Alumnae Bulletin November 2009

From the Editor

That a national debate on health care reform is even required, let alone that it has been so vitriolic, speaks to a bankrupty of values.Health care is a mandate and a basic human right, and it is connected to another broken system, education, says Darlyne Bailey, new dean of the graduate school of social work and social research and special assistant for community partnerships to President Jane McAuliffe. Educated citizens will know how to take care of themselves and contribute to a society that emphasizes wellness rather than disease management, says Bailey. (See page 30.)

Bryn Mawr alumnae/i in the health care and social work fields are part of this movement for change.

In this issue we interview six medical students who had significant social services experiences from high school through a “gap year” after college that either solidified their desire to pursue a career in medicine or redirected them from another career path.We also interview alumnae in mid-career who have extended their efforts beyond the office or clinic.

Take the story of Dr. Carolyn Compton '69. A new position at the National Cancer Institute gives her “the opportunity to change medicine for the better (preferably cure cancer) before I die. This is the phase of my life when I ‘give back' through public service.” (See page 59 for her full story.) The story of Roberta Hershkowitz Berrien '65 on page 57 is yet another example.

The 2008–10 Hepburn Fellows also exemplify a commitment to social justice. Dr. Ana María López '82 is a clinician, researcher and educator whose focus is on improving quality of life and reducing disparities in health care services experienced by many poor, underserved and minority populations. Founder and director of the Global Children's Fund Maya Ajmera '89 intended to become a pediatrician, but a fellowship that allowed her to travel for a year in southeast Asian led to her decision that she could help more children by supporting grassroots groups that work with them. Carol Rogers is a longtime public health activist in Philadelpia. Sarah Schenck '87 is a filmmaker and social activist (see page 16).

We regret to announce the deaths of three members of our community: Arthur Dudden, Fairbanks Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Professor of History Emeritus, on October 14; Ray Tharan, assistant director of facilities and events in the athletics and physical education department, on October 16; and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry George Zimmerman on October 21.

Correction: In a photo caption in the August issue we misidentified Marie Cashel Grant '44 as Lovina (“Lovey”) Brendlinger Carroll '46 and apologize to these two loyal alumnae volunteers.