SUNY Retiree Service Corps - Connecting with our retirees through service.
Ronald P. Nielsen

Ronald P. Nielsen - Personal Retirement Story

Photo of Ronald P. Nielsen

I retired from SUNY Cobleskill in 1992 after 29 years. I had various titles during my tenure there. When I retired, I was the campus environmental health and safety director. My responsibilities varied. They included meeting with architects and construction people concerning new facilities and rehabs. I gave input regarding safety and health as well as preparing equipment lists for facilities. I also had to initiate and update the campus space inventory and equipment inventory, and handle the surplus property program.

As safety director, I conducted safety inspections to insure the safety of employees and students, safely dispose of hazardous waste, and give staff and students safety lectures regarding in-house as well as state and federal regulations. Our campus received many awards from the National Safety Council for our safety programs. As a result, I was asked to sit on their board to evaluate programs from other colleges and universities.   

In the early 1990s, SUNY was downsizing because of the budget situation. Because of this, I was asked if I would retire. I retired since I had accepted a position as a safety and health writer with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). This enabled me to follow a different path in my profession. I wrote safety and health instruction manuals for union members.

After I left the CSEA, I did safety and health consulting. I also wrote an instruction booklet for Nursing Education of America and a book on OSHA compliance for allied health personnel which sold 10,000 copies.

I enjoyed my employment at SUNY Cobleskill. I made many friends and am saddened when I receive notice that one has passed away.

My wife and I have done extensive traveling in the United States, Europe and Hawaii since my retirement from SUNY. I have also done some of the items on my "bucket list" which included water skiing, kayaking four miles on a Florida river, flying in a 1928 Ford tri-motor airplane, piloting an Army T-4 trainer, scuba diving in Hawaii, and swinging in a chair lift with my wife above an Olympic ski slope.

Anyone considering retirement should have a very good idea what they want to do with the rest of their life. If at all possible, you should use your experience and expertise to volunteer for a worthy cause. It’s always good to receive monetary compensation for work, but some of it can be done for the pure joy of helping people.


Retirees Service Corps