When Teachers College graduates leave to pursue their careers, they may start out in one direction and end up doing things they never expected to do. Or they can have a vision from the time they begin their graduate studies and make it their life's work. After a number of years, they may even find that the work they have been doing has led to many interesting and important developments in their field of study. The next thing they know, they are being honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College. Three such people were singled out to receive 2001 Distinguished Alumni Awards this year—one of whom is Darlene Yee-Melichar, for her research and practice in long-term care.
Darlene Yee-Melichar's dissertation, "Correlations Between What Automobile Drivers Aged 55 and Over 'Say' and 'Feel' About Their Mobility and Safety Needs and Problems," was just one of her many studies on the health and safety issues in the field of gerontology. As a result of her work, Yee-Melichar has been a consultant to national and international agencies and programs that cover gerontology, health education, and traffic safety. One agency is the NIH Office for Protection from Research Risks and another is the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health. She also is a grant reviewer for the NIH Research Enhancement Awards Program.
Yee-Melichar herself has authored a number of papers that have been presented at conferences regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, such as Educational Gerontology, Journal of Health Education, Family and Community Health, and Journal of Women and Aging, to name a few. She is on the editorial boards of several journals and is a manuscript reviewer for Journal of Aging and Health. In the area of leadership, Yee-Melichar has chaired several committees at San Francisco State University, where she is a professor of gerontology in the College of Health and Human Services. She is also on the board of directors for several organizations, and she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging in 1998.
The award winners were honored at a dinner on November 29, 2001, at the Columbia-Princeton Club in midtown Manhattan. President Arthur Levine presented each with a citation describing their accomplishments.
Submitted by Raymond Yee, Columbia College 1982, School of Public Health 1985, who is solely responsible for the content.