Who is Virginia Gonzalez Torres?


Virginia Gonzalez Torres is a female human rights activist in Mexico who provides support and resources for the mentally ill. She is often referred to as the Dorothea Dix of Mexico.

Born into a wealthy family that owned a pharmacy chain, Virginia began a volunteer women’s programme at Sayago hospital in the 1980s. In her investigative role, she has sneaked into most of the public mental institutions in Mexico, sometimes posing as a patient, and she once smuggled the mayor of Mexico City into a men’s mental hospital to view the conditions there. More than once she has been beaten up at institutions when she was discovered inside hiding in the dark.

In 1992 Virginia helped make men’s mental hospital Ramirez Moreno infamous by filming conditions inside. In 1995, she helped draft a new mental health law.

A Look at the Soul

Virginia Gonzalez Torres was born in Mexico City, the daughter of Margarita Torres de la Parra and Roberto González Terán. He began his approach to the issue of human rights of the mentally ill when he faces 22 years to an episode that changed his life. Her older sister is hospitalised in a private psychiatric hospital in the United States, to be attended by depression. It was then that Virginia could see that, the psychiatric world, a world of confinement, punishment, neglect and suffering. When visiting her sister in the hospital daily, was awaken their interest in these places, then he realised that he had isolation rooms where patients could stay for days as part of treatment. Over the years Virginia was getting closer to the Psychiatric Hospital in Mexico now, his great ability to empathize with clients allowed them to look at the person behind the diagnosis and may feel their needs, was then given account that has found a cause to fight for the defence of human rights of people with mental illness.

Her Work in Civil Society

Virginia Gonzalez Torres prepares to visit psychiatric hospitals and is aware of the continuing human rights violations, lack of medical care, facilities deplorable lack of clothing and footwear, food in poor condition, in order that the deal was outrageous. Therefore decided to create the Mexican Foundation for Rehabilitation of Persons with mental illness, IAP, which started operations on 14 November 1980, being an institution of non-profit private assistance, is a pioneer in Mexico in the fight for respect for human rights of the mentally ill. In the same year, coordinating a community psychosocial rehabilitation program at the Hospital “José Sayago”, who then becomes a very significant place for Virginia, since the first public psychiatric hospital where he comes to begin what would later Psychiatric Reform in Mexico. Thus, by the Virginia Foundation continues to develop community programs aimed at the Psychosocial Rehabilitation in 1985 such as the “Centre Day” being the first programme of its kind in Mexico. Following this task in 1988, the Foundation is launching the program “Community Residence” thought in people with mental illness who have been discharged from public psychiatric hospitals and lack of family support and economic resources, this programme is free and supports users in their process of reintegration into society. Virginia González’s work was extended to other hospitals and in 1988 together with the Foundation organised a psychosocial rehabilitation program in the Psychiatric Hospital “Dr. Samuel Ramirez Moreno”. Virginia’s vision is to promote the participation of users of mental health services in the defence of their human rights, so the front of the Mexican Foundation for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, achieved during the keynote of the Congress of the World Mental Health, held in Mexico, involving users at the same time presented the “Charter of Human Rights of people suffering from mental illness and are hospitalised” as a cornerstone in the fight for the Defence of Human Rights. One of the legacies of Virginia Gonzalez Torres is the creation of citizen committees, who have the task of ensuring respect for human rights in their struggle for recognition has been achieved these committees to Secretary of Health and have access to all the administrative and budget of the institution. The first steering committee was established Psychiatric Hospital “Dr. Samuel Ramirez Moreno.”

Allegations of Human Rights Violations of the Mentally Ill

One of the tasks of the Foundation is publicly denounce human rights violations of people with mental illness in 1992, a complaint before the National Commission on Human Rights for violations at “Samuel Ramirez Moreno, this action is for a year after the Commission made a series of recommendations to address the abuse allegations.

