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The Narrative Bridge: Connecting through the Health Humanities

Presenter Biographies

Keynote Speaker

Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH is a faculty member in the master’s program in narrative medicine at Columbia University and the graduate program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College. She is co-chair of the Columbia University seminar in narrative, health and social justice and a faculty fellow of Columbia's Center for the Study of Social Difference. Sayantani is a widely published and nationally recognized speaker on issues of narrative, health care, race, gender and medical education. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales, the author of a memoir, Her Own Medicine: A Woman's Journey from Student to Doctor, about her education at Johns Hopkins, and the co-editor of an award-winning collection of women’s illness narratives, Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies. Learn more about her work at

Featured Speaker

J. Herman Blake, PhD has a long and illustrious academic career, having earned a BA in Sociology from New York University, an MA in Sociology from the University of California - Berkeley, and PhD in Sociology from the University of California - Berkeley. He received special training at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, Institute for Educational Management. Throughout his career, Dr. Blake has been a leader and innovator in academic achievement of students from underrepresented minority backgrounds in higher education. To that end, he has used many approaches – being best known for his pioneering work in service learning and community engagement and development.

Dr. Blake is a highly accomplished and experienced academic administrator, having served as the founding Provost of Oakes College at the University of California - Santa Cruz, the Director of African American Studies at Iowa State University, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education at Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis, and President of Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He has a substantial record of academic achievement, having served as full Professor of Sociology at the University of California - Santa Cruz, Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis, and Iowa State University. He served for two years as the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor of Social Change at Swarthmore College and was designated as Master Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.
Among his many honors, he was selected as the Iowa Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; he has served as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow (twice), Ford Foundation Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, John Hay Whitney Fellow, Population Council Fellow, Kent Fellow from the Danforth Foundation, and as the Mina Shaughnessy Fellow from the Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. Dr. Blake has served on numerous national task forces, advisory committees and councils. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Council for the Assessment of Experiential Learning, the Board of Directors for the Fielding Institute, the Board of Directors for the United Negro College Fund, the Board of Trustees for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Boards of Trustees of Earlham College, Berea College, and Gettysburg College. Dr. Blake has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis, the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Manchester College of Indiana, St. Lawrence University of New York, and the Professional School of Psychology in California. He has also received two presidential medals.

Dr. Blake has been extraordinarily active in public and community service, and has a very substantial publication history with over fifty full-length contributions and a book titled, Revolutionary Suicide, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 (with Huey P. Newton). He also has been active in peer review throughout his career, currently serving on the Editorial Boards of three journals. Dr. Blake is Vice President of Scholars for Educational Excellence and Diversity, which he founded along with his wife, Emily L. Moore, Ed.D., who also is a lifelong academician. Dr. Moore is presently Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the College of Health Professions at MUSC. At MUSC, Dr. Blake works closely with the Humanities Committee, Quality Enhancement Plan Steering Committee, and the Offices of the President and Provost. Additionally, Dr. Blake serves as Professor in the college of Health Professions and Dental Medicine and lectures in the College of Medicine.

Presenter Biographies

Patricia Amado completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA. She completed her master's in nursing education coupled with a clinical nurse specialist track at Florida Atlantic University. She has been in healthcare for 25 years as a nurse and educator. Her clinical background is in critical care and management. She has been in academia for the last 13 years teaching didactic and clinical at the baccalaureate and advanced levels, initially at Florida Atlantic University and currently at University of Miami. She is currently completing her PhD at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. May of 2014. Her research focus is a hermeneutic phenomenology inquiry which focuses on the lived experience of the "other" from examination of their dialogue and written texts within the context of illness. She is currently Vice President of Global Solutions, which she and her husband formed in 2004 to serve the community and promote healthcare educational needs across the continuum.

