Linda has had a long and fascinating career working at the U of M. She’s known to everyone in Kinesiology, faculty, staff, and students alike, as the go-to person with a friendly smile and a funny story to share.
How long have you worked for the U of M?
I’ve worked for the U of M for the past 27 years. I also worked in the Psychology department for seven years in the 1970s but I took a break to have kids, so I have about 34 years of service here.
Tell us about your other positions at the U and in Kinesiology.
I worked in the Psychology department in CLA as a secretary in the early ’70s. I worked in the Physics department in the Theoretical Institute for six years as a staff assistant under a grant. In the early 1990s, I worked for Dr. Leon on the HERITAGE Foundation project [a 10-year, multi-institution study on cardiovascular and metabolic responses to aerobic exercise and the contribution of inherited factors to certain conditions]. I scheduled all the study subjects. I loved that job, being in the midst of all the exercise activity (I love running myself). After the project ended, Debra Haessly, the Kinesiology administrator, hired me as assistant to the DGS and general staff/faculty support. I’ve done a lot of support for Dr. Leon over the years on his grants.
What are your responsibilities in your current position?
Now I do scheduling for Brandi Hoffman and general administrative support, including continuing support for Dr. Leon. I’ve done just about everything you could possibly do here. I’ve loved working with Dr. Leon. Health and fitness are one of my priorities, and I have learned a lot by working for him.
What do you like best about working here?
The best part of my job throughout most of the years here has been working with people. Today with all the technology, there isn’t as much of that. I’ve really liked supporting Dr. Leon.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have too many interests to list them all here. I love to garden. I’ve started growing practically everything you can grow in Minnesota–vegetables, fruit and berries, and herbs, which I’m growing and drying to use all winter long. I can and freeze the vegetables. I grow an enormous amount of flowers so I have fresh flowers during three seasons of the year. I love everything about art–I just started doing oil painting. My favorite medium is acrylics, because they’re the most forgiving. I want to get into pottery. I do it all totally for fun so it is very relaxing.
If I could only list one thing, though, it is my love of the water. Next summer I’m going to get a paddleboard for the lake and a new jet ski. I’m always on a boat — everything from water skiing, canoeing, kayaking to fishing, and just plain floating. I also love speed on the water (the faster and scarier the better). My husband wants to get into scuba diving (I think I will stick to snorkeling). I could live on a houseboat, where I spent the weekends for many years. I have my own pond up at the lake, full of fish and plants. I like to just sit there and enjoy nature and read.
I hope to be traveling in the near future. My kids have been more places than I have – currently a couple of them are in Hawaii. I think they owe me a trip.
Could you tell us a little about your personal life (family, where you are from, how long you have been in Minnesota)?
I grew up in Waterloo, Iowa with two sisters and one brother. I moved to the Twin Cities in the early ‘70s. I have five kids and 11 grandkids. I remarried two years ago and my husband and I live on Long Lake in Isanti where we have a full house almost every weekend (not because of us, but because of the lake). I still have my house in Minneapolis and stay in town during the week–the commute to Isanti is too long (for me anyway).
Please share a parting thought.
This has been a great place to work.