Vassar on the Front Lines

Voices from a Pandemic


From the earliest days, members of the greater Vassar community have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this ongoing project, they contribute first-hand narratives of precarious moments in time during a still-unfolding story. We are deeply grateful to all who have shared their accounts to date, and encourage you to return to the site to view additional testimonies as they continue to be added.

With the pandemic raging unabated in the U.S., the definition of the front lines is expanding. Have you or a family member become ill? Are you a teacher contemplating a return to school? A homeschooling parent? A business owner affected by the shutdowns? An essential worker? We invite you to share your own experience here.

Kristina Kramer ’91

Dr. Kristina Kramer is board-certified in Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine. Currently, she is the Medical Director of the Intensive Critical Care Units of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA. She majored in biochemistry at Vassar before completing her the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1996. In 2002, she relocated from the northeast to California and joined Respiratory Medical Group.

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Seiji Hayashi ’91

Dr. Seiji Hayashi is the Chief Transformation Officer and Medical Director at Mary’s Center, a community health center that provides primary health care, family literacy and social services to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. He is an experienced leader in primary care, quality improvement and health policy at the local and national levels. Dr. Hayashi has been chronicling his experience as a primary care physician in Washington, DC on his personal Facebook page.

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Jason M. Albertson ’85

Jason Albertson has been working in the communities of poverty, substance use, HIV, and mental illness with people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco since 1991. Currently, he is assigned to the Department of Public Health’s Outbreak Management Branch, Shelter and Encampment Division as the team’s Behavioral Health Specialist.

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Meg Volz ’08

Meg Volz is a French teacher at a public school in Chicago. She describes how teaching virtually during the pandemic has given her a glimpse into the home life of many of her students.

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Kyle DeAngelis ’15

Kyle DeAngelis is a fourth-grade teacher in the New York City public school system. A psychology major at Vassar, he describes how the nation’s largest school district has responded to the pandemic.

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Nicole Wood ’12

Nicole Wood is a Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and KidZoneTV Producer in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York City. According to the Association of Child Life Professionals, Certified Child Life Specialists are, “… educated and clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Their role helps improve patient and family care, satisfaction, and overall experience.”

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Carrie Plover ’16

Carrie Plover is the Coordinator of Family Services at Barrier Free Living. A licensed master social worker, Carrie performs clinical family assessments to obtain social, family, and developmental history for all children staying in Freedom House, a crisis shelter for victims of domestic violence.

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Glenda Kenyon ’09

Glenda Kenyon has 10 years of experience working as a property manager. She currently has a portfolio of more than 240 units in the Chicago, IL, and Hammond, IN area, and has been considered an essential worker since the start of the pandemic. She and her husband are expecting a child in August. Glenda also photographed her new environment as she traveled to and from her office in Lincoln Park, IL.

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Lara Kunschner Ronan ’90

Dr. Lara Kunschner Ronan is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine Dartmouth. She also serves as Vice-Chair for Education Neurology Department Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

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Madeline Cohen ’92

Madeline Cohen ’92 is a capital defense attorney. She has been a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show and Democracy Now! for her role as attorney for Oklahoma death row inmate Charles Warner, who received a temporary stay of execution following the controversial botched execution of fellow inmate Clayton Lockett.

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