Participation in the International Field

Virginia Gonzalez’s work has transcended the international field in 1994 during the session of the Human Rights Commission United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Virginia on behalf of the FMREM presented to the plenary of the Assembly a report on violations Human rights in Mexico’s public mental hospitals, thus manages to foreground the issue at international level that exists in Mexico.

Official Standard NOM-025-SSA2-1994

The tireless struggle of one of Virginia Gonzalez pays off when in 1995, holding with the foundation in the development of the NOM-025-SSA2-1994, which governs the provision of services in units of Hospital Care Medical-Psychiatric in Mexico. It gets its publication in July 1995 and will be included in the standard list of human rights of mentally ill in hospital, before the foundation promoted by addition of rules establishing the citizens’ committees in all Psychiatric Hospitals country.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Virginia Gonzalez believes that the asylum model Psychiatric Hospitals does not contribute to the rehabilitation of the mentally ill, advocates a new treatment, where users of such services have benefits to help them reintegrate into society, so in 1998, promotes actions that lead users to participate in the workshop receive financial support, promotes mental hospitals in the outputs of the user community, and organises workshops in four state psychiatric hospitals, which also manages the articles sold in stores within these mental hospitals are given at cost to users.

A Hope

Thanks to a public outcry by Virginia Gonzalez in 1999, closing the Ocaranza Psychiatric Hospital. At the same time there is a hope for the mentally ill who are admitted to this hospital, because in 2000, were inaugurated transitional villas hospital, whose goal is to leave the overcrowded and have a decent space in which to carry out activities that will lead to rehabilitation. They also open two halfway houses that support the reintegration of users who have been discharged from hospital.

Work from Government

The way Virginia has started from the Civil Society, perseverance and courage have enabled him to be recognised as the leading advocate of human rights of mental patients in Mexico. In 2000 assumed the post of Deputy Director of Psychosocial Rehabilitation in the Ministry of Health, from there its purpose is to generate large changes in psychiatric care for the benefit of the mentally ill. Virginia has not been a common public servant, but has shown its true commitment to defending human rights and is the first to withdraw if the government is not doing well, example is the mobilization that led in 2003 being a civil servant. A picket in front of the headquarters of the dependence of the Secretary of Health Julio Frenk require the Secretary to respond to patients ‘lifers’ with the system of psychiatric asylum. This mobilization makes the secretary agreed to install a desk, coordinated by Virginia Gonzalez Torres, to develop a plan to implement the so-called “Model Hidalgo” mental health care for the benefit of 2 000 400 patients who have been granted asylum different psychiatric hospitals in the country for 20 years, on average.

Miguel Hidalgo as a Role Model

This new model provides for the establishment of new structures of care and is based on respect for the rights of users to receive comprehensive medical care-psychiatric quality and warmth. The model provides a network of services with different alternatives for prevention, hospitalisation and social reintegration in the area of mental health.

National Council for Mental Health

In 2004, establishing the National Council of Mental Health and is named Virginia Technical Secretariat, recognising his work for over thirty years in the Defence of Human Rights of the Mentally Ill. During his tenure on the Council its main objective is to promote the Psychiatric Reform for the Restructuring of Psychiatric Services System and Mental Health in Mexico, which signed 27 states in 2006. This model is intended to implement the Miguel Hidalgo in the country. During his tenure on the Council, visit Virginia Psychiatric hospitals in the country, in 2005, visiting the Psychiatric Durango, realizes that this is the place where most frequently practice the use of electroshock, for what is against this practice, encouraged to seek other, less invasive to patients, makes a commitment to managing the inclusion of psychiatric medications in the catalogue of the Seguro Popular to the lack of medications is not an excuse to use the electric shocks. In January 2006, Virginia Gonzalez Torres, performing observations at Psychiatric Hospital “José Sayago”, found that he violated the human rights of detained 290 patients, with this panorama, the federal agency claims that the state government, “not unable or unwilling to intervene in the matter, “that allows the Health Department take responsibility for the Hospital to implement the model of psychiatric care Miguel Hidalgo.

