When Sheila Gujrathi ’92, ’96 MD was a student at the Feinberg School of Medicine, she took a year off between her second and third years to live in an ashram in the south of India. Her mother, a pediatrician, was so worried about Gujrathi that she called the ashram and asked them to send her daughter home to finish school, but Gujrathi wanted to lead a more centered life.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Northwestern professor of English Natasha Trethewey’s beloved mother died decades ago, and yet her grave, down in Mississippi, remains unmarked by a headstone. The reasons for this are varied and complicated, and they speak to the essence of Trethewey, one of the most acclaimed poets of our time.
Northwestern alumna Karen DeCrow led the National Organization for Women in the mid-1970s, when she campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, defended Title IX and ran the first Take Back the Night march.
When Claudia López ’19 PhD began her doctorate in political science at Northwestern in 2011, she was already well known in her native Colombia as an activist, political researcher and fearless investigative reporter. Before López was awarded her degree last June, she had also served four years as a Colombian senator, beat cancer, run as the vice presidential candidate for the Green Alliance Party in 2018, triumphed over stereotypes as a proud lesbian and inspired a new generation of voters.
Lake Michigan, the immense body of fresh water whose shimmering beauty convinced Northwestern’s founders that this was the place to build the University, has been under threat since the early 20th century. Northwestern researchers, students and alumni are discovering solutions for water quality issues and climate change challenges in the Great Lakes region.
Last summer international aid workers began descending from Soviet-era helicopters into the forests, mountains and villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu region, setting up treatment centers and laboratories, and donning hazmat suits as they treated people sick with the Ebola virus. The workers brought computers, lab equipment, vaccine doses and anything else that supported epidemiology, data and patient management, and infection prevention and control.
The Shakespeare Garden, one of Northwestern’s cherished hidden gems, is home to various trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that were mentioned in Shakespeare’s writings, were common during his lifetime or are modern cultivars of those older plants.
The fantastical set and projection design stole the show in the Northwestern University Opera Theater adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress. The work was inspired by a series of William Hogarth paintings and engravings that Stravinsky viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947.
In its 50th season, the colorful world of Sesame Street is still teaching and entertaining children, thanks in part to a purple pipeline of talent. Many Northwestern alumni have been involved in the show and in the larger Sesame universe, from writing and puppet creation to social impact and fundraising.
Meet the three accomplished alumnae who will receive the Northwestern Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Northwestern Alumni Medal, in October. They will join a select group of 103 alumni — from innovative entrepreneurs and Supreme Court justices to award-winning writers and a Nobel Prize recipient — who have received this award since 1932.