Sara Baker is a novelist, short story writer and poet. Her stories have been published in or are forthcoming in The Examined Life, The Chattahoochee Review, The New Quarterly, The Spirit that Moves Us, The Habersham Review, The Lullwater Review and other publications. Her poetry has appeared in The Art of Medicine in Metaphors, The 2011 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, The Healing Muse, Ars Medica, The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, The Journal of Poetry Therapy and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Brancusi’s Egg, from Finishing Line Press, was published April of 2013. A radio play “A Wagner Matinee” was produced by NPR and BBC, and she has written two novels, one of which, Second Son, was a finalist for the Hemingway Days first novel contest. Sara holds a Masters degree in English from Boston College. She has taught English at the University of Georgia, The Georgia Institute of Technology, and Piedmont College. In 1999, Sara was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, or what is commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction. Unable to read or write and bedridden for two years, this profound experience led her to create the Woven Dialog Workshops, writing workshops that aid in facilitating the healing process. For eleven years she has worked with cancer patients and their families, teaching creative writing as a way to cope with the trauma of cancer. Her empirically derived method of working with traumatized populations has been published in the journal Traumatology, in the book, The Art of Grief, and is forthcoming in a new collection of essays about writing and healing. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband, Todd Baker, a physicist, and her son Adam; her married daughter Hannah in Washington, DC. Sara blogs about writing and healing at Word Medicine

Tania F. Bertsch, MD is the Associate Dean for Clinical Education at the University of Vermont. Her interests include medical school curriculum, clinical education, and evaluation. She works with medical students as they transition from the classroom to the clinical rotations. She is involved in establishing medical student affiliate sites for the College of medicine. She was a clerkship director, and was involved in the design of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum. She implemented “Professionalism, Communication and Reflection” sessions during the clinical clerkship year to allow students to process their professional growth during this developmental stage in their training.

Michael Blackie received his doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, where he also taught Narrative Medicine electives to fourth-year medical students for the Keck School of Medicine. His scholarly and teaching interests include death and dying, narrative medicine and narratology, and sexuality and difference. At Hiram College he teaches health humanities courses and co-directs the Center for Literature and Medicine. He is the book review editor for the journal, Literature and Medicine, and the series editor for the Literature and Medicine book series published by Kent State University Press. He is a visiting associate at the Center for Bioethics, MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Beginning in January 2014, he will join the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University as a visiting Associate Professor.

James Borton, MA teaches in the English Department at Coastal Carolina University. He’s a blogger, editor of The Art of Medicine in Metaphors, writing workshop facilitator, and a recovering heart patient. James Borton is an intrepid sailor and sojourner. He currently teaches in the English Department at Coastal Carolina University and is actively engaged in Medical Humanities programs and writing workshops on illness narratives. He is a past National Endowment Fellow at Yale University and Faculty Associate at the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of South Carolina. He blogs at

Jeanne Bryner is a graduate of Trumbull Memorial Hospital’s School of Nursing and Kent State University’s Honors College. Her books include Breathless, Blind Horse: Poems, Eclipse: Stories, Tenderly Lift Me: Nurses Honored, Celebrated and Remembered, No Matter How Many Windows and Smoke: Poems. She received the 2011 Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association and a 2012 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Her new play, Foxglove Canyon, was recently remounted for a staged reading at the North American Network on Aging Studies working retreat at Hiram College. She has received writing fellowships from Bucknell University, the Ohio Arts Council and Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry has been adapted for the stage and performed in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California, Kentucky and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Nancy Carson, PhD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with over 25 years of experience as an occupational therapist in practice and education. Dr. Carson received her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy from MUSC and received her doctoral degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. She co-teaches the professional foundational course and the geriatric course in the OT curriculum and also teaches the mental health content in the curriculum. The importance of understanding caregiver issues and family relationships are discussed and explored with occupational therapy students in these courses to increase awareness and to develop empathy.

Sharon Ann Cumbie, PhD, RN, CS is a Professor of Nursing at the Tanner Health System School of Nursing, University of West Georgia. She came to UWG from Appalachian State University, where she began collaborative research on narrative pedagogy with Dr. Chris Osmond, fall 2010, and continues collaborative work with Dr. Osmond. With an art background in watercolor, printmaking, and small sculpture, Dr. Cumbie has combined art and aesthetics with her practice as a psychiatric-mental health clinical specialist/therapist and conducted participatory action research on the social impact of expressive therapies. Dr. Cumbie was recently featured, with co-investigators, Dr. Lynn Wagner & Dr. Sue Hagedorn, in a plenary session at the 2013 Conference of the International Association for Human Caring, in which the group presented an aesthetic-hermeneutic-narrative performance inquiry, Vulnerability as Transformative Potential: A Model for Caritas Social Action.

