Honoring our Recent Retirees

Congratulations to our recent employees who have retired after decades of service and dedication to the Department of Surgery!  

Carol Bigalke, Mickey Dunning, Mary Macauley, Danette Oien and Jeanne Traaseth are retiring after remarkable careers. We are better for their commitment to serving our patients, educating the next generation of surgeons and working to advance research.


CAROL BIGALKE - Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery 

When did you start working at UMN? 

I started working at UMN in 1980 in the Dept of Surgery patient billing office for one year. Then in the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery the remaining 40 years (later adding to my supervisory plate--the Divisions of Surgical Oncology and Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery).

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the DOS since 1980?

Initially, we only had typewriters, but at least they were electric!  We had a great copy machine and the Lektriever (electronic) vertical file system.  I would love to have this system in my new home office for my trip folders!  Can you imagine having no fax machine, no computers, no email, no internet?

Words of wisdom? 

When you answer the phone, smile.  When you answer an email, smile.  Work like everyone's watching.

What will you miss most about working at UMN? 

I will truly miss scheduling "my" patients and working with my wonderful co-workers and physicians over these many years.  I have special memories of our deceased staff and faculty members.  I am proud to have been a part of so many milestones and accomplishments by so many talented people.

What are you looking forward to after retirement (post-pandemic!)

Traveling near and far.  We are building a new lake home up north; can't wait to invite you!      Cheers! Carol

 


Mickey Dunning - Experimental Surgery Services 

Dunning

When did you start working at UMN? 

I started at the Department of Surgery on September 4, 1979.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the DOS?

When I first started, organ transplant surgery was still quite new. I worked in Dr. Najarian's laboratory, where we did a lot of research on kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation. I also was part of the organ procurement team and spent many hours (18 years worth) flying in small aircraft to far-flung hospitals in the dead of night. The biggest change I have seen in research is that the focus has shifted to medical devices. Organ transplants are commonplace now.

 

Words of wisdom? 

Do sweat the small stuff - It makes the hard stuff more manageable.

What will you miss most about working at UMN? 

The 'U' has been a great place to work. I will miss the people I work with, and the job itself. There is always some interesting new project around the corner.

What are you looking forward to after retirement (post-pandemic!)

I'm looking forward to traveling - finally will have time for that trip to Australia and New Zealand (post-COVID). I also have a couple of volunteer opportunities already in the works.


Danette Oien - Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery 

Danette

When did you start working at UMN? 

April 1980, I was hired to be one of two secretaries for Dr. Buchwald.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the DOS?

Well, the obvious of course, computers instead of Selectric typewriters. Paper forms instead of the electronic forms of today.   

image.png

What will you miss most about working at UMN? 

Walking the campus on my lunch break and seeing the trees blossom in the spring and turn colors in the fall. Our campus is really pretty.  

What are you looking forward to after retirement (post-pandemic!)

I hope to travel and have ambitions to visit all of the National Parks. I also plan on golfing more and trying to improve my game, which needs a lot of improvement. I plan to volunteer someplace as well, to help fill my time and see people. 


Jeanne Traaseth  - Divison of Cardiothoracic Surgery 

Jeanne

When did you start working at UMN? 

I started on Jan 16, 2007.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the DOS?

The Department of Surgery has grown in size and has become so much busier than when I started.

Words of wisdom? 

Look for something good in every day, because it's there and don't forget to smile!

What will you miss most about working at UMN? 

 I will miss the energy, the people, the atmosphere of a college campus and the surgeons I've worked with. 

What are you looking forward to after retirement (post-pandemic!)

Travel of course, especially visiting national parks across the country.

Share this post

Related News