Revolution in the Sayago Hospital

Virginia has been particularly attentive to the Hospital José Sayago, as it was in the place where he began his work with volunteer groups. On 19 October 2006 Villages were opened in the hospital transition Sayago Hospital, the latter being crucial action to continue implementing the Model Miguel Hidalgo on behalf of users. Later in the year 2009 takes action to continue the revolution within the hospital. A goal is to care for the users who are treated here is made from a humanistic approach, where doctors see the users as individuals and not as a diagnostic label, and they can receive quality medical care and warmth. With hospital nurses made a special approach recognises the importance of their work and urges them to comply with the highest quality standards but above all warmth. It serves the needs of nurses in training, human resources and materials. Propose an organisation of hospital units where work is organised with a multidisciplinary approach. Boost campaign is counting on me, count on you “for the purpose of bringing doctors and nurses to clients from a non-hierarchical position, but person to person.


A topic of interest to Virginia is the care of children with autism spectrum disorders, so that in 2009, opened the Autism Clinic, which provides specialized care during their first year of operation awarded 28, 800 and took care consultations more than 400 children. Another action in relation to Autism Walk was “Together for Autism” on 26 March to mark the World Day of Conscience on Autism, which is on 02 April, the walk had the participation of more than 3000 people.

Free Consultations for 2,009 Patients

A fight of Virginia Gonzalez Torres, has been to seek free of Mental Health Services, recognising that most people with these conditions can not afford medicines and consultations are required. Thus consultations given by the Centre City Comprehensive Mental Health does not charge any consultation. Following this, in 2009, following a dialogue work, the Chamber of Deputies proposing an agreement for exemption of payments to persons who are served annually in federal health facilities and lack of social insurance, or ISSSTE Seguro Popular Virginia Gonzalez Torres continues to lead the National Mental Health Council at the end of 2009 reported isolation rooms at the Psychiatric Hospital Adolfo. M. Nieto, a situation that eventually uncovered several irregularities that caused the dismissal of the authorities. He is currently working on amendments to the NOM-025-SSA, in order to continue promoting the reform of psychiatry in Mexico and thus make respect for human rights of the mentally ill is part of the daily life of all Mexicans.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Gonzalez_Torres >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

An Overview of the Dorothea Dix Hospital


The Dorothea Dix Hospital was the first North Carolina psychiatric hospital, located on Dix Hill in Raleigh, North Carolina, and named after mental health advocate Dorothea Dix from New England. It was founded in 1856 and closed in 2012. The site is now designated as Dorothea Dix Park and serves as Raleigh’s largest city park.

A photo of the NCDHHS Dorothea Dix Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pictured are the Hargrove Building (left) and McBryde Building (right) as viewed from Smithwick Drive.

Brief History

In 1848, Dorothea Dix visited North Carolina and called for reform in the care of mentally ill patients. In 1849, when the North Carolina State Medical Society was formed, the construction of an institution in the capital, Raleigh, for the care of mentally ill patients was authorised. The hospital opened in 1856 as Dix Hill in honour of her grandfather and almost 100 years later was named in honour of Dorothea Lynde Dix.

The hospital grounds at one time included 2,354 acres (953 ha), which were used for the hospital’s farms, orchards, livestock, maintenance buildings, employee housing, and park grounds. In 1984, the Hunt administration transferred 385 acres to North Carolina State University’s “Centennial Campus”, and in 1985, the Martin administration transferred an additional 450 acres. Other pieces of the property now include the State Farmer’s Market.

In 2000, a consultant said the hospital needed to close. This move was made despite the fact that the hospital was operating well and that its closure meant that mental health patients would have no local, public facility to use for care. The hospital land was purchased by the state to house the hospital.

The Dorothea Dix Hospital was at one time slated to be closed by the state by 2008, and the fate of the remaining 306 acres (124 ha) was a matter of much discussion and debate in state and local circles. As of October 6, 2008, according to the News & Observer, state officials were calling the facility “Central Regional Hospital – Raleigh Campus”. But in 2009, the state announced that Dorothea Dix Hospital would not be closing and would not be a “satellite” of CRH. It was announced in August 2010 that a lack of funding meant the facility would “shut its doors by the end of the year.”

