A Stately Home, Inspiring Stories, and Pioneers

Everyone knows that the president of the United States lives in the White House. But how many in the University of Utah community are aware that the University president also lives in a publicly owned white house? It’s a bit smaller, less imposing, and there is no Oval Office, but it’s a handsome, stately building none the less.

It’s called the Rosenblatt House, and it has a fascinating tale to tell.

As the private residence of the University president and his or her family, it’s not like the Park Building—individuals can’t stroll in and out of the home at their leisure. But President and Mrs. Young do manage to host more than two dozen events a year within the home, allowing some members of the U of U community the opportunity to see the Rosenblatt House up close and personal. Fortunately, writer Susan Vogel’s story is a kind of all-access pass to the house, permitting many more of us the opportunity to sample this unique part of the University’s legacy.

Also in this issue, writer Kelley J.P. Lindberg showcases an inspiring project by the University’s School of Music. The program brings music to elementary and high school classrooms, specifically to aid at-risk youth. As Kelley points out, the undertaking involves more than just piano lessons; instead, these kids are picking up useful skills that will serve them well in the future, and perhaps keep them focused on school (and out of trouble), as well.

Speaking of inspiring stories, Julie C. Kiefer’s article on Team Brain showcases the meaningful work that can be accomplished when researchers, clinicians, patients, and families come together to form supportive communities. This courageous group of cyclists, some of whom have Multiple Sclerosis, is committed to bucking stereotypes about those afflicted with the disease—and equally committed to finding answers (and possibly treatments or a cure). It’s a cooperative effort between the U’s Brain Institute and the community, and the results have been impressive. Researchers and clinicians benefit from interacting more closely with MS patients, and those combating the disease gain a sense of camaraderie, and sometimes much more.

And don’t miss Taunya Dressler’s profile of U of U Professor of Anthropology Polly Wiessner. Wiessner exemplifies the kind of compassionate scholar you’ll find tucked away in just about every department on campus. She not only studies the Enga tribes of Papua New Guinea, but she has also devoted an extraordinary amount of time and energy to helping them preserve their endangered culture.

This issue also features a trio of “pioneers” in a variety of fields. First, there’s the inspiring story of basketball player Wat Misaka, the first person of color to play for a professional basketball team in the U.S. In this issue, you’ll find Linda Marion’s review of a publication about noted painter and U of U alum Jim Jones, considered a patriarch of those artists who attempt to capture the grandeur of the Southwest on canvas, and a profile of alumna Amy Van Prooyen Greenfield, a committed entrepreneur who has established a unique type of law firm devoted to assisting high-profile clients foundering in choppy PR waters.

Please feel free to leave a comment on any article or drop me a line about this or any issue of Continuum by using the contact link above.


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