UCI Retiree Highlights - 2019

Link categories for group 1 of 10

Other Years' Retiree Highlights:   2018

Tom Fielder - November 2019

UCI Highlighted RetireeTom Fielder


Following my retirement in 2013 after 26 years at UCI, I took up urban hiking, often walking to the hardware store or grocery store for small purchases, or just walking for the exercise. I first began interacting, albeit haphazardly, with people experiencing homelessness on these excursions. In 2017, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great group of people who call themselves Housing is a Human Right Orange County (HHROC, https://housingisahumanrightoc.org), and I’ve been a member of the group ever since.

HHROC members foster personal connections with people experiencing home-lessness through food-sharing activities and other assistance. We advocate the “Housing First” approach to tackling homelessness, for building more very low-income housing and permanent supportive housing, and for effective over-sight of shelters.

If you wish to better understand the causes and consequences of homelessness, I urge you to read Homelessness in Orange County: The Costs to Our Community, a study conducted by UCI Sociology Department faculty members David A. Snow and Rachel E. Goldberg (click to read the article).

Legacy Scholarsip Students Awarded - October 2019


• Amalia Cardenas

• Sara-Ann Zheng

• Alessandra Contreras


We are pleased to announce the recipients of our legacy scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. Due to the generosity of our members, we were able to award $6,000 in scholarships to two incoming freshmen and one incoming transfer student who all have staff, faculty or alumni connections to UCI.

Amalia Cardenas is a freshman from Santa Ana, CA majoring in biological sciences. She hopes to give back to the world tenfold by helping those in need, perhaps as an orthopedic surgeon. She will use the money to help pay for classes, textbooks, and bus transportation. Amalia’s father is a staff member in UCI Housing Services.

Sara-Ann Zheng is also a freshman biological sciences major. She is from San Bernardino, CA. Her brother is an alumnus and current staff member in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Receiving this scholarship will allow her to focus on her studies. After graduating, she hopes to move on to medical school.

Alessandra Contreras is a transfer student from Calexico, CA majoring in Criminology, Law and Society. Her aunt is a UCI alumna. She plans to become a forensic psychologist and ultimately hopes to work for a federal agency like the FBI. She is grateful for the scholarship money which will help with books and fees.

CTSA FAStER PASS - September 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree


The FAStER (Faculty/Alumni/Staff/Emeriti/Retirees) ARTS PASS is a pre-loaded card that entitles our UCI family to deeply discounted tickets to the dance, drama and music performances of the cardholder's choice (few blackout dates apply; check with Box Office). The already discounted faculty-/alumni-/staff-/emeriti-/retirees-priced tickets are reduced even more by purchasing a FAStER Pass.

Purchase or read more here: http://www.arts.uci.edu/FAStER

As UCI Retirees/Emeriti you have many discounts still avail-able to you. Please see the updated list on our website here http://retirees.uci.edu/retiree-discounts/

Wanda Reynolds - August 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
• Wanda Reynolds
• Sharon Quick-Silva
      (Assemblywoman)
• Granson Marcus


"I was hired as a Senior Admit worker at the UCI Medical Center in early 1988.

"I was told I could retire at age 50, but because that did not give me enough gas money, I worked until I was 55, retiring in June 2006. When my second grandson was born in 2007, I became a transportation grandma!

"Before retiring, I was appointed to the Buena Park Culture and Fine Arts Commission where we collaborate on, promote, encourage and endorse cultural activities in the city, such as art festivals, summer band concerts, bus caravans, lecture/artist series, and children's art shows and theater. In 2013, I was appointed to the Buena Park Senior Commission to advise the City Council as to the needs of senior citizens and projects and activities within the community that would benefit this population.

"Because of my love for the Arts, I joined the Orange County Heritage Council, made up of dedicated community volunteers who focus on the development of events and activities that promote positive family and cultural interactions. I have served as the Youth Art Contest Coordinator for the past seven years which culminates in the annual Orange County Black History Parade and Cultural Faire in downtown Anaheim during Black History month."