A thorough history of the hospital was published in 2010 by the Office of Archives and History of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

In August 2012, Dorothea Dix Hospital moved its last patients to Central Regional Hospital in Butner, North Carolina, a facility that critics said did not provide enough beds for the most serious cases. To help alleviate the situation, in May 2012, UNC agreed to spend $40 million on mental health services.

The hospital is the setting for “Dix Hill”, David Sedaris’ reminiscence of working there as a volunteer in his youth, published in his collection Naked.

On 05 May 2015, the Council of State members voted unanimously to approve selling the 308 acres to the city. Proceeds of the sale were to go to “fund facilities and services for the mentally ill.” Located on the property is Spring Hill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The property is now operated as a city park and is open to the public.

The former hospital is now home to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Ryan McBryde Building.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Dix_Hospital >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

Who was Dorothea Dix?


Dorothea Lynde Dix (04 April 1802 to 17 July 1887) was an American advocate on behalf of the indigent mentally ill who, through a vigorous and sustained programme of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the first generation of American mental asylums.

During the American Civil War, she served as a Superintendent of Army Nurses.

Refer to the Kirkbride Plan, Virginia Gonzalez Torres (often referred to as Dorothea Dix of Mexico), and Dorothea Dix Hospital.

Early Life

Born in the town of Hampden, Maine, she grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts among her parents’ relatives. She was the first child of three born to Joseph Dix and Mary Bigelow, who had deep ancestral roots in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her mother suffered from poor health, thus she was not able to provide consistent support to her children. Her father was an itinerant bookseller and Methodist preacher. At the age of twelve, she and her two brothers were sent to their wealthy grandmother, Dorothea Lynde (married to Dr. Elijah Dix) in Boston to get away from her alcoholic parents and abusive father. She began to teach in a school all for girls in Worcester, Massachusetts at fourteen years old and had developed her own curriculum for her class, in which she emphasized ethical living and the natural sciences. In about 1821 Dix opened a school in Boston, which was patronised by well-to-do families. Soon afterward she also began teaching poor and neglected children out of the barn of her grandmother’s house, but she suffered poor health. It has been suggested that Dorothea suffered from major depressive episodes, which contributed to her poor health. From 1824 to 1830, she wrote mainly devotional books and stories for children. Her Conversations on Common Things (1824) reached its sixtieth edition by 1869, and was reprinted 60 times and written in the style of a conversation between mother and daughter. Her book The Garland of Flora (1829) was, along with Elizabeth Wirt’s Flora’s Dictionary, one of the first two dictionaries of flowers published in the United States. Other books of Dix’s include Private Hours, Alice and Ruth, and Prisons and Prison Discipline.

Although raised Catholic and later directed to Congregationalism, Dix became a Unitarian. After Dix’s health forced her to relinquish her school, she began working as a governess on Beacon Hill for the family of William Ellery Channing, a leading Unitarian intellectual. It was while working with his family that Dix travelled to St. Croix, where she first witnessed slavery at first hand, though her experience did not dispose her sympathies toward abolitionism. In 1831, she established a model school for girls in Boston, operating it until 1836, when she suffered a breakdown. Dix was encouraged to take a trip to Europe to improve her health. While she was there she met British social reformers who inspired her. These reformers included Elizabeth Fry, Samuel Tuke and William Rathbone with whom she lived during the duration of her trip in Europe. In hopes of a cure, in 1836 she travelled to England, where she met the Rathbone family. During her trip in Europe and her stay with the Rathbone family, Dorothea’s grandmother died and left her a “sizable estate, along with her royalties” which allowed her to live comfortably for the remainder of her life. It was also during this trip that she came across an institution in Turkey, which she used as a model institution despite its conditions being just like other facilities. They invited her as a guest to Greenbank, their ancestral mansion in Liverpool. The Rathbones were Quakers and prominent social reformers. At Greenbank, Dix met their circle of men and women who believed that government should play a direct, active role in social welfare. She was also introduced to Great Britain’s reform movement for care of the mentally ill, known as lunacy reform. Its members were making deep investigations of madhouses and asylums, publishing their studies in reports to the House of Commons.

