James Klemaszewski

Science writer, School of Molecular Sciences