The Creative Thought Matters Award of Distinction
|This award recognizes an alumna/us who has made a demonstrated contribution through innovation and/or creation of a fresh approach that inspires or enlightens the lives of others and contributes to the greater good. This contribution may have been made in the scope of the award winner's career, community work, government or volunteer service. Throughout Skidmore's history, the College has challenged itself to make no small plans — to make no ordinary choices — and this award recognizes an alumna/us who purposely demonstrates this belief in his or her life and work.|
|Interview with Patricia
McAuley Kolff '64
Patricia McAuley Kolff '64 credits her Skidmore education with giving her the confidence and background "to adapt to and meet any challenge." The nursing major spent two years in Skidmore's New York City nursing program, traveled with the Sonneteers, and took full advantage of liberal arts courses.
After graduation, she began her nursing career working with adults at General Rose Memorial Hospital in Denver, CO, and then in the adolescent intensive care unit at the University of Colorado Medical Center. She later became an intensive care recovery cardiac nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. There, she met husband Jack and left nursing to raise three children.
In 1983, Jack started the first heart transplant program in Philadelphia, the 11th in the country. Although the program offered hope for patients in need of transplant surgery, Pat and Jack soon learned that those who were under-insured, uninsured, or had other financial challenges were excluded. Galvanized by the unfairness of this situation, Pat began research to see what, if any, organizations offered support to patients in need, and found that none existed. [Read more.]
|| Charlotte Cram Elsberry '63
with President Philip Glotzbach
After completing her master’s in nursing and certification in midwifery at Yale University in 1965, she embarked on a career that culminated in serving as director of midwifery/OB-GYN at the North Central Bronx Hospital in New York City. During her 20 years in that position, she oversaw a staff of 42 midwives and two OB-GYN nurse practitioners who delivered 3,000 newborns and provided over 80,000 outpatient visits a year. It was, at one point, the nation’s largest midwifery practice, and received numerous state commendations for having the lowest rate of Caesarean sections in New York. Pixie takes immense satisfaction in having cared for generations of women, often from the same families: “The women of the Bronx are wonderful people and the ethnic diversity is amazing. I often felt like we were a mini-United Nations. Cultural challenges, differing belief systems, and social and economic issues were par for the course, and even with limited resources we were expected to give uncompromised care.” [Read more.]