By Anne Wolf
This month, across the University of California system, faculty and staff are saying goodbye and congratulations to many of their colleagues. Hundreds of faculty and staff retire from UC each June – more than in any other month.
Many retire after spending decades dedicated to the UC and its mission. Below are just a few of the many retiring faculty and staff who have made a life of public service.
| Maria Correa UC Los Angeles
Administrative Assistant III
UCLA School of Dentistry
Years at UC: 32+
First job at UC: principal clerk in the UCLA hospital billing office
Retirement plans: I plan to walk every morning; enjoy family and friends in a more relaxed way; join a book club; travel with my husband of 33 years; finish all the unfinished jobs at home. I plan to just do all the things I like to do.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: I am just very proud that I've been here for so many years. Knowing that the university can count on me 100 percent. I am very loyal to the university. I'm also proud that this place respects me and my culture.
Who or what you will miss most: Definitely my relationship with my coworkers; they are like second family to me. I will miss the students, they are very smart; the campus that is so beautiful (the botanical garden). I plan to come back often to keep in touch.
Advice for UC colleagues: Even though times are rough now, the UC system is still one of the best places to work; if you are here, do the best you can on whatever you do.
William A. Coles UC San Diego
William A. Coles
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
UC San Diego
Years at UC: 42
First Job at UC: assistant professor. I got in on the ground floor of a very interesting campus. I started my career in a small department that already had a Nobel Prize winner and many National Academy of Science members. Other departments were similar. My field, Radio Astronomy, was also brand new. It was a very exciting time and place - to say nothing of the social turmoil of the 1960s that swept around us.
Retirement Plans: I plan to keep doing most of what I am presently doing. But I hope to spend more time with my colleagues abroad, particularly in Australia and Europe. It's a way to help my friends and keep in touch with what's going on in my field.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: I don't think of life that way. I'm proud of my kids, my students, my colleagues that I've worked with; but I've not created a building. I've helped build my department, but it's the whole package that I'm proud of.
Who or what you will miss most: I'm not going to miss anything. I'm going to stay right here and continue my research. I'm also planning to continue teaching. They'll have to carry me out feet first.
Advice for UC colleagues: UC is still a great place to work. Of course, we are all aware that UC is going through a budgetary convulsion, but it will remain one of the world's extraordinary academic institutions. However, you're going to need a good sense of humor to see it through this crisis.
| Benito de Lumen UC Berkeley
Benito de Lumen
Professor of Nutritional Science & Toxicology
Years at UC: 33
First job at UC: Assistant professor
Retirement plans: I play a lot of tennis, and I'll be playing more. My wife and I will be traveling. We are going to Spain in the fall; probably cross over to Morocco. I'll be working with a startup biotech company I cofounded based on discovery of a molecule in my lab. And I'll be enjoying my first and only granddaughter.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: About 12 years ago, a cancer preventive molecule called lunasin was discovered in my laboratory. It is found in seeds of common crops such as soybeans, barley, and wheat. The science is quite robust and collaborators all over the world will continue to research it. UC Berkeley owns the patents and we formed a company to develop it commercially. It will be good for people because it prevents cancer.
Who or what you will miss most: Interaction with students, both in teaching and research. I think we get some of the brightest students in California, if not the nation. I have written many letters of recommendation for students who have gone into health careers; that's very satisfying to me.
Advice for UC colleagues: You have to know the rules of the game. Here at Berkeley, because we are a research university, one of the main objectives is to boost the frontiers of knowledge. The quality of research determines tenure and professional success. Once you get tenure, enjoy the job and be productive.
| Jon Gledhill UC San Francisco
Director of Transportation Services and Campus Life Services Facilities
UC San Francisco
Years at UC: 33
First job at UC: repro graphics delivery at UC Berkeley, where I was a student; I came to UCSF in 1981 as director of mailing and addressing services.
Retirement plans: We will be settling our two daughters-both UC graduates-into their continuing educational pursuits; our oldest is starting medical school and the youngest is getting a second bachelor's degree in nursing. I also have a long list of things to do at home, the never-ending list. Beyond that, some travel and fishing are part of the plan and just enjoying time with family and friends.