Cortney Davis, a nurse practitioner with over 35 years experience in intensive care, oncology and more recently, in women’s health, is the author of two full-length poetry collections and three chapbooks. Her non-fiction titles include The Heart’s Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing, winner of an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award, an Independent Publisher’s Silver Medal and a Living Now Bronze Medal. With Judy Schaefer, Cortney co-edited Between the Heartbeats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses and Intensive Care: More Poetry and Prose by Nurses. Cortney’s honors include an NEA Poetry Fellowship, three CT Commission on the Arts Poetry Grants, the Prairie Schooner Book Award, three American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year awards, and a Nightingale award for Excellence in Nursing. Learn more about how Cortney came to combine nursing with writing at

Jacquelyn Dorsky, BS is an Improvement Specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center. Jacquelyn received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Brown University, and is published in Nature Communications for her research on the auto-regulation of RNA editing. After working for two and a half years on an NIH funded pediatric obesity grant, Jacquelyn made the transition from clinical research to become more involved with work that has a more direct impact on patient care. Jacquelyn’s focus at NYULMC is to educate leaders, staff, and physicians in understanding what, how and why patient experience is measured, and coaches staff on how to improve and impact their results.

Ashley Duckett, MD is a native Charlestonian who trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at MUSC and works as an academic hospitalist. She loves teaching students and residents and serves an Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency program. She was an active participant in the Faculty Development project on Humanism/Professionalism entitled “Passing the Torch: Fostering Medical Humanism through Faculty Role-Models.”

Leonie Gordon, MD is a tenured professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, S.C. She received her medical degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and completed her nuclear medicine residency at MUSC before joining the faculty. She is the Director of Nuclear Medicine as well as the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director. She is the author of more than 50 publications and is a frequent invited speaker. She is also very active within the university, chairing the Radiation Control Council. Dr. Gordon is the recipient of a number of grant awards for research. She is active in education of both radiology residents and the medical students, having increased the membership of the medical student radiology interest group. Dr. Gordon is active member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Nuclear Medicine, where she is the General Program Chairman. She serves on the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and also is a member of the residency Review Committee for the Accreditation Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for Nuclear Medicine.
Lenny Grant is a Rhetoric and Writing PhD student and Graduate Humanities Fellow at Virginia Tech, and special projects coordinator. While completing his MA in English and working as a writing consultant at Montclair State University’s Center for Writing Excellence, he developed an interest in the ways that college writing centers can ethically engage underserved populations off campus, which lead to the creation of the Seminar for Lifelong Learners, a community literacy program for older adults. In addition to exploring the ways that writing can promote healthy aging, his current research includes rhetorical constructions of PTSD in military veterans and the bioethics of using medical images in mental health diagnoses.

Tanya Gregory joined the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Wake Forest School of Medicine in mid-January 2013. She has a PhD in English and American literature and taught literature and writing to undergraduates at Rutgers University early in her career. She then spent nearly 24 years in medical publishing, the last 12 of them as the editor of JAAPA, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. After living in the metropolitan New York City-area for close to 35 years, she moved to Winston-Salem, NC, where she focuses on directing the Graduate Project for the physician assistant program, mentoring program faculty who are interested in scholarship and publishing, and developing a medical humanities curriculum for PA students.

Silvia Youssef Hanna holds a PhD degree in Pediatric/School Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She brings a wide spectrum of experiences in working with students, families, educators, and health care treatment teams in both clinical and academic settings. Silvia’s vision entails building partnerships by listening to “everyone’s story” in order to reflect on success and develop insight for change and growth towards our goals. Her primary areas of focus are on chronic illness in narrative medicine, pain/stress management and self-advocacy. Currently, Silvia advises over 300 students for the Academic Advising and Planning Center and teaches for the Psychology department at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Helen Harley is currently completing Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Master’s Program and will begin medical school next fall. A Charleston native, she graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in English in 2010. She is interested in the use of literature and the arts to inform our interactions inside and outside the clinic, as well as the history of medicine.

Geoffrey Hayden is Assistant Professor and Emergency Ultrasound Director in the Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, and the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He completed medical school at the University of Virginia and went on to an Emergency Medicine residency at Vanderbilt University. After a chief residency at Vanderbilt, Dr. Hayden completed an Emergency Ultrasound fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hayden is establishing an Emergency Ultrasound curriculum for Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine residents, fellows, and faculty. He teaches ultrasound courses around the country and has lectured at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine on topics such as the role of ultrasound in undifferentiated hypotension, airway management in the ED, and cervical spine injuries. Based on his clinical experiences in the Emergency Department, Dr. Hayden has developed an interest in educating providers about effective and compassionate approaches to delivering bad news.

