SUNY Retiree Service Corps - Connecting with our retirees through service.
Judy Wishnia

Judy Wishnia - Personal Retirement Story

Since my field of research is nineteenth and twentieth century French history, when I retired I had great plans to write the books and articles I was unable to write when teaching full time.  I had visions of spending months and months in Paris going from archive to archive and having brilliant conversations with my learned French colleagues. Well, things did not work out quite that way.  I still go to Paris for a few weeks every year to do some research and there is still an article or two rolling around in my head and on my computer, but mainly I decided to follow another path of interest and an important part of my life. I have always been a "political animal" (I read three newspapers and am addicted to Keith Olberman.)  I have always believed that only through the activity and advocacy of ordinary citizens can we achieve social justice in the world.  I was active in the anti-Viet Nam war movement, in the feminist movement and I went to the 1963 March on Washington.

Advisory Council member Judy Wishnia speaking at a meetingMost critically, for thirty years I have been an active member of United University Professions, our SUNY union, serving both at Stony Brook (my home campus) and on the state-wide Executive Board.  When I retired I ran to be chair of the Committee of Active Retired Members (COARM) and was elected. As Chair of COARM, I sit as the retired member of the Executive Board, on various retiree committees of the New York State Teachers Union (NYSUT), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the Alliance for Retired Americans. My aim has been to protect and enhance Social Security and Medicare and all pension and health benefits for retirees.

In addition to my union activity, as a committed fighter for women's rights, I sit on the Suffolk County Women's Advisory Commission where I chair the housing committee.

I spend my "leisure" time with beloved children and grandchildren. I love to cook (it comes from all those trips to Paris) and best of all, I have time to read: history, politics, mysteries.  I also do crossword puzzles (Sunday NY Times and Washington Post.)  I read that drinking red wine and doing crossword puzzles helps to prevent Alzheimer's disease, and I do my best with both.  I do believe that being active in retirement is crucial to maintaining well-being and that above all, we have an obligation to improve the lives of others and that we leave the world a better place.

Retirees Service Corps