Karen DeWald (Schieck)
Purdue University (retired) Married 2 2016-05-07 12:02:27Writing about 50 years in a few, hopefully interesting, sentences is tough. The short version is that there have been many more good times than bad ones. I left WJ for college (University of Rochester) and then never left higher ed. I received a PhD (Psychology) from Ohio State University in 1974, spent the next 15 years at Skidmore College and then 22 years on the faculty at Purdue University in W. Lafayette, IN (even though I swore, upon leaving Ohio, that I'd never return to the Midwest). I retired in 2013 after an incredibly rewarding career. My focus in research and teaching was on promoting social relationships between young children with disabilities and their peers and on early interventions for children at-risk of school failure.
I met my husband (Bill LeFurgy) when I was at Skidmore College; he was on the faculty. We have two daughters: Amy, in Seattle, and Kate in Chicago. They are happy and healthy and starting on careers that they love. We moved to Maine when I retired -- it was our summer destination for many years and now our full-time home (yes, we stay here in the winter).
I'm sorry I won't be at the Reunion. We're spending that weekend with our daughter. Best wishes for an enjoyable weekend and good health to all.
Debbie Dierker (Richardson)
retired Married 2 2016-04-20 17:42:49March 7,2016 I can't believe I'm going to try to write a synopsis of the last 50 years of my life, but here are the highlights! Chose nursing as my lifework. Received BSN from University of Evansville in Indiana, first job as OR nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. Went back to school at GWU, became nurse-anesthetist, with MS from Virginia Tech. Worked in private practice for plastic surgeon in McLean, Va. for 26 years! Wonderful job-unlike hospital positions - no weekends, no holidays, no nights.
Married my wonderful husband of almost 35 years, Al, in 1981. We have two wonderful daughters, both live in northern Virginia. We have one darling granddaughter, Camryn, who will be 2 years old on May 14th. Uh, Oh! I see conflict.
Hope I'm not late for the reunion. Retired in April, 2014 and just loving it. Just returned from 6 weeks in Naples, FL and a Caribbean cruise. Both my parents ages 93 and 95 are living independently in our home in Naples. I am blessed.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in May!!
Margaret Dimmers (Goodson)
Cardiologist 2016-03-28 09:52:43I found myself intrigued by reading the posts of my classmates from Walter Johnson detailing their lives, partly because, in many cases, they seem so, well, complete. I remember those of you who I actually knew as young people (okay, kids). Honesty impels me to say that, in some ways, I prefer to remember the vigor that attended you with lives to be experienced rather than to read the story of those lives mostly lived. The posts and pictures underscore the unsettling (if suppressed in the daily bustle) reality that the shadows now point East.
Partly as a useful exercise for me and because there may be some interest, I detail below, by personal era, what I have done over these many years, redacting a few false steps (paths not taken, really) that are of little significance to how the story actually got written.
Walter Johnson. I was a bit younger than most (or all) of my classmates and a situational awareness of the world came later than it did for many of you. When I was a boy I always wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer. The irrelevance to that enterprise of most of what I was learning at WJ resulted in intense boredom with most of the curriculum. An exception was being a lab assistant to the Physics teacher – Mr. Meyers (or was it Myers). The time there was not fully subscribed and so sitting in the back room I came upon a copy of Angus Taylor’s text: Advanced Calculus. At the time, WJ did not have a calculus course but only something that I guess was a poorly motivated and taught introduction to real analysis. I became engrossed in Taylor’s book and, over the course of the year, taught myself a good deal of calculus that later served me will at Georgia Tech. I also fell in love with the calculus because it looked like something that I could actually use,
Georgia Tech. I grew up more on my first day at Tech than all the years that preceded it. The Dean of Students, a stately, elderly Southern gentleman, got the whole freshman class together in the gymnasium, told us to look at the person on our left and then the one on our right. That done, he informed us that when this class graduated in that very gymnasium only one us would be there. I looked at the old man and realized he meant it. In that moment I concluded that my entire future would depend on a 3 digit number, my grade point average. I turned out to be right. As a matter of full disclosure, on the other hand, the old man was wrong; the number was more like 20%. I paid the price of thousands of hours studying for tests, survived the carnage that followed, and finished number one in the Aerospace Engineering class. Some decades later I would be inducted into Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Graduates and served for some years on the Dean’s Engineering Advisory Board. Our main purpose was to grow the research endeavor but I made a point of pushing for a more humane treatment of the undergraduates. Please know that if you have kids considering Tech, they take a lot better care of their undergraduates than what we experienced in the “old days” and it is a well-respected, major research university..