Mary Fishburne Hayden is a singer/actor/teacher, proud to call Charleston home and proud to call Dr. Geoff Hayden her husband. She has performed around the country and New York City, where favorite shows were My Fair Lady, Stand By Your Man, and Drawn to You, a one-woman show in New York. Local favorites include South Pacific at Dock Street Theatre, Tell Me on a Sunday, a one-woman musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber that won her “Best Actress in a Musical” for the 2012-2013 Theatre Charleston Awards, and a recent show, The Girl Singer, where she played Judy Garland, Doris Day, and Rosemary Clooney. Mary teaches voice full-time by day and is usually in rehearsals for a play by night.

Dr. Katherine A. Hochman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a distinction in Biology in 1994. She earned a Master in Business Administration in 1995 and a Medical Doctor degree in 1999, both from the University of Miami. She started her career at New York University Medical Center as a medical intern in 1999. In 2002 she served as a chief medical resident. In 2004 she started as a hospitalist and became an Associate Program Director for the residency training program. In 2008, Kathy became the Director of the NYU Hospitalist Program, which has since grown to 23 positions and covers two hospitals. In 2010, Kathy's role expanded to the Assistant Chief of the Medicine service. Dr. Hochman was promoted in July 2013 to be the Associate Chair for Quality for the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Lori-Linell Hollins is board certified Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist. She completed her medical education at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, residency at MacDonald Hospital for Women and Metrohealth Medical Center, and fellowship at Hutzel Hospital/Wayne State University College of Medicine. Her special interests include using narrative medicine techniques and film/video to teach medical professionalism, medical education, obesity in women, and infertility in poor resource environments. Dr. Hollins takes to heart and action Sir William Osler’s words, “while medicine is to be your vocation, or calling, see to it that you have also an avocation – some intellectual pastime which may serve to keep you in touch with the world of art, of science, or of letters.” She is a writer, visual artist (paint/collage), cyclist, swimmer, and yogi. Dr. Hollins gave up running due to injuries after completing two half marathons and a marathon.

Aaron Hurwitz, MEd coordinates curriculum at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, where he has won awards for his work with students. Mr. Hurwitz's interest in non-traditional approaches to education led him to leave high school early in order to attend Simon’s Rock College. After working for such companies as Actors Theatre of Louisville and Shakespeare & Company, Mr. Hurwitz now has the pleasure of helping to humanize medical education. He believes strongly in the medical humanities, and has taught on the topics of both Narrative and Narrative Medicine.

John Jacobs spent16 years in the membrane switch and electro panel industry, and a decade as a licensed massage therapist and yoga instructor, before returning to academia in 2008. After acquiring his Masters of Science in Graphic Communications, he was hired as a Visiting Lecturer at Clemson University in the Department of Graphic Communications. He teaches a variety of technical courses including Foundations in Graphic Communications, Graphics for Packaging Science, Conceptual Packaging, and Functional Materials & Printed Electronics. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design from the College of Arts, Architecture and Humanities at Clemson University.

Paul Jacques, DHSc, PA-C is an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with 35 years of clinical experience as a physician assistant (PA) and 22 years of experience in education of PAs. As a PA, he has worked in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and emergency medicine. Dr. Jacques earned his PA degree in NYC and his doctoral degree in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University. He served as one of the faculty exemplars for the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant, Developing Caring Professionals: Infusing Compassion and Caring in Health Professions Education, and actively embraced the use of humanities to promote the student’s affective change while reflecting, synthesizing and projecting observations of a caregiver’s experience.

Ethan Joella holds an MA in Writing, an MS in Psychology, an MFA in Creative Writing, and a PhD in International Affairs and Political Science. He teaches Creative Writing at Moravian College and Writing for the Sciences at University of Findlay. He offers workshops to retirees and assisted-living residents through his company Ethan Joella Communications. He is a poetry reader for Ploughshares and a fiction editor for Referential Magazine. His website is

Thomas Keating is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Charleston Southern University where he teaches Acting, Directing, Stagecraft and other theatre-related courses. Thomas holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University in the City of New York and a BA in Drama from the University of Georgia. Thomas directs in the Charleston area and has acted in TV, film and plays locally and across the U.S.

