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Peace Corps

I was quite pleased to see GW Magazine celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. As a volunteer myself (China 2002-03; Romania 2003-05), I believe strongly in the ideals of the Peace Corps and appreciate when the organization and volunteers are recognized.

One thing jumped out at me. The article implies that Robert Shepherd served in the Peace Corps in China from 1989 to 1992. However, the Peace Corps' program in China did not begin until 1993. I did a quick search and found that Mr. Shepherd had served as a United Nations Volunteer in China and Indonesia. His service in those countries was admirable, to be sure.

Riley Graebner
GW Spouse

Editor's Note: Thank you for your clarification. Robert Shepherd's service included time with the Peace Corps as well as with the United Nations Development Program Training Institute. He served in China as a United Nations Volunteer.

I was pleased to see the recent article about GW alumni who served in the Peace Corps. I would like to highlight an additional contribution. As a Public Health Service officer assigned to the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services from 2004 to 2007, I enlisted the services of GW graduate student Nancy Nurthen, MPH '07, to analyze data on volunteer fatalities. We found that fatalities among volunteers were markedly reduced from 1984 to 2003, likely due to increased safety measures taken by the agency. Our study was published in the Journal of Travel Medicine and received the Best Original Article Award from the International Society of Travel Medicine. It was an honor to work at the Peace Corps and with a top-notch GW student.

Cmdr. Paul Jung, MA '06
U.S. Public Health Service
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Washington, D.C., Collection

The interesting article on the Albert H. Small collection twice stated that the original District of Columbia was 10 square miles in size. It was actually 10 miles square, as the document shows, 100 square miles. It is less now, since Virginia's portion was returned to that state.

Dick Geier
Father of Heidi Geier, MFA '76
Rochester, Minn.

Interdisciplinary Research

I was disappointed while reading the spring 2011 "Conversation with President Knapp," which focused on the appointment of Ferid Murad and the importance of interdisciplinary research.

The article failed to highlight the prestigious five-year, $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award by the National Institutes of Health in 2010 to GW and Children's National Medical Center. With the award, GW and Children's joined a consortium of only 60 institutions, including top-tier research institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Hopkins, that are charged with advancing the new biomedical research paradigm of translational research (aka bench to bedside).

Dr. Murad's research is a perfect example of translational research—accelerating basic laboratory discoveries into clinical practice to public benefit. I believe it would be of great benefit for the GW community to have a better understanding of the CTSA, and I hope GW Magazine would consider an article on this topic in the future.

Lisa S. Schwartz, MS, EdD '10
Assistant Research Professor
Program Manager, Research Education, Training, and Career Development
Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National
Department of Clinical Research and Leadership
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Editor's Note: We have covered the GW/Children's CTSA grant in the past, and we will continue to share stories about this important research.