Environmental Factor, April 2005, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
By Kamal Abdo
Kamal Abdo has spent 24 years at NIEHS, most of it doing cancer testing. But these days, it's a different story. In response to a question about how he plans to spend his time, Abdo replied: "Goofing off."
That is allowed, now that Abdo is retired. It was official March 1. In addition to "goofing off," Abdo said he plans to travel to the U.S. Caribbean and Aruba, Australia, and when the political climate is more stable, visit his homeland in the Middle East. He will also spend more time with his wife, Jeanette, who is also retired, and their six children, all of whom live in the area.
Abdo said he intends to remain the Research Triangle area. As for his work at NIEHS, he said he will miss the collaborations and the teamwork within the Environmental Toxicology Program, Toxicology Operations Branch. His coworkers, he said, are like his second family.
Reflecting on his career, Abdo said he is proud of the work he did. The projects he worked on provided information that is important to public health and improves people's lives, he said.
Kay Kaufman and husband Dave Winkler will be doing more skiing, scuba diving, camping and motorcycle touring in the near future.
Kaufman retired April 1 after 27 years of federal service. She started her federal career as an Air Force civilian, but came to NIEHS in 1989.
It was Kaufman who reminded everybody to complete their timecards, and sent out reminders about those oh-so-important pay-related issues.
Among Kaufman's fondest memories at NIEHS:
- The first fitness tournament when she chaired the nutrition committee
- Halloween costume parades in the C mall
- Craft fairs during the holiday season
- Diversity Council and other committee activities at NIEHS
- Line dancing at lunchtime
- Arranging and leading pony rides during family picnics
- Learning short form Yang style Tai Chi
- Learning yoga
- Being in charge of Ride Your Bike to Work Day
- Chatting with fellow garden enthusiasts and plant exchanges at Earth Day celebrations
But, Kaufman said, what she will miss most are her coworkers at NIEHS