Mary Ann Kohli received her PhD and MA in English from University of South Carolina and her BA in English and philosophy from Winthrop. For the last fourteen years she has worked as an English instructor at Trident Technical College. She has been the Director of the Charleston Clemente Course, a branch of the international Clemente Course in the Humanities, for the last eight years. She has taught at USC, College of Charleston, and the Citadel. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Charleston, the MUSC Humanities Committee, and the Humanities Book club. She is also the creator of the free series Unleashing the Power of Myth. Her honors include 2009 Faculty Member Award from the Association of Community College Trustees, SCTEA teacher of the year, the Service Learning Award from the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education, and the 2013 South Carolina Governor’s Award in the Humanities.

Christina Leidel moved to the Lowcountry in 2012 from Austin TX, where she played Shakespeare heroines, enchanted animals, psychopaths, sociopaths, spies, pirates, and zombie slayers in various theater, opera, and film projects. She has since enjoyed working with many of the local theaters here. Some favorite Charleston roles include Guenevere in Camelot, Agnes in BUG, Christina in Red Light Winter, Charlotte Bronte in Parhelia, and Grandma in Little Red Riding Hood. She is currently playing Tzeitel and Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof at Threshold Rep. You can see her as Lady Croom in Arcadia at Woolfe Street Playhouse in January and as Fastrada in Pippin at Midtown Cabaret in March. She also appears periodically in murder mysteries at the Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre. She does similar role-playing seminars in college psychology departments. In her spare time, Christina is an Adjunct Professor of Physics at the Citadel.
Mark Marnocha is a health psychologist who has taught medical residents and students diverse topics ranging from Evidence-Based Medicine to Health-Care Humanities. He consults with addiction treatment facilities, has a part-time VA practice, and has served as statewide Behavioral Science Coordinator for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Family Medicine. His interests include diverse aspects of spirituality, family systems, and mind-body investigations.

Suzanne Marnocha has been an ICU nurse for most of her career, and more recently has been a Nursing faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she has done research on topics as diverse as health issues in the homeless, spouses coping with partner’s open-heart surgery, teaching nursing students humanities at the bedside, and exploring online professionalism among learners. She currently serves as Assistant Dean and as Director of Prelicensure Nursing Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Veneta Masson, a nurse in practice for thirty-five years, was a founder, director and, for most of two decades, family nurse practitioner in a small, mom-and-pop clinic providing office and home care to an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Out of that rich and intense experience, she began to keep a journal and, eventually, to write poems and essays. Though no longer in practice, Veneta continues to explore healing art through reading, writing, and teaching health care ethics at Georgetown University. Her third collection of poetry, Clinician’s Guide to the Soul, was published in 2008 and her 2001 collection of essays about big issues in health care from her perspective as a nurse in a small clinic is, though out of print, still being read by students in a number of schools of nursing. Find more of her work at

Patricia Geraty McBurney, MD, MSCR, is an associate professor in the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, MUSC. In 2002, she completed her fellowship in Academic Generalist Medicine at MUSC. She continued at MUSC and currently serves as a full-time pediatric hospitalist and pediatric clerkship co-director. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP). In 2005 she became a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and was nominated for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine award. In 2012-13, she participated in “Passing the Torch: Fostering Medical Humanism Through Faculty Role-Models,” which is a faculty development course the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. She is here in her role as advisor for the students in the Paul Underwood Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Doug McGill is a native of South Carolina and has been involved with the Charleston Theatre Community since 2010. He has appeared on stage with Footlight Players, College of Charleston Shakespeare Project, Village Rep on Woolfe, Village Kids and Co., South of Broadway Playfest, What If's? 24-hour play and Holy City Shakespeare. He is an associate medical director at Roper Rehabilitation Hospital and founder of Leaning Tree Photography.