Antebellum Career

Reform movements for treatment of the mentally ill were related in this period to other progressive causes: abolitionism, temperance, and voter reforms. After returning to America, in 1840-1841 Dix conducted a state-wide investigation of care for the mentally ill poor in Massachusetts. Dorothea’s interest for helping out the mentally ill of society started while she was teaching classes to female prisoners in East Cambridge. She saw how these individuals were locked up and whose medical needs were not being satisfied since only private hospitals would have such provisions. It was during her time at the East Cambridge prison, that she visited the basement where she encountered four mentally ill individuals, whose cells were “dark and bare and the air was stagnant and foul”. She also saw how such individuals were labelled as “looney paupers” and were being locked up along with violently deranged criminals and received treatment that was inhumane.

In most cases, towns contracted with local individuals to care for mentally ill people who could not care for themselves and lacked family/friends to do so. Unregulated and underfunded, this system resulted in widespread abuse. Dix published the results in a fiery report, a Memorial, to the state legislature. “I proceed, Gentlemen, briefly to call your attention to the present state of Insane Persons confined within this Commonwealth, in cages, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience.” Her lobbying resulted in a bill to expand the state’s mental hospital in Worcester.

During the year 1844 Dix visited all the counties, jails and almshouses in New Jersey in a similar investigation. She prepared a memorial for the New Jersey Legislature, giving a detailed account of her observations and facts. Dix urgently appealed to the legislature to act and appropriate funds to construct a facility for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. She cited a number of cases to emphasize the importance of the state taking responsibility for this class of unfortunates. Dix’s plea was to provide moral treatment for the mentally ill, which consisted of three values: modesty, chastity, and delicacy.

She gave as an example a man formerly respected as a legislator and jurist, who, suffering from mental decline, fell into hard times in old age. Dix discovered him lying on a small bed in a basement room of the county almshouse, bereft of even necessary comforts. She wrote: “This feeble and depressed old man, a pauper, helpless, lonely, and yet conscious of surrounding circumstances, and not now wholly oblivious of the past—this feeble old man, who was he?” Many members of the legislature knew her pauper jurist. Joseph S. Dodd introduced her report to the Senate on 23 January 1845.

Dodd’s resolution to authorise an asylum passed the following day. The first committee made their report 25 February, appealing to the New Jersey legislature to act at once. Some politicians secretly opposed it due to taxes needed to support it. Dix continued to lobby for a facility, writing letters and editorials to build support. During the session, she met with legislators and held group meetings in the evening at home. The act of authorization was taken up 14 March 1845, and read for the last time. On 25 March 1845, the bill was passed for the establishment of a state facility.

Dix travelled from New Hampshire to Louisiana, documenting the condition of the poor mentally ill, making reports to state legislatures, and working with committees to draft the enabling legislation and appropriations bills needed. In 1846, Dix travelled to Illinois to study mental illness. While there, she fell ill and spent the winter in Springfield recovering. She submitted a report to the January 1847 legislative session, which adopted legislation to establish Illinois’ first state mental hospital.

In 1848, Dix visited North Carolina, where she again called for reform in the care of mentally ill patients. Her first attempt to bring reform to North Carolina was denied. However, after a board member’s wife requested, as a dying wish, that Dix’s plea be reconsidered, the bill for reform was approved. In 1849, when the (North Carolina) State Medical Society was formed, the legislature authorised construction of an institution in the capital, Raleigh, for the care of mentally ill patients. Dix Hill Asylum, named in honour of Dorothea Dix’s father, was eventually opened in 1856. One hundred years later, the Dix Hill Asylum was renamed the Dorothea Dix Hospital, in honour of her legacy. A second state hospital for the mentally ill was authorised in 1875, Broughton State Hospital in Morganton, North Carolina; and ultimately, the Goldsboro Hospital for the Negro Insane was also built in eastern part of the state. Dix had a biased view that mental illness was related to conditions of educated whites, not minorities (Dix, 1847).