UC accomplishment you're proud of: It really boils down to being part of making UC a world-class university. That means doing what's needed to support that endeavor. Specifically, I'm proud of the redesign of the entire UCSF shuttle system in the wake of the development of the Mission Bay campus. Transportation is such a core need for the entire UCSF population, and the redesign had a very positive impact on the entire campus community.
Who or what you will miss most: I will most miss the folks I work with on a daily basis. I will also sorely miss the many friends and colleagues that I've made over the course of the last 30+ years on campus, who do such great work every day to make this the special institution it is.
Advice for UC colleagues: Keep the big picture in mind when things get tough, that's always helped me get through the tough times. Also, and perhaps more practically, start your 403(b) plan as early as possible. It does make a big difference. Otherwise, enjoy each and every day; they go by so fast.
| Barbara Lester Office of the President
Director of Corporate Accounting
Office of the President, CFO Division
Years at UC: 38
First Job at UC: assistant accountant at UC Berkeley
Retirement plans: My husband and I hope to travel. I have a list of home projects that I want to get done. And I'm looking forward to just having a different routine.
UC accomplishments you're most proud of: Developing a new corporate financial reporting system. It's used by all the campuses and UCOP and has made year-end financial reporting much easier. Also, I've had a number of different jobs at UC and that's enabled me to be a good resource person for a lot of my colleagues here and on the campuses.
Who or what you will miss most: I'll miss all the contacts I made with people on the campuses and here at UCOP. I've gotten a lot of good ideas from them and they've really helped me. I hope I've reciprocated.
Advice for UC colleagues: Learn as much as you can from all the expert people you are working with; expand your knowledge; be willing to change; and be patient with everyone.
| Annette Luckow UC Irvine
UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences
Years at UC: 37+
First Job at UC: Student library assistant at UC Riverside; first career job as a senior clerk in Academic Personnel at UC Davis; I've been lucky I've worked on four campuses: Associate dean at UC Santa Cruz
Retirement Plans: Between us, my husband and I have five kids and nine grandkids; we want to spend time with them; travel, take classes, volunteer, house projects: clean out drawers and closets.
UC accomplishments you're most proud of: Helping to establish the Bren School as a new school in 2002. We had to set up structures, policies and procedures; I helped train and orient academic leadership. It was and is a huge success on both the staff and faculty sides. I'm also proud of my involvement in mentoring staff, developing staff leaders through UCI's Leadership Academy and as a program coordinator for the systemwide Business Officers Institute for 10 years.
Who or what will you miss most about working at UC? Certainly the people, who are extraordinarily gifted and dedicated individuals. I'm blown away by the talent in this organization. I am also going to miss the daily challenge of what's coming next. I love to think on my feet and make it work. Being part of our faculty's and student's success is the thrill of this job.
Advice for UC colleagues: Welcome change and challenges; persevere; be creative and have fun.
| R. Bruce MIller UC Merced
R. Bruce Miller
Founding University Librarian
Years at UC: 24 years
First job at UC: Associate university librarian at UC San Diego;
Retirement plans: I've moved to Austin, Texas, which calls itself the music capital of the world, and I intend to take advantage of that. I'm a long-time guitar player and technician, and I'm in the process of building a new electric guitar for myself. I want to do some creative writing. As a librarian, I love to read and plan to do more reading for fun. I'm not even close to worrying about running out of things to do.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: I'm really proud of work I did at UCSD; I helped to bring it to the cutting edge regarding information technology. Coming to Merced, we leveraged that. I'm very proud that Merced students and faculty have access to materials and equipment at their fingertips as good as anywhere in the world. And we did that with minimum of people. I'm now seeing UC libraries one by one adopt practices and methods that we started at Merced.
Who or what you will miss most: More than anything, I'll miss the daily friendships, the camaraderie. As the "elder statesman" of the group at Merced, I have a paternal feeling about some of the staff. Watching some of the younger staff grow, have families, has been really gratifying.