Maralynne D. Mitcham, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is currently Professor and Assistant Dean, College of Health Professions, and interim co-director for the Office of Interprofessional Initiatives at the Medical University of South Carolina. An experienced academician, Dr. Mitcham is known nationally and internationally as a resource for teaching and instructional design; curriculum development and evaluation. As an active interprofessional grant writer, Dr. Mitcham has directed several federally funded community-based grants, including Community Connections I and II, which provided services to individuals and organizations in medically underserved areas by partnering faculty and students with a broad spectrum of community organizations. She served as co-principal investigator for the Caring Professionals Program funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations which promoted caring and compassion through an interprofessional lens. She brings a holistic, humanistic, and narrative approach to service delivery; most recently designing interprofessional community-based health promotion and education programs for elders aging in place.

Lauren Mitchell is a recent graduate of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, and a reproductive health educator, teacher, and writer. As one of the founders and coordinators of The Doula Project, she has had the opportunity to work with over a thousand clients throughout the spectrum of choice, and has trained hundreds of medical students, activists, and healthcare providers in methods of narrative-based compassionate care. She has been involved in several studies regarding the efficacy of Narrative Medicine in preventing burn-out in healthcare providers and has been facilitating close reading/reflective writing workshops for medical students and residents for the past two years. She looks forward to spreading the Narrative Medicine gospel as she begins her pursuit of a PhD in Literature beginning in 2014.

Muriel Murch graduated as a nurse in England in 1964, adding a BSN from San Francisco State in 1991. “Journey in the Middle of the Road, One Woman's Journey through a Mid-Life Education” was published by Sybil Press in 1995, and "The Story of Christmas; The Muscovy Duck" was published in a limited edition in 2010. Murch’s short stories and poetry are included in several university press anthologies and on-line journals focused on the writings of nurses and women’s health, among them “Between the Heart Beats; Poetry and Prose by Nurses,” “Intensive Care: More Poetry and Prose by Nurses,” and “Stories of Illness and Healing, Women Write Their Bodies.” Muriel continues to write stories and poetry while producing independent radio programs for KWMR. 90.5 and 89.9 FM.

Deborah Murray has been an Instructor in the English Department at Kansas State University since 1988, teaching a range of courses, including Exploring Creativity, Drama, and British Literature. She has been Director of the Writing Center since 1993. She published “Zen Tutoring: Unlocking the Mind,” in The Writing Lab Newsletter, Volume 10, and she has presented on teaching and tutoring at national conferences, including the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture & American Culture Association, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, and the Conference of the International Writing Centers Association. In 2002, Murray was recognized by K-State with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She has led workshops for diverse audiences, including beginning teachers, engineering students, gerontology students, and 4-H leaders. As a teacher, tutor, and workshop-leader, she enjoys helping audience members discover their sources of creativity.

Cheryl Nosek received her Doctorate in Nursing from the University of Buffalo. She has taught in the Nursing Department at Daemen College for 12 years, and has worked as a psychiatric nurse.

Chris Osmond, PhD, is assistant professor of Leadership & Educational Studies at the Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University. He came to Appalachian following several years in the Department of Social Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, where he became impressed by the narrative medicine movement’s power for all “caring professionals” - especially teachers. His seminar “Narrative and the Caring Professions” has been offered for three years through the Honors College and is providing unique perspective on preprofessional preparation in undergraduate, interdisciplinary settings. His essay “The Thousand Natural Shocks” was winner of the Et Alia Press Scar Essay contest last year, and his work has been published in The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, The Journal for Learning through the Arts, and the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, among others. Learn more at

Alicia Yi Remolde is the Assistant Director of Montclair State University’s Center for Writing Excellence. She has over ten years of experience in writing centers, which started with a graduate assistantship for a Master’s degree in Writing Studies. Prior to her current position with the Center for Writing Excellence, she spent several years working for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Her teaching experience includes First-Year Writing courses, university staff writing seminars, and volunteer work for the Literacy Volunteers of America. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Montclair State University. Alicia’s research interests include community writing projects, graphic novels, and Korean women’s literature.

Annie Robinson is a current graduate student in Columbia University's Narrative Medicine program. She obtained her BA from The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU in 2009, where she designed a major entitled "Stories of Self: Realization, Empowerment, and Wellbeing." She is on the Leadership Circle of The Doula Project, an organization whose members support individuals not only during labor and birth but also those who have chosen to terminate their pregnancy or have miscarried. Annie is interested in the interweaving of healing, loss, grief, trauma, caregiving, self-care, social justice, and spirituality.

