SMC Emeritus Student Advisory Council
The Emeritus Student Advisory Council (ESAC) continues to be an advocate for students, ensuring that a broad range of noncredit classes are provided for lifelong learning. Below are the profiles of the current ECAC members.
Judy Blits, Chairperson
I am returning to the Emeritus Student Advisory Council (ESAC) for a second term because I believe in the benefits of lifelong learning. I am volunteering in the minicomputer lab, member of the ESAC Fundraising subgroup, student, and previously SMC faculty from 2012 to 2014 teaching computer classes at Emeritus.
I retired in 2004 from Raytheon Company previously Hughes Aircraft Company as a Financial Manager specializing in Manufacturing Inventory, Property Management and Capital Management. I was a middle school teacher for 6 years prior to joining Hughes Aircraft Company in 1977.
I was born in Hollywood and have lived in Santa Monica and neighboring Westside communities since 1970 when I was a student at UCLA. I have had a 30+ year career as an Organizational Effectiveness and Workplace Learning Consultant, am the author of The Inner Work of Work and served as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.
During the years my daughter was a student in the SMMUSD, I served as a PTA President and a member of the PTA Council and the Strategic Planning Committee, currently facilitating a workshop on Conscious Aging, have "re-imagined" my own life through my long-time avocation as an artist, and was also recently appointed to the Santa Monica Arts Commission. I enjoy taking the studio art classes at Emeritus and am committed to life-long learning and personal and community growth I am particularly interested in Emeritus convening additional symposia, workshops, presentations, and other educational programs in addition to the curriculum offerings.
I was born in New Hampshire, lived in N.Y.C. until fourteen and graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in Civil Engineering.
I have 43 years of experience as an aerospace engineer and engineering manager, including four years working on the Apollo Program. I am fortunate to have two wonderful children, four amazing grandchildren, and a supportive wife.
I want to do what I can to promote and enhance the SMC Emeritus, a true treasure for the residents of Santa Monica and nearby communities.
Since retiring in 2011, I have enjoyed taking Photography and current events classes at Emeritus. I would like to use my organizational, advocacy and curriculum development skills to ensure the continued programmatic excellence of Emeritus.
I am a Communication Arts and Sciences graduate of Queens College in New York and studied for my Masters at UCLA in Theater Arts. My career began in the literary agent and publishing worlds, and I eventually became an executive in Motion Picture Film Development for Columbia Pictures. I also crafted a course known as "The Role of the Producer" which I taught at NYU for 6 years. I moved to Washington DC to marry in 1981, and several years after the birth of my daughter I turned to teaching and spent 25 years in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. My history with working with writers also continued in DC, where I established an annual event called the 'Author's Roundtable'.
I strongly believe in the mission of Emeritus, where I continue to take and enjoy my classes. I believe my communication and organization skills and my creativity will aid in furthering the excellent program we already have.
I was born in Holland and came to the United States in 1947. I attended Hollywood High School and several years of college at LA City College and UCLA. I worked for PacTel and AT&T until 1990.
I have two children, my son Ken is a lawyer, and my daughter Debi is an events planner. I have eight grandchildren.
I have been attending Emeritus since 2006. In 2011 I became the Chair for the Emeritus Fundraising Committee. I enjoy the challenge of fundraising and look forward to continuing in this position. In 2012, I became a member of the Council. As a member of the Council, I hope to maintain the standards of our school.
I am a native New Yorker and have lived in Santa Monica for 37 years. I graduated from UCLA. I am a retired Registered Nurse, Nurse Educator, and licensed psychotherapist. Since retiring I focus much of my volunteer work in facilitating drum circles for health and wellness, particularly with older adults.
I am active in many aspects of life in this community and love taking many classes at Emeritus. I am a passionate lifelong learner and look forward to bringing my enthusiasm to enhance the wonderful work of Emeritus.
I am a native Southern Californian and have been taking Emeritus classes since 2009. While raising three children, I received my B.A. from UCLA and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. I found it impossible to leave the educational milieu and I pursued a rewarding career in student services at two small, private colleges.