Medicine. There came a time when I decided on a career in medicine. I took Biology 1 and 2, organic chemistry and the MCAT and applied to Medical School. With the combination good MCAT scores, a 3.9 GPA and an engineering degree, I was accepted to all (or essentially all) of the schools I applied to. I chose the University of Maryland for reasons that are another story. Then Penn State for residency, and Vanderbilt for cardiology training. I had spent about a year in the bone marrow transplant unit at Johns Hopkins as a medical studet and while waiting to start residency (I graduated early). During my first year in residency I became interested in cardiology and so abandoned my prior goal of a career in tumor immunology.
I spent about 5 years in private practice mostly in North Dakota (yes, it was cold) where the cash crops are wheat, sunflowers and Minuteman ballistic missiles. I set up a cath lab, taught myself to do angioplasties (still could do it that way in the early 1980s), ran the CCU and noninvasive imaging and learned a lot. Also, I was on the faculty of the University of North Dakota. Medical School.
NIH My suppressed interest in an academic medicine led me back to Bethesda and the NIH where I spent the next 24 years largely doing large clinical trials (that era is detailed in my prior posting). Here I became a card carrying scientist, publications, books, etc. (see also my prior post).
New York. About 6 years ago, I was recruited to the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (and at that point retired from the Federal Civil Service) where I spent the next 5 years. My research interests remained large clinical trials while my clinical practice became focused on advanced heart failure and heart transplants. I ran (started) the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship among other things and enjoyed New York.
Toronto. Apparently out of the blue, I was invited to look at and was offered a position on the faculty of the University of Toronto School of Medicine as director of a cardiology division (57 cardiologists) that serves three (really four counting a cancer hospital here) major teaching hospitals of the University of Toronto (Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Mount Sinai). A Chair, money for research, and a major leadership position in a major academic medical center was just too good to do anything but accept, so here I am. I even have Ontario license plates.
Baseball. My baseball exploits are detailed in the prior post. I am actually quite proud of my expertise in the technical aspects of baseball and teaching it. The paradigm that I was teaching was about how to succeed (learn everything you can about something, practice assiduously, and then execute). It works in baseball, school and life. Winning State and other championships is not necessary to teaching the lesson but it sure makes the point that the paradigm works.
Kids. My twins are now 12 years old and along with our two Maine Coon Cats, the five of us reside in Toronto. For me, they are the center of everything.
The kids could not be more different. David is a straight A student, was the President of his class in New York and is a really first rate young athlete. He has a focus and competitive maturity that I acquired only in college (on the first day). He is a tournament tennis player but his greatest aptitude appears to be baseball. He is fast, is an excellent shortstop with excellent range, is almost impossible to strike out and sports a 65 mph fastball and excellent breaking pitches (yes, I am bragging but I have been coaching competitive youth baseball teams for almost 40 years and am so I am a pretty good judge of ballplayers). David was accepted to, and next year will attend, Upper Canada College here in Toronto (this after getting all of the math questions on the SSAT right). Probably the best prep school in Canada – Google it, you will see what I mean.
Daniel is completely different. Kind, gentle, imaginative, loved by everyone who meets him and unable to hit a telephone booth he is standing in with a baseball bat. He is a computer jock who spends too much time on the machine but enjoys it greatly. Daniel goes to Crestwood (for those of you who know Toronto – which may be none of you- where the environment is warm and nurturing. Daniel will no doubt work with people because he is so very caring and warm.
So, it has been a busy first 50 years since leaving WJ. There won’t be another 50, of course, but I have a lot left to do, personally and professionally. So, assuming survival, I am good for one more post in 10 years at which point I hope that I can still present you with a story that still has a couple of chapters remaining to be written.:
Michael J. Domanski, MD
Director, Division of Cardiology
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital
Pfizer Chair in Cardiovascular Research
Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
4N-484, 585 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 2N2
Tel. 416-340-5510, Fax 416-340-4862