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Filbert headshotYou might know Filbert Fontejon as the guy behind the camera. Since joining the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) in April 2018, he has captured ICS through countless photographs and helped showcase its faculty, students and staff. As the web and graphic designer for the ICS communications team, he is the face behind our updated homepage, Year in Review magazines, holiday cards, flyers, brochures, posters, various webpages and so much more. He has put his B.A. in multimedia art and design to good use, and ICS has benefited from his years of experience designing websites, banners and print campaigns for companies such as Indiegogo, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Instagram.

What you might not know is that decades ago, Filbert served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Here, he tells us a bit about his service and how he continues to mentally and physically challenge himself by participating in a variety of strenuous competitions. He also reveals how he has been spending his extra time during the pandemic, now that he’s not driving for three-plus hours a day on the 91 and 55 freeways!

Can you tell us about your service?
I joined the U.S. Marine Corps in ’95. I was assigned to the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775 (HMLA-775) out of Camp Pendleton. My MOS [military occupational specialty] was an avionics technician, where I worked on electronics for communications systems, navigation systems and weapons systems for Hueys (UH-1N) and Cobras (AH-1W).

What brought you to UCI?
The university is such a beautiful place — who wouldn’t want to work here? I love being able to take walks around campus with co-workers during lunch, enjoying the fresh air and exercise.

Can you talk about all the different things you do as the web and graphic designer?
I create web and print materials that help ICS communicate with the outside world. I build websites or landing pages and the corresponding digital/print graphics for marketing, events, and faculty and staff. Sometimes you can catch me taking photographs of students, faculty and staff around the building.

What do you like best about working in ICS?
The students, staff and faculty are the best to work with. They have made my time at ICS such a memorable experience. I’m always learning new things from everybody.

What do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time, I mostly spend time with my family, going on new and different adventures. My wife and I also enjoy signing up for challenging events such as Spartan races, Tough Mudder endurance events, half marathons, and Ragnar races. My youngest son is in the Boy Scouts and I look forward to going to different events with him. I have an older son in college who started doing the Spartan races with me — until we had to quarantine. Recently, we’ve been doing a lot of outdoor adventures up and down California while safely maintaining social distancing.

Filbert with his younger son during a 50-mile Boy Scout bike ride in Joshua Tree (left) and with his older son participating in a Spartan race (right).

Have you picked up any new “quarantine” hobbies?
While in quarantine, I’ve been fixing things around the house — building shelves, fixing cars, fixing the electricity and air conditioning, etc. — little things that I never had a chance to do before. I’ve also found more time to work out and spend more time with my family. Overall, I’ve had more time to just slow down, drive less and live in the moment.

— Shani Murray