Kathleen Béres Rogers is an assistant professor of English at the College of Charleston. She specializes in British Romanticism and its ties to medicine, broadly construed, and has published articles about Charlotte Smith and "permeability," John Keats, negative capability, and obsession, and Crimean war medical poetry. She is currently working on a monograph about obsession and the Romantic sublime. As evidenced by this panel, Kathleen is also interested in service learning and illness narratives; her article, “The Boldness of Imagination: Illness Narratives Outside the Classroom,” has been accepted for Service Learning in Literary Studies, and is forthcoming. Much of this conference presentation is based around it. Around town, she has taught a Literature and Medicine seminar at the VA hospital and is on the committee of the MUSC Medical Humanities Book Club.

Janet Lynn Roseman’s PhD background is multi-dimensional in her role as Assistant Professor in Medical Education at Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale. She is a specialist in the humanities and medicine and has created the Sidney Project in Spirituality and Medicine and Compassionate CareTM to train residents at hospital sites in humanistic care. She is a Reiki Master, medical intuitive and shaman and is interested in the intersection of intuitive medicine and empowerment for both patients and physicians. She has written several books including: The Way of the Woman Writer, Dance was Her Religion: The Spiritual Choreography of Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Martha Graham, Dance Masters: Interviews with Legends of Dance etc. Dr. Roseman is committed to elevating the practice of medicine to make sure that compassion is an integral part of healing for both patient and practitioner.

Charles Sabatino received his Doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago. He has taught in the department of Philosophy and Religion at Daemen for 36 years; and he also teaches in the college prison program in Attica.

Stephen Sandroni graduated with a BA in English Literature from Syracuse University. He obtained his MD from New York Medical College and did an internal medicine residency at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, followed by a nephrology fellowship at the University of Rochester. He has focused on clinical nephrology and medical education, and is currently a faculty member at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso, where he is Professor of Medicine and a college master. He serves as director of the Masters’ Colloquium, a discussion-based course stressing the elements of physicianship.

Judy Schaefer, whose most recent book is Wild Onion Nurse (Radcliffe, 2010), edited the first biographical/autobiographical work of English speaking nurse-poets, The Poetry of Nursing: Poems and Commentaries of Leading Nurse-Poets, (The Kent State U P, 2006) and co-edited, with Cortney Davis, the first international anthology of creative writing by nurses, Between the Heartbeats (U of Iowa P, 1995). She has been published in journals such as Academic Medicine, The American Journal of Nursing and The Lancet. Memberships include The Kienle Center, Penn State University, College of Medicine, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She is Poetry Co-editor for Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine

Dr. Deborah Schultz moved from an earlier career as an English teacher into her medical education path. She now serves as an Associate Professor of Family Medicine, and Medical Director of a teaching nursing home where she provides geriatric and palliative care to a panel of nearly 200 patients and teaches this care to Family Medicine resident physicians. She makes use of humanities techniques and values in her teaching and in her patient care. She is an award-winning poet, has published in the area of health-care humanities, and has presented diverse workshops on these topics.

Mansi Shah is currently a second-year medical student at Case Western Reserve University. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with a degree in bioengineering, having also studied medical anthropology and ethnic studies. Mansi spends her time with friends and family, learning yoga, and making art through painting and dance. She is passionate about critical analysis through the cultural lens of hip hop, the South Asian diaspora, and practicing medicine with the guiding principles of social justice.

Since fall 1993, Liz Sheridan has been directly responsible for the development and day-to-day operations of the MUSC Gives Back Student Volunteer Office. Over 7800 MUSC healthcare students have participated in nearly 2700 events and projects, contributing more than 275,000 hours of volunteer support to benefit local non-profit agencies and community outreach programs. This student program has earned the Association of American Medical Colleges Outstanding Community Service Award (2001), the SC Commission for Higher Education’s Commendation of Excellence for Service Learning Award (2005-2006), and the SC Governor’s Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award (2006). Additionally, Ms. Sheridan has contributed to three publications (2005, 2006, 2010) on the topic of community service outcomes and medical students and has been a presenter at both the SC Service –Learning Conference (2011) and at the 2012 SC Association for Volunteer Administrator Winter Conference.

Michael Strickland teaches in both the English department and the Environmental Studies department at Elon University. He teaches a wide range of courses in professional writing ranging from scientific and environmental rhetoric to travel writing. He also directs the Elon Community Garden and teaches classes on sustainable food production and organic gardening. Formerly director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Elon, he is especially interested in how writing is integrated into graduate education in the health professions.

