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IU Northwest honors retirees at semi-annual retirement reception

Amid laughs, tears, colleagues share stories as they wish co-workers well

Friday Dec 14, 2012

The colleagues and families of retiring Indiana University Northwest staff and faculty members gathered on campus to recount fond memories and show appreciation for the three individuals who are leaving the university this month and beginning a new chapter in their lives. 

The retiring individuals honored at the reception included: William Buckley, Ph.D.; Juan (John) Gonzalez; and Linda Rooda, Ph.D., RN.

IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe welcomed each retiree and recapped their various accomplishments and responsibilities throughout the years.

“This is an event where we not only say goodbye, but thank you to colleagues who have worked hard during their time with us at IU Northwest,” he said. “It’s a transition, not an end, and an opportunity to wish them well.”

Their voices cracking occasionally as the emotion welled up, long-time colleagues of each retiree in attendance took turns at the podium, recounting stories, revealing endearing personality traits and above all, thanking their colleagues – and friends - for their unwavering dedication and service over the years.

Professional Highlights

William Buckley, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of English, 30 years of service

Buckley joined the Northwest campus in 1982 as a visiting lecturer in the Department of English, and became an Assistant Professor three years later in 1985. He leaves the campus as a Professor of English.

For years, he’s served as the advisor for ‘Spirits’, the IU Northwest literary magazine, which won Best College Magazine in Indiana four years in a row

Since 1983, he has also published poetry on a wide variety of subjects in American and international journals.

As founder and editor-in-chief of ‘Plath Profiles’, an interdisciplinary journal for Sylvia Plath studies, Buckley recently published volume 5, and will continue to complete work on volume 6 before passing it on to a yet unnamed editor.

‘Plath Profiles’ remains the only journal and the singular most contemporary collection of essays, prose, artwork, and photography by academics and students worldwide.

In retirement, he plans on surfing off the shores of his hometown, San Diego, with his son.

Juan (John) Gonzales

Officer, IU Police Department – Northwest, 21 years of service

Gonzalez joined the IU Police Department – Northwest (IUPD-NW) in 1991 as a 1st Class Police Officer, the day following his retirement as a Lieutenant of the Gary Police Department, and a member of the Gary Police Aviation.

As an officer, he very much enjoyed interacting with students, faculty and staff and will most miss being a part of the positive campus atmosphere.

IUPD-NW Chief Nowak presented Gonzales with a plaque honoring his years of service and dedication to keeping the campus safe.

In retirement, he looks forward to spending more time with grandchildren.

Linda Rooda, Ph.D., RN

Professor, School of Nursing, 40 years of service

Rooda started at IU Northwest in 1972 under a one-year appointment as a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Nursing, the first day back from her honeymoon.

Her presence at IU Northwest continued, and during her 40 years of service she served as the Dean of the School of Nursing, as well as Chair of the Faculty Organization.

Rooda was a keynote speaker for the National Nurse Education Summit in Las Vegas in 2010; and was awarded the Herman Frederic Lieber Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994, an IU-wide acknowledgement.

Reflecting on her four decades of service to higher education, Rooda is proud of the School of Nursing’s Licensure Exam results, the recent enrollment expansion of the nursing program, and the School’s successful Nursing as a Second Degree option.

She leaves the campus with her “primary point of pride,” as she put it, “educating more than 2,800 nurses” during her time at IU Northwest.

She looks forward to spending more time with her family in retirement.

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