Faculty + Staff

Parting words: New UCLA retirees start writing next chapter in their lives

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This summer, UCLA bids farewell to many treasured employees who are retiring from posts all across campus — trading workplace “to-do” lists for adventurous, new bucket lists. Here, four recent retirees reminisce about their experiences and offer words of wisdom to their fellow Bruins. 

Kenn Heller

Kenn L. Heller
Chief Innovation Officer, Assistant Dean of Students in Student Affairs

How long have you been at UCLA, and what was your first job here? 
I’ve been here for 43 years. My first job was as a dishwasher in Rieber Hall when I was a student.

What accomplishments are you proudest of?
The introduction of large-scale outdoor concerts such as Talking Heads at Janss Steps and the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival. Helping fashion and interpret policies which were more supportive of student initiatives and giving students greater access to university resources and technology, such as online registration of student organizations and free hosting of their websites. And serving as an adviser and mentor to hundreds of UCLA student leaders.

What’s the biggest change you've noticed on campus?
Fewer students with grand visions of things they want to accomplish, versus “getting the grade.”

What will you miss most when you retire?
The creative process of working with students, faculty and staff who want to be engaged. I will also miss the abundant intellectual and creative stimulation that being at UCLA has afforded me.   

What are you looking forward to most in your retirement?
The flexibility to work on consulting projects associated with highly innovative technology leaders. I plan to stay connected with Campus Life to help forge new campus and external relationships that promote healthy and creative lifestyles.  I’m also looking forward to more time writing and performing music.

What advice would you offer your fellow Bruins?
Give thought to how much knowledge you share versus how much you hoard.  Be open to meeting with almost anyone seeking knowledge and counsel.  We grow by casting the largest net for ideas and information.  We grow more by sharing what we’ve learned.

 

 
 
Roxanne Moster

Roxanne Moster
Director, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations

How long have you been at UCLA, and what was your first job here?
More than 22 years. My UCLA career started in 1992 in the UCLA Medical Center marketing department.  

What accomplishments are you proudest of?
Getting the story out in the media about the amazing discoveries and medical miracles UCLA’s doctors and researchers are involved in. Some highlights include the difficult and complex surgical separation of the formerly conjoined twins from Guatamala; the medical team that miraculously re-created a nose for a young Iraqi girl whose face was severely injured during a war bombing; UCLA's first hand transplant; and raising the visibility of UCLA’s Operation Mend, a program launched by philanthropist Ron Katz that provides surgical, medical and mental health care to soldiers wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

What are the biggest changes you've noticed on campus?
The tremendous growth of UCLA Health Sciences. What was the UCLA Medical Center when I started now incorporates Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA; and over 100 community health care clinics spread across the city and beyond. Also, thanks to the philanthropic donations from entertainment mogul David Geffen, the David Geffen medical school has undergone a physical transformation and secured the resources to provide more scholarships enabling medical students to graduate debt-free.

What will you miss most when you retire?
It was a difficult decision for me to retire because I feel so connected to our media relations team, to the doctors, nurses, staff and researchers and especially to the patients who show me what courage really means. They are truly my inspiration.

What are you looking forward to most in your retirement?
I hope to finally have the time to sit down and write my bucket list.  I hope to clear my head and my heart to see where my next life adventures lead me.

What advice would you offer your fellow Bruins?
UCLA is truly an incredible place to work, learn and be inspired.  If you don’t feel quite fulfilled, look around and explore all the career opportunities on this great campus.  There are many wonderful people here willing to lend a hand, mentor and take a chance on you if you reach out and explore.

 

Jack Powazek

Jack Powazek
Administrative Vice Chancellor

How long have you been at UCLA, and what was your first job here?
47 years. The first six years were as a student earning two of my three UCLA degrees (B.A. in engineering, M.B.A. and Ed.D.) My first job was as an organizational development consultant and manager of the Management Development Program in the Staff Personnel Department (now called Campus Human Resources). 

What accomplishments are you proudest of having achieved here?
While there are the “usual suspects” such as energy and water conservation, transportation initiatives and housing redevelopment, I have always strived to improve every department during my association with them — that is, leave them in a better condition than when I first found them. I believe — and hope — that I have achieved my goal.

What are the biggest changes you've noticed on campus?
The pace of work has accelerated significantly, and most functions have become much more complex. Additionally, UCLA has not only become much more involved with its surrounding communities and Los Angeles, but also routinely engages issues both nationally and internationally. Finally, I have observed UCLA’s transformation into a campus rich with diversity.

What will you miss most when you retire?
Obviously, the people. Over the years I have come to know a large number of fantastic people. I will also miss the campus — it’s a unique, vibrant and very special place.

What are you looking forward to most during your retirement?
Relaxing, traveling, discovering new activities — and not having to respond quickly to countless emails.

What advice would you offer your fellow Bruins?
As you work and interact with your fellow Bruins, it is important to be smart, but it is more critical to be wise. Go Bruins!

 

Jackie Reynolds

Jackie Reynolds
Chief Information Officer, UCLA Anderson School of Management

How long have you been at UCLA, and what was your first job here?
35 years. I was hired into the Administrative Information Systems in 1980 to help implement the then-new payroll/personnel system.

What accomplishments are you proudest of?
I've implemented some exciting and critical technologies and systems at UCLA, but my proudest achievement is aiding the successful careers of the hundreds of staff I have managed or mentored. My passion for developing staff was, I believe, the basis for receiving the 2014 UCLA EXCEL Award for Leadership from the Administrative Management Group — truly the most special honor of my career.

What's the biggest change you've noticed on campus?
Prior to the mid-to-late 1990s, the campus featured a consensus-building work environment that focused on being supportive and adding value. With California's financial crises came tightened budgets and harsh choices, and I feel that collegiality, unfortunately, has suffered. I have always loved the collegial nature of working at a university, and I've tried very hard to keep that spirit alive in all my projects and programs right through to my last working day.

What will you miss most when you retire?
Working with people who have been tireless in their efforts to make UCLA a better place. I’ve made so many friends and had so much fun working with them. But these are true friendships that will continue long into my retirement years.

What are you looking forward to most in your retirement?
The next big surprises!  I'll probably still engage in some form of work, and I can't wait to see what this next experience will add to my life. I'll have more spare time to spend with our grown son and daughter, who both live out-of-state. And maybe someday ... grandkids!!!

What advice would you offer your fellow Bruins?
Be kind. Be fair. Be tough. Never lose sight of what makes UCLA one of the greatest universities on the planet, and every day, do whatever you can to make it even a little bit better. Not only will UCLA benefit, but your career will be filled with meaning and joy.

Learn more about Reynolds, along with other recent retirees, in the UCLA Anderson Blog: Retiring Anderson staff give the expression "so long" true meaning.

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