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.

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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Rich Heller ’82

Rich Heller is a conflict coach who works to help people through relationship issues in marriage, divorce, and business. He is the owner of Rich in Relationship, his firm in the New York City area.

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Rebecca Hyde ’92

Rebecca Hyde began working at an assisted living facility shortly before the beginning of the pandemic. As an essential worker, she quickly adapted to an expanded role to ensure the residents of her facility were well cared for.

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Michael Del Rosario ’92

Dr. Michael Del Rosario is a Surgeon and Director of the Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, specializing in Colon & Rectal Surgery and General, Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery. In 2003, he was the first surgeon in South Jersey to perform laparoscopic colon resection, and then in 2011, he was the first surgeon in South Jersey to perform robotic colon resection with the daVinci robotic system. He is an instructor for Advanced Trauma and Life Support. On September 11, 2001, he was Chief on site at Jersey City Medical Center where he directly cared for trauma victims of the World Trade Center attack.

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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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Philip D. Cooke ’91

Philip D. Cooke is the Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in Manhattan. Since March 11, he has been working to ensure the Harlem Hospital Center patient care staff’s needs are being met.

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Ethan Weiss ’91

Dr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist specializing in general cardiology at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. His special interests include preventive cardiology, genetics of coronary disease, risk assessment, and heart disease in the young. He was part of a UCSF contingent that traveled to New York City to assist hospitals in their treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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