Mahala Yates Stripling, PhD, a Yaddo fellow, is an independent scholar specializing in literature and medicine. Her book, BIOETHICS AND MEDICAL ISSUES IN LITERATURE, now in a second updated edition with U CAL MEDICAL HUMANITIES P, 2013, is used as a medical humanities reference worldwide. She has published in Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities, Teaching American Literature, and the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. Her forthcoming book, MISTER STITCHES: A BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD SELZER, MD., encapsulates how narrative humility integrates into the clinical setting of one of the finest doctor-writers of our time. Dr. Stripling has lectured at Yale Medical School, the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, and in the Great Hall of the Atheneum on Nantucket Island. She has presented two Selzer readers’ theater: “Follow Your Heart” and “Diary of an Infidel.” See:

Lieutenant Jared Sutherland, MD is currently an intern at Naval Medical Center San Diego and is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine. LT Sutherland attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated with a commission in the US Navy’s Medical Corps, in which he is now serving. He maintains an interest in Narrative Medicine as a way to more effectively address the concerns of his patients and as a means to train future doctors to do the same.

Rebecca Tsevat is pursuing her master's degree in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in Biology and English literature. She plans to attend medical school and hopes to situate her work at the intersections of literature, medicine, science, and public health.

A native North Carolinian, Allison Walker completed her MFA in poetry at the University of Alaska Anchorage before returning to the Carolinas as an English instructor at High Point University. Her poetry has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, wordriver, Convergence Review, and Apogee Magazine. A recipient of a National Science Foundation BEACON grant, she works closely with evolutionary scientists to bridge the gap between contemporary scientific research and undergraduate education.

Shelley Wall is a certified medical illustrator and an assistant professor in the Biomedical Communications graduate program (BMC), Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and in the Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga. Her background includes a diploma in drawing and painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design, a Master of Science in Biomedical Communications from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in English literature from McMaster University. As illustrator-in-residence in U of T's Faculty of Medicine, she leads seminars in the creation of comics as reflective practice; in 2012 she organized the third international Comics & Medicine conference, hosted by the University of Toronto.

Joanie Webster is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and the residency program in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. A Board-Certified pediatrician, she has practiced medicine in Appalachia and Papua New Guinea. After raising three sons, her career focus moved towards spiritual care. She holds a certificate from Naropa University in Contemplative End of Life Care, and has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education. She has studied Mindfulness –Based Stress Reduction, yoga teacher training, and continues her studies at NYZen Center for Contemplative Care. A chaplain with hospice for years, she also teaches mindfulness and narrative medicine at North East Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). A graduate of NEOMED's Fellowship in Academic Medicine, she is the 2011 recipient of the school’s Outstanding Volunteer Faculty Award. She is delighted to collaborate with Professor Blackie, from Hiram College, to bridge narrative and clinical aspects of human suffering.

Sandy Weems is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Florida, currently writing an interdisciplinary dissertation entitled The Poetics of Healing: A Cross-Genre Study of Narrative Medicine and Reflective Writing. She has co-designed and co-taught a cross-disciplinary narrative medicine course for graduate English and medical students at UF’s College of Medicine, and has studied with the Arts in Medicine Programs at the University of Florida as well. Her most recent presentation, for the Institute for Psychological Study of the Arts, was called “W.H.R. Rivers and the ‘Conflict and Dream’ of Empathy.” Now a South Carolina resident, she teaches writing for UF’s online Distance Learning Program and the Warrington College of Business Administration, and is also editing a multidisciplinary book of essays on the polymath W.H.R. Rivers.

Holly H. Wise, PT, PhD is an experienced, nationally recognized and creative academic educator and physical therapist with a breadth of experience in interprofessional education and collaborative practice. She has worked in settings ranging from home health and outpatient offices to acute care hospitals and and rehabilitation centers. Prior to joining the College of Health Professions at MUSC, Dr. Wise co-owned a private practice for 13 years, and co-founded two interprofessional post-polio evaluation clinics. She served as one of the faculty exemplars for a 3-year Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant, Developing Caring Professionals: Infusing Compassion and Caring in Health Professions Education, and has actively embraced the use of humanities to promote inclusivity and enhance a health professions student’s desire to identify with or sense something of a caregiver’s experience.


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