She was instrumental in the founding of the first public mental hospital in Pennsylvania, the Harrisburg State Hospital. In 1853, she established its library and reading room.

The high point of her work in Washington was the Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane, legislation to set aside 12,225,000 acres (49,473 km2) of Federal land 10,000,000 acres (40,000 km2) to be used for the benefit of the mentally ill and the remainder for the “blind, deaf, and dumb”. Proceeds from its sale would be distributed to the states to build and maintain asylums. Dix’s land bill passed both houses of the United States Congress; but in 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed it, arguing that social welfare was the responsibility of the states. Stung by the defeat of her land bill, in 1854 and 1855 Dix travelled to England and Europe. She reconnected with the Rathbone family and, encouraged by British politicians who wished to increase Whitehall’s reach into Scotland, conducted investigations of Scotland’s madhouses. This work resulted in the formation of the Scottish Lunacy Commission to oversee reforms.

Dix visited the British colony of Nova Scotia in 1853 to study its care of the mentally ill. During her visit, she travelled to Sable Island to investigate reports of mentally ill patients being abandoned there. Such reports were largely unfounded. While on Sable Island, Dix assisted in a shipwreck rescue. Upon her return to Boston, she led a successful campaign to send upgraded life-saving equipment to the island. The day after supplies arrived, a ship was wrecked on the island. Thankfully, because of Dix’s work, 180 people were saved.

In 1854, Dix investigated the conditions of mental hospitals in Scotland, and found them to be in similarly poor conditions. In 1857, after years of work and opposition, reform laws were finally passed. Dix took up a similar project in the Channel Islands, finally managing the building of an asylum after thirteen years of agitation. Extending her work throughout Europe, Dix continued on to Rome. Once again finding disrepair and maltreatment, Dix sought an audience with Pope Pius IX. The pope was receptive to Dix’s findings and visited the asylums himself, shocked at their conditions. He thanked Dix for her work, saying in a second audience with her that “a woman and a Protestant, had crossed the seas to call his attention to these cruelly ill-treated members of his flock.”

The Civil War

During the American Civil War, Dix, on 10 June 1861, was appointed Superintendent of Army Nurses by the Union Army, beating out Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.

Dix set guidelines for nurse candidates. Volunteers were to be aged 35 to 50 and plain-looking. They were required to wear unhooped black or brown dresses, with no jewellry or cosmetics. Dix wanted to avoid sending vulnerable, attractive young women into the hospitals, where she feared they would be exploited by the men (doctors as well as patients). Dix often fired volunteer nurses she had not personally trained or hired (earning the ire of supporting groups like the United States Sanitary Commission).

At odds with Army doctors, Dix feuded with them over control of medical facilities and the hiring and firing of nurses. Many doctors and surgeons did not want any female nurses in their hospitals. To solve the impasse, the War Department introduced Order No. 351 in October 1863. It granted both the Surgeon General (Joseph K. Barnes) and the Superintendent of Army Nurses (Dix) the power to appoint female nurses. However, it gave doctors the power of assigning employees and volunteers to hospitals. This relieved Dix of direct operational responsibility. As superintendent, Dix implemented the Federal army nursing program, in which over 3,000 women would eventually serve. Meanwhile, her influence was being eclipsed by other prominent women such as Dr. Mary Edwards Walker and Clara Barton. She resigned in August 1865 and later considered this “episode” in her career a failure. Although hundreds of Catholic nuns successfully served as nurses, Dix distrusted them; her anti-Catholicism undermined her ability to work with Catholic nurses, lay or religious.