Advice for UC colleagues: Sustain the vision; keep sight of what we're doing and be proud and excited about being a highly professional group.
| Monica Moreno-Hornsleth UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara College of Letters & Science
Years at UC: 30
First Job at UC: senior typist clerk in the recreation department
Retirement Plans: On my first day of retirement I'm reporting for jury duty! After that, I'm looking forward to taking art classes and calligraphy classes. I plan to spend more time with my parents. I also plan to read, hang out with my dog and travel to see friends. I will enjoy just having the time be my own, doing whatever I want.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: My work with students helping them in the advisor role. It's been very gratifying.
Who or what will you miss most about working at UC? I will miss working with the students, but I will also really miss the culture of the university, which promotes learning and new ideas. I will miss many of the people I have met and have become lifelong friends.
Advice for UC colleagues: I know that things are hard for everyone now. The only way we're going to make it through is to stick together and make each other laugh.
| Bette Quinn UC Riverside
UC Riverside, Graduate Division
Years at UC: 39+
First job at UC: Student worker in the Registrar's Office at UC Riverside. My first career job was collecting payments on short-term student loans in the UC Riverside business office.
Retirement plans: I don't have many concrete plans yet: A family wedding in Montana in July. My brother has a big July 4 party and I've usually had to come and go quickly. This year I can stay longer and relax.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: One of the nicest compliments I ever got was from a professor who said, "The graduate division is a bureaucracy that actually works." My staff really does serve the students, staff and faculty to solve problems. We have a reputation on campus as a unit that gets the job done in a way that is helpful.
Who or what you will miss most: I'm going to miss the people I work with; they're a really good team. I'm going to miss my routine; I'm a creature of habit.
Advice for UC colleagues: Hang in there. I've seen many ups and downs, but it always turns around eventually. Just take care of business and try not to get distracted by all the noise around you; you have no control over it. In the end, whatever happens, we'll make it work.
| Doug Russo UC Santa Cruz
Carpenter Specialist in the Physical Plant Department
UC Santa Cruz
Years at UC: 22+
First job at UC: I've always been a carpenter at UC
Retirement plans: I'm going to surf more with my twin brother, Craig, who is also retiring from UC Santa Cruz this month. I'm getting back into printmaking and painting, and I have plenty of jobs at my own home. I also want to do some traveling.
UC accomplishments you're proud of: I've done some nice projects, but I'm most proud of the fact that I had good client relationships with the people we've done work for. Craig and I have received many letters from our UC Santa Cruz clients thanking us.
Who or what you will miss most: I will miss the people that I worked for. Besides working for them, you strike up a nice relationship with them. I'll also miss being around young people who aren't jaded about life yet. And Santa Cruz is a beautiful place to work.
Advice for UC colleagues: Hang in there; everything will come together.
| Yin Yeh UC Davis
Professor and Chair of Applied Science
Years at UC: 45
First job at UC: Lawrence Livermore lab as a post doctoral fellow (1966-1968); became staff scientist in 1968; came to UC Davis 1972.
Retirement plans: Taking a river cruise in Eastern Europe with my wife to celebrate our 50 years of marriage. Then visit family on the east coast. Then return to my research projects.
UC accomplishment you're proud of: I was a co-Principal Investigator, with Professors Dennis Matthews and James Boggan, in the founding of a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center: the Center for BioPhotonics Science and Technology (CBST) at UC Davis. It's a 10-year program and we're in year nine. It is essentially what I wanted to do: integrate physical tools into the study of biology and medicine, bringing together biologists, health scientists, physicists and engineers to solve outstanding medical problems.
Who or what you will miss most: I will definitely miss the student interaction. Furthermore, the range of faculty interaction will be somewhat different, probably not as broad. In these last two or three years as an administrator, there have been many interesting things going on; I'm not sure I will miss that.
Advice for UC colleagues: The University must be more focused on inquisitive thinking and creative learning. In the current budget situation, I do not see good tidings going down the route of the business model of operations. I think my colleagues have all put out tremendous effort; I admire their fortitude and hope the best for all of them.
Anne Wolf is Systemwide Coordinator, Internal Communications, at Office of the President.