Believing in lifelong learning, Emeritus affords me the opportunity to study subjects that have always interested me, but for which I didn't have time to pursue before my retirement years. I have met many interesting students and have made new friends. I want to make a contribution toward sustaining and advancing this beloved institution.
I graduated from MIT in 1963 with a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics. I graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1967 with an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with interests in flight and simulation. I was a California Registered Professional Engineer, project manager, and inventor (a parachute flight simulator which is in use worldwide), retiring in 2009 after 26 years from a small aerospace company.
Since retiring, I've been an active volunteer with several organizations. Currently, I am a volunteer at LAX providing information to travelers, and at Emeritus where I've also enjoyed attending classes. I have a strong belief that participating in and helping to foster lifelong education is critical. Emeritus does an outstanding job in that regard, and I look to supporting lifelong learning.
I entered Emeritus as a student in 1997. Prior to moving to California, I served as President of the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Foundation and as a member of the New Haven Ct. Advisory Committee which focussed on revising the city charter. I graduated from Antioch College with a BA in political science and received a Master Degree in sociology from the U. of California, Berkeley. I was a fellow at Yale University in the sociology department. I taught freshman sociology at Quinnipiac University. I received an MSW from the U. of Minnesota in 1974 and worked professionally as a psychotherapist in mental health settings until 1995.
I have served two terms as Chair of the Council and can provide the historical perspective where that might be appropriate. I am committed to working on the finance committee and the curriculum committee. I also hope to continue to help in planning more additional trips during the quieter winter and summer sessions.
I was born in Chicago and came to California in the early 60s. I am a Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. My passion has been my family and a lifelong involvement with learning and education. I have a B.A. from the University of Michigan, graduate degrees (M.A.’s) from UCLA and Loyola Marymount.
My professional career began as a teacher. I have worked at the UCLA’s Child Division of NPI (Neuropsychiatric Institute) and the Educational Psychology section of the outpatient department. I was Director of the Learning Disabilities Clinic. I retired from UCLA in 1993. Post-retirement, I remained a consultant to NPI and developed a private practice.
Emeritus has been the most important part of my semi-retirement years. I am delighted to be on the ES AC with my goal of enabling this wonderful Institution to continue to be viable and remain as a positive force in the Community -- A Learning Haven for Older Adults.
Jerry was born in Brooklyn NY in 1931. He moved to California in 1936 where he attended school and then UCLA. He graduated from USC with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1956. As a pharmacist, he was a hospital pharmacist for about 10 years, owned a pharmacy in Mission Hills for about 17 years and then enjoyed a career in managed healthcare where he was a vice-president and helped design and administer pharmacy programs nationwide for a variety of health providers. He retired from pharmaceutical related activities in the mid-1990s. He later volunteered as a mediator in municipal courts for almost ten years. He was asked by Maggie Hall, the Associate Dean of Emeritus at the time, to teach a course on digital photography. To better understand why he was offered this opportunity one might look at his lifelong hobby, photography, and his collection of 900+ antique cameras. He is married to, as he says, a wonderful lady named Rita and during their 63 years of married life, they have 3 daughters and a son, 8 grandkids and 1 great grandkid.
I am a graduate of Pomona College and Stanford Law School. I am past President of the Center for Governmental Studies, based in Los Angeles, and was the first general counsel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the agency in charge of administering California’s campaign disclosure, ethics, and lobbying laws. I was a principal co-author of the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Proposition 9), passed by 70% of California’s voters, and a principal drafter of the City of Los Angeles’ Ethics and Public Campaign Financing laws.
My wife and I have taken a number of Emeritus classes. I am amazed at the knowledge and enthusiasm of the Emeritus instructors. Because of Emeritus, my wife has become a full-time poet and has published a book with 17 women from around the world.
Photos courtesy of Judy Blits, Gerald Schneir, and Alex Vital.