Mike Puritz - June 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
Mike Puritz


I retired on June 30, 2015 after 35 years at UCI. I've been fortunate to be able to continue with my cycling, running, racing triathlons, skiing, hiking, camping, and rekindling my golf game. These are now my "day jobs.” It has also been a fun experience to lead monthly CER Walks and Bike Rides, connect with former colleagues and meet new UCI Retirees. In my spare time, I volunteer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Bay to Bay bike tour, the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge, and continue to help out with the UCI Staff Assembly Scholarship committee.

Since retirement, my wife and I have traveled to Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, New York, Boston, Chicago, Europe, Canada, and Scandinavia. As I keep telling my wife, "I need to take a couple days off from retirement because I am too busy!"

Linda Bogue - May 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
Linda Bogue


Linda Bogue spent 20+ years in the oil industry before taking a career turn and serving 10 years at UCI as the campus emergency manager. Although she retired in 2013, she was not finished yet, and worked as the assistant to the City of Irvine emergency manager for two years.

Linda enjoys hiking in our local wilderness parks. She volunteers regularly for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, leading hikes and participating in projects to restore and maintain the wild land. As a member of the Retirees Association Board, Linda leads hikes and looks for local, low cost activities that introduce retirees to a variety of experiences in OC. She shares her home in Mission Viejo with two cats, Seven and Little Man.

Bernadette Strobel-Lopez - April 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
Bernadette Strobel-Lopez


After retiring, I rented out my home in Orange County and moved to the Imperial Valley where I purchased a 20 acre "fixer-upper." Having little experience with tools and no experience living in the country, I was quickly challenged and named my ranchito "Green Acres." I learned about cisterns, septic systems, irrigating, alternative uses for hemp, organic gardening, etc. I even learned how to use a tractor! Soon I was no longer afraid of snakes or strange bugs or being knee deep in mud. In my spare time, I volunteered at the Pioneers Museum and the Humane Society of Imperial County. I also helped my father in his Ranch Realty Office. I recently moved back to Orange County and still have my little "ranchito." I continue to support the Humane Society of Imperial County. I am also hooked on flea market flipping (transforming junk into function) and crafts.

Ann DiPlacito - March 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
Ann DiPlacito


UCI alumna, Ann DiPlacito started her 25-year UCI event career as a student conference assistant and continues this life-long love of event coordination in retirement. As a board member of the UCI Retiree Association, she helps plan lectures, tours and campus activities.

Ann is also an 8-year manager and board member for Sunday Supper, a Tustin ecumenical program that provides weekly meals and groceries for people who are homeless or living on limited incomes. Based on that interfaith work, Ann has taken advantage of retirement to get involved with other OC interfaith groups, including Orange County Interfaith Network’s House of Worship Tours, which included a recent trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Another retirement “dream fulfilled” for Ann is her on-going printmaking class. Ann’s love of printmaking started with a class taught by John Paul Jones at UCI.

Grandchildren, reading, church work, and travel round out a fulfilling retirement.

Cindy Fern - February 2019

UCI Highlighted Retiree
Cindy Fern


Cindy Fern retired from UCI in 2014. She is the former Director of Student Affairs for the School of Physical Sciences. Following her retirement, Cindy joined the Retirees Association Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer.

Having additional free time in retirement has allowed Cindy more time to sew. She’s a member of the UCI Stars, a group of quilters and crafters that started on campus in 2002 and continues to meet monthly at the home of another UCI retiree. This group creates quilts, pillows, and tote bags that they donate to the UCI Chao Family Cancer Center. Cindy’s specialty is ‘comfort’ pillows for breast cancer patients. She makes around 100 pillows a year. In addition, Cindy is a member of the Beach Cities Quilt Guild and is an active participant in that group’s philanthropy committee.

Cindy participated in the Physical Sciences Mentorship program following her retirement and continues to serve as a mentor to several UCI graduates. She’s also been recalled to campus a couple of times to fill in for academic counselors in the Schools of Business and Physical Sciences who were on leave of absence.

Since retiring, Cindy has taken up yoga and tries to walk or hike several times a week. She’s also resumed playing the piano, something she hasn’t done in a very long time. Retirement has allowed Cindy more time to read. She tries to complete one book a week and has a goal to read all of the books written by one of her favorite authors.

Like other retirees, Cindy has had more time to travel. She and her husband of 47 years, Ed, just returned from a trip to England and Scotland. They are planning a trip in the spring to either Greece or Alaska.