Elspeth Kursh, A&S ’06
Mollusks. A polar bear claw. Q-tips and paintbrushes for cleaning multimillion-year-old animal skeletons. You never know what you might find on Elspeth Kursh’s desk. As exhibits manager at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, she could be designing an exhibit on space exploration, feeding turtles, or painting the walls in the permanent exhibit halls, depending on the day.
The museum, which was founded by John E. du Pont (yes, those du Ponts), houses more than 2 million mollusk specimens, 118,000 bird specimens and nests, a Hall of Mammals, a giant squid replica, and the state’s only permanent dinosaur display. It’s Kursh’s job to plan and maintain all of these permanent and special exhibits. That’s meant climbing ladders with a special vacuum attached to her back to clean the dust off a Tuojiangosaurus and a Yangchuanosaurus, which are Asian relatives of North America’s Stegosaurus and Allosaurus. It’s meant reattaching a polar bear claw to a taxidermy specimen; gathering mollusks from Delaware, Bermuda, and the South China Sea to be displayed in the Shell Gallery; and tracking down a company to remove the 700-pound pane of glass that covers the Great Barrier Reef, a permanent exhibit, so she can crawl inside and change a burned out lightbulb.Read More
Johns Hopkins Volunteer Summit
The year was 1915: Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, war was raging across Europe, and William Welch, first dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was in China advising leaders of Peking Union Medical College how to make the fledgling institution into “the Hopkins in China.” A few years later, Johns Hopkins graduate Anna D. Wolf, Nurs ’15 (Cert), was serving as Peking Union’s superintendent of nursing and, in 1924, dean of its newly minted nursing school.
Fast-forward to today, and those first tentative ripples in the world of global academia have long since become a rolling wave. The Nitze School of Advanced International Studies has campuses in Nanjing, China, and Bologna, Italy. Peking Union, meanwhile, has for six years been collaborating with Johns Hopkins to create China’s first nursing doctoral program. The Bloomberg School of Public Health has researchers, faculty, students, and alumni tackling health challenges across Africa and around the world. Indeed, every Johns Hopkins school—from the Peabody Institute to the Whiting School of Engineering—has overseas outreach and a globally diverse student body, and the university is today widely recognized as one of the most global of all the world’s institutes of higher education.Read More
a) We all have Blue Jay tattoos. b) I got stuck in an elevator right before playing in the big game. c) Spiderman appeared in one of my classrooms during pledge week. d) The dean told me to pack my bags and leave town. e) We met during freshman recruitment and have been together...Read More
“It’s still football, and guys are going to get hurt,” says Baltimore Ravens head team physician Leigh Ann Curl.Read More
The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, by Molly Peacock, A&S ’77 (MA) (Bloomsbury USA)
An established Toronto poet, Molly Peacock has rendered an intimate prose biography of an extraordinary English gardener, artist, and letter writer, Mary Delany, 1700–1788. Late in a rambunctious life, Delany created an art—she called it “mosaick”—by painting paper bits and cutting them into flowers that leap up from the page as though nature’s own. Along her petal-strewn path she linked up romantically with Lord Baltimore, befriended royalty, and intrigued Jonathan Swift. Peacock uses the letters to bring Delany to life and adds to the book’s sense of a collage by matching the import of its chapters with the artist’s images, reproduced prettily.Read More
H. Rutherford “Rud” Turnbull III, A&S ’59, a professor at the University of Kansas, received the J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council for Exceptional Children on April 25. The award recognized Turnbull for his 40-year career as an advocate for individuals with disabilities. He was among the first lawyers to focus on disability law and special education and has been very influential on significant state and federal legislation.
Keith Oberg, SAIS ’77, is founder and director of Bikes for the World, a nonprofit group in Arlington, Virginia, that takes thousands of unwanted bikes in suburban Washington and sends them overseas to people who need them. See www.bikesfortheworld.org for additional information.Read More
Bessie Pear Jacobs, Bus ’31, recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Harry P. Porter Jr., A&S ’39, Med ’43, HS ’47, and his wife, Elaine, moved into a retirement home in 2009 and are very happy.
José Ramirez Rivera, A&S ’49, had an authorized biography published by Agua Regia Editores. Ramirez Rivera is recognized for the development of whole-lung lavage, the establishment of Mayaguez Medical Center in Puerto Rico, and his contributions to the field of bioethics.
David Frederick Unumb, A&S ’57 (MA), writes that he has been re-elected as a trustee of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.Read More
Through OrchKids, Dan Trahey is helping underserved children from West Baltimore develop a passion for music.Read More