Dear Dean Hazeltine,

Happy 75th Birthday!

I am so glad that I was told about this celebration for you. I will never forget the times when you and Mary invited me over for dinner in your home. Because of your interest in China, I think, you welcomed me into your lives with open arms. Or perhaps you simply have such a gift for each of the students whose lives you have touched.

I will never forget either your first floor bathroom! It was covered floor to ceiling with New Yorker covers. I have wanted to do the same thing ever since. I wonder if it remains today as it was then. At any rate, your little New Yorker bathroom represented to me your worldliness and your sense of humor as well as your appreciation of art and beauty. Perhaps a bit of frugality in the mix, too.

Since Brown, I have been on quite an academic adventure. The two awards I received at Brown the year I graduated—the Henry Whittemore Award for Excellence in Asian Languages and Literature and the Baker Fellowship for Graduate Study—really set me on a unique course in academia.

I ended up receiving a three-year NSF Fellowship for graduate studies the following year in 1986 and began to pursue my interest in the History of Chinese medicine and science in the Department of the History and Sociology of Science with Professor Nathan Sivin at the University of Pennsylvania. It took another 11 years to finish courses, oral examinations, and my PhD thesis, but by now I have been teaching in my field for nearly a decade.

My first position was as an historian of late imperial China in the History Dept at the University of California, San Diego (1997-2004). In the fall of 2004, I started my current position as an historian of Chinese medicine and public health in China at the Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. I keep myself busy teaching undergraduates, training graduate students, including one of my own, building their library collection on Chinese medicine, and publishing my own research. I couldn't be happier.

I also think of you every time I teach a new class and try to remember the names of all of my new students. You were famous for your name recollection. It meant so much to me to have a professor know my name. I do my best to give the same recognition to my own students. Thanks for being such a wise mentor when I was an undergraduate at Brown and such an inspirational role model for me now as I carry on the Brown tradition of mentorship at Hopkins.


Marta Eileen Hanson
Class of 1985
Baltimore, MD

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