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Association of Retirement Organizations
in Higher Education

Board profiles


William A. Verdini, President

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Bill is a professor emeritus of supply chain management. He served as the dean of the Arizona State University Emeritus College 2015-19. He strives to contribute to AROHE’s mission to foster the success of existing retirement organizations and to create new retirement organizations that will harness the remarkable talents of retired faculty and staff for the service of their institutions and communities.

Roger Baldwin, President-Elect

Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI

Roger is a professor emeritus of higher education at MSU. His research focused on academic career development, including the challenges and opportunities of retirement. He is the president of the MSU Retirees Association. In addition to serving as president-elect, he also chairs the AROHE Research and Education Committee. Roger seeks to support AROHE’s mission to enlarge the vision of the retirement years and increase pathways for continued engagement and service post retirement.

Susan Kress, Secretary

Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Susan retired in 2012 as vice president for academic affairs and professor of English at Skidmore College. She is an active member of Skidmore’s Retiree Planning Group. She has served AROHE in various capacities since 2012. In addition to serving as secretary, Susan serves on the AROHE Research and Education Committee. Susan sees AROHE as uniquely qualified to lead the way in transforming retirement in higher education and is dedicated to making AROHE’s resources more visible.

Caroline Kane, Treasurer

University of California Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA

Caroline is a professor emeritus of biochemistry and co-founder of the UCB Biology Scholars Program, where she promoted access to higher education for underrepresented students. She is active in the UCB Emeriti Association. In addition to serving as AROHE treasurer, she is a past president and serves as chair of the AROHE Sponsorship Committee. Caroline works to make AROHE the go-to organization about retirement in higher education for colleges/universities, government entities and the media.

Trudy Fernandez, Immediate Past-President

Florida International University, Miami, FL

Trudy a founding director of the Florida International University Retiree Association and has served 20 years as a human resources professional in higher education. She has served AROHE in various capacities since 2013. In addition to being past-president, she chairs the AROHE Nominations Committee. She works to bring greater visibility to AROHE globally and expand services and networking opportunities for its membership constituents.


Gray Crouse

Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Gray is a professor emeritus of biology and director of the Emeritus College at Emory University. He is serving his second term on the AROHE Board of Directors and currently serves on the AROHE Conference Committee. He also was the co-chair for the 2018 AROHE Conference Committee and hosted the conference at Emory University. Gray is particularly interested in helping to support the creation of new emeriti colleges.

Charles DeSantis

Georgetown University, Washington DC

Charles DeSantis serves as Associate Vice President for Benefits and Wellness and Chief Benefits Officer for Georgetown University. He is committed to supporting the personal, professional, and financial well-being of the university community and to serving on boards of organizations that influence how we serve our communities. He gives back to the humanitarian sector through his work serving children and refugees in the greatest need worldwide. He has published two books: SMART, BEAUTIFUL AND IMPORTANT: Teaching art to AIDS-affected orphans in Africa’s largest slum and Lucas & Lilly Go to Kindergarten. Charles values AROHE's mission to make more belonging happen in retirement.

Emma Gillom Ward

University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Emma retired from The University of Mississippi in 2013 as a telecommunication specialist with 32 years in customer service and data entry. She has served on The University of Mississippi Retirees Board since 2014. She currently serves on AROHE’s Membership Committee. As an AROHE board member, Emma focuses on encouraging historical black colleges and universities to join AROHE.

Cherie Y. Hamilton

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Cherie retired from Vanderbilt University as director of recruitment & staffing. She spent 12 years as a human resources consultant conducting workshops on recruiting, training and development, and diversity. She serves on the University of Minnesota’s Retiree’s Association Board of Directors and chairs the AROHE Travel Committee. Cherie integrates her experience in training and H.R. into ideas for new programs for AROHE organizations as their members plan for retirement.

Hoke S. Hill

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Hoke is a professor emeritus of mathematical sciences and chair emeritus of applied statistics. He was recently named a fellow of the Clemson Emeritus College. He was a member of the Clemson Emeritus College Advisory Board from 2015-20 and served as the board chair for 2018-19. He currently serves on the AROHE Travel Committee. Through work with AROHE, Hoke encourages and enables the growth and development of emeritus colleges and works to help AROHE achieve increased national visibility and impact.

Linda Pearson

Ivy Tech Community College, Terre Haute, IN

Linda is an adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College. She earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University in the area of human development with an emphasis in adult development and aging. She is currently chair of the AROHE Communications Committee and has previously served other terms as a member on the AROHE Board of Directors and as program chair for past AROHE conferences.

Cary Sweeney

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Cary Sweeney is Director of the University of California, Berkeley Retirement Center. She holds a Master's of Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University and has 20+ years of experience in developing and managing programs in geriatrics and gerontology aimed at improving the well-being of older adults. Cary is interested in maximizing the value of AROHE to its members and believes that colleges and universities are enriched by engaging retirees in campus life.

Joyce M. Szabo

University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, NM

Joyce retired from the UNM's Department of Art after teaching art history there for 28 years. She serves the UNM Retiree Association as secretary and co-director of the programs committee. She also advocates for retirees through service on the state’s Educational Retirement Board. Joyce currently serves on the AROHE Research and Education Committee. She is particularly concerned that AROHE represent the needs of retired staff as well as retired faculty.

Kent Weaver

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kent retired from the University of Toronto Library in 2013. He was the first Chair of the Retired Members Committee of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA). He is one of four councilors representing the retired constituency on UTFA Council. He chairs the AROHE Bylaws Committee and serves on the Changemakers Committee as well as the Research and Education Committee. Kent is interested in helping to build AROHE’s capacity (services, resources) to better serve its membership.

Ex Officio Members

Sue Barnes

Sue Barnes, Interim Executive Director

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Sue retired from UCLA after nearly 25 years of service to the University of California, first at UC Davis, then at UCLA. During the last 10 years of her career she directed the retirement centers at the two universities, where she discovered her passion for serving older adults. She has been active with AROHE since 2009, and is a past president of the association. As executive director, she keeps the office running smoothly and supports the board of directors.

Janette Brown

Janette Brown, Executive Director Emerita

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Janette is director of the USC Emeriti Center as well as assistant vice provost and adjunct faculty at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. In these roles, she connects the university with the inter-generational and inter-disciplinary cultural and intellectual capital of the USC retiree community. Janette served as the executive director of AROHE for 14 years. She continues to advise the AROHE board, providing valuable insight and historical knowledge.

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