This March, Richard P. Wenzel, 70, a 1957 graduate of Chestnut Hill Academy, professor and former chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College, was honored with the Maxwell Finland Award. Dr. Wenzel is one of the nation’s top experts on swine flu.
This award, given annually by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, honors a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of infectious diseases or public health. It is, according to this year’s grateful recipient, “arguably the top national honor for infectious diseases accomplishments.”
Such recognition comes regularly to Wenzel, who has received awards from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Navy and the American College of Physicians, as well as his various home institutions — all in recognition of his work in medicine’s most treacherous danger zone: infectious medicine.
Highly regarded, not only as a researcher and clinician but also as a teacher, Wenzel has trained 50 hospital epidemiologists worldwide. He strives to emulate the many positive role models in his own life. “The best teachers I had in my training were distinguished not by their answers, but by their questions,” he said recently. “They provoked me, challenged my level of comfort with concepts, made me reexamine my assumptions, and they engaged me in that quest. I do my best to be that type of teacher myself.”
Hill teens off to Africa to build bridges across cultures
If the words “French exchange program” conjure up images of the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Élysées, think again. When Springside School students and faculty depart June 19 on the school’s new French immersion exchange program, they will not be heading to France. They won’t even be heading to Europe. Instead, their destination will be Senegal, West Africa.
From June 19 through July 4, five Springside School upper level French students and four Springside faculty members will travel and live in Senegal, visiting the city of Dakar as well as villages in northern Senegal. Through home stays with Senegalese families and visits to several schools, including an all-girls school in Dakar, students will be immersed in the Senegalese way of life, learning as much about that world as about themselves.
They will be stepping outside of their comfort zone in many ways. In addition to living in a French- speaking country for two weeks, Springside students and their faculty chaperones will be in a non-western, Muslim culture in a country that claimed independence as recently as 1960.
I always pause to admire the twin neoclassical facades on the north side of Logan Circle — The Free Library and Family Court. On any given weekday, the two buildings are a bustle of people coming and going, and I think to myself, “Maybe if people spent more time in the former, they’d spend less in the latter.”
Great food from Trinidad at Calypso in Farmers Market
The Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market is packed full of small stands and booths with an impressive variety of foods that arouse all of the senses. One can find codfish cakes, organic roasted chicken and carrots, Norwegian salmon, chicken in a lobster cream sauce, channa masala, tubbouleh, blackberry cabaret gelato, Ethiopian longberry harrar coffee and so much more.