Board of Directors

The UWRA Board provides leadership and oversight to the organization. Board members are elected by the membership to serve three-year terms. The board’s officers are appointed by the board.


Lea Vaughn

Professor Emerita, School of Law
Member, Executive Committee

Why UWRA? Service, in addition to research and teaching, was a central focus of my career. The pinnacle of my service was being Secretary of the Faculty (1999-2005) for all three campuses. Meeting faculty and staff from all over the University, making new friends, helping people solve problems, and being involved in shared governance was a broadening and fulfilling experience. Being involved with UWRA makes it possible for me to continue my commitment to service in a new forum.

Tom Hinckley

Professor Emeritus, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Immediate Past President
Member, Executive Committee

Why UWRA? The most impressive aspects of UWRA are its Board members, and the staff that support them. First is the quality of the programming, collaboration, and support offered to pre- and post-retirement UW personnel by UWRA through its staff. Second is the diversity of backgrounds and employment histories of UWRA Board members, and their passion and commitment.

James W. (JW) Harrington

Professor Emeritus, School of Urban Studies, UW Tacoma
Vice President
Member, Executive Committee
Member, Program Planning Committee

Why UWRA? UWRA provides easy access to UW-based people, insights, activities, and locations for which we might not have had time or access while fully employed—and access to information useful to us as our foci, interests, living arrangements, and bodies change.

Nancy Fugate Woods

Professor Emerita, Biobehavioral Nursing & Health Informatics and Dean Emerita, School of Nursing
Vice President
Member, Executive Committee
Member, Program Planning Committee

Why UWRA? I am enjoying service on the UWRA Board as I am experiencing and learning about my own aging, while contributing to the well-being of UW retirees. Not only am I continuing to learn from the excellent programming offered by UWRA, but I have been able to link those in our broader community to the many excellent programs that have become an online library of resources for a variety of aging-related topics. Serving on the program planning committee has allowed me to contribute ideas about activities that are enjoyable, expand my awareness of resources in my community, and build new relationships with colleagues whom I did not see frequently although we were employed in the same organization for decades!

Bill Ferris

Retired Staff, UW Information Technology

Why UWRA? After a rewarding career at the University of Washington, I welcome the opportunity to serve on the board of the UWRA and continuing to be a part of this vibrant community. I’ve long admired the services and benefits UWRA provides and look forward to supporting existing and future initiatives.


Connie Bourassa-Shaw

Retired Staff, Foster School of Business
Chair, Program Planning Committee

Why UWRA? When I retired in 2018, I joined the UWRA Book Club, and I was so taken with the group: they were smart, funny, thoughtful people, who were absolutely in love with books. I was struck — again — by how diverse the UW is and how much my retired colleagues from across campus wanted to be engaged in the activities and programs they cared deeply about. I joined the board to continue expanding my UW universe. I had a marvelous career at the UW (student entrepreneurship still runs in my veins), but I haven’t lost my desire to keep learning and be of service.

Ia Dübois

Senior Lecturer Emerita, Scandinavian Studies
Member, Program Planning Committee
Member, Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Why UWRA? The complex work UWRA and its committees conduct for both retirees and UW students have made me proud of being a UW retiree. I admire the UWRA vision of promoting both a healthy and active life for retirees while also enhancing a student body that reflects our multicultural population. Their work towards safeguarding state and federal changes of retiree benefits is impressive as are their scholarships and support for students.

Kathleen Fearn-Banks

Associate Professor Emerita, Department of Communication
Member, Nominations Committee

Why UWRA? People should plan retirement as they plan careers. But many do not. I had known about UWRA for many years and that I would take advantage of these benefits “one day.” I did not anticipate that life and the fear of COVID-19 would inform me that “one day” had arrived. It was time to retire. That’s what’s great about UWRA; it’s there when you want it — pre-retirement or post-retirement.

Sharon Frucci

Retired Staff, Geography
Member, Program Planning Committee

Why UWRA? UWRA broadly serves the university and the wider community. Throughout my personal and professional lives I have networked with others, respectfully engaging with and supporting diverse audiences. I’m glad to strengthen existing ties and create new relationships through UWRA. I want to help build or maintain equitable coalitions that deliver programming with evocative and ongoing impacts. My interests are eclectic, but mostly focused around the arts, intercultural communication, and social justice.

Diane Gillespie

Professor Emerita, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell
Member, Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Why UWRA? One of the joys of retirement is finding meaningful volunteer work. UWRA provides just that—the chance to develop programming that matters to the well-being of everyone, especially seniors; to award scholarships to deserving students; and to find new connections with colleagues from across the university.

Juan Guerra

Professor Emeritus, English
Member, Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Why UWRA? I joined the board so that I can continue to pay it forward by sharing my expertise in addressing issues of importance to everyone served by UWRA. I welcome the opportunity to participate because I am aware of how much UWRA contributes to the well-being of retired colleagues and the larger UW community. I also joined because there is still so much to do to bring about positive change and make a difference.

Mark Johnson

Retired Staff, UW Medical Center Facilities
Member, Program Planning Committee

Why UWRA? On retiring as a painter on the maintenance crew at UWMC I knew that I would need to actively find things to fill up my life. One of the first things that I came up with was UWRA’s Birding Interest Group. This was a win-win for me for it not only got me outside and moving around but brought more people into my life. I was asked to join the Program Planning Committee to help plan upcoming events. Working on the committee I realized the breadth and value of what UWRA offers for retirees. I am now on the Board of Directors and I am proud of the quality of the people that I work with.

Emile Pitre

Retired Staff, Minority Affairs and Diversity
Member, Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Why UWRA? What solidified my decision to join the board was its focus on social justice, equity, inclusion, and aging.

Standing Committees of the Board

Legislation & Benefits


Program Planning

Scholarships & Fellowships

Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion

University House Advisory Council

Learn More