Her even-handed caring for Union and Confederate wounded alike assured her memory in the South. Her nurses provided what was often the only care available in the field to Confederate wounded. Georgeanna Woolsey, a Dix nurse, said, “The surgeon in charge of our camp…looked after all their wounds, which were often in a most shocking state, particularly among the rebels. Every evening and morning they were dressed.” Another Dix nurse, Julia Susan Wheelock, said, “Many of these were Rebels. I could not pass them by neglected. Though enemies, they were nevertheless helpless, suffering human beings.”

When Confederate forces retreated from Gettysburg, they left behind 5,000 wounded soldiers. These were treated by many of Dix’s nurses. Union nurse Cornelia Hancock wrote about the experience: “There are no words in the English language to express the suffering I witnessed today….”

She was well respected for her work throughout the war because of her dedication. This stemmed from her putting aside her previous work to focus completely on the war at hand. With the conclusion of the war her service was recognised formally. She was awarded with two national flags, these flags being for “the Care, Succour, and Relief of the Sick and wounded Soldiers of the United States on the Battle-Field, in Camps and Hospitals during the recent war.” Dix ultimately founded thirty-two hospitals, and influenced the creation of two others in Japan.

Post-war Life

At the end of the war, Dix helped raise funds for the national monument to deceased soldiers at Fortress Monroe. Following the war, she resumed her crusade to improve the care of prisoners, the disabled, and the mentally ill. Her first step was to review the asylums and prisons in the South to evaluate the war damage to their facilities. In addition to pursuing prisons reforms after the civil war, she also worked on improving life-saving services in Nova Scotia, establishing a war memorial at Hampton Roads in Virginia and a fountain for thirsty horses at the Boston Custom Square.

In 1881, Dix moved into the New Jersey State Hospital, formerly known as Trenton State Hospital, that she built years prior. The state legislature had designated a suite for her private use as long as she lived. Although in poor health, she carried on correspondence with people from England, Japan, and elsewhere. Dix died on 17 July 1887. She was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Dix was elected “President for Life” of the Army Nurses Association (a social club for Civil War Volunteer Nurses), but she had little to do with the organisation. She opposed its efforts to get military pensions for its members.
  • In December 1866 she was awarded two national flags for her service during the Civil War. This award was awarded for “the Care, Succour, and Relief of the Sick and wounded Soldiers of the United States on the Battle-Field, in Camps and Hospitals during the recent War.”
  • In 1979 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
  • In 1983 the United States Postal Service honoured her life of charity and service by issuing a 1¢ Dorothea Dix Great Americans series postage stamp.
  • In 1999 a series of six tall marble panels with a bronze bust in each was added to the Massachusetts State House; the busts are of Dix, Florence Luscomb, Mary Kenney O’Sullivan, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Sarah Parker Remond, and Lucy Stone. As well, two quotations from each of those women (including Dix) are etched on their own marble panel, and the wall behind all the panels has wallpaper made of six government documents repeated over and over, with each document being related to a cause of one or more of the women.
  • A United States Navy transport ship serving in World War II was named for Dix, the USS Dorothea L. Dix.
  • The Bangor Mental Health Institute was renamed in August 2006 to the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Centre.
  • A crater on Venus was named Dix in her honour.
  • She is remembered on the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.

Numerous locations commemorate Dix, including the Dix Ward in McLean Asylum at Somerville, Dixmont Hospital in Pennsylvania, the Dorothea L. Dix House, and the Dorothea Dix Park located in Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • The Garland of Flora, Boston: S.G. Goodrich & Co., and Carter & Hendee, 1829. Published anonymously.
  • Remarks on Prisons and Prison Discipline in the United States, 2nd edition, from the 1st Boston edition, Philadelphia: Joseph Kite & Co, 1845.
  • Memorial of Miss D. L. Dix in Relation to the Illinois Penitentiary, February 1847.
  • Memorial of Miss D. L. Dix to the Hon. The General Assembly in Behalf of the Insane of Maryland, House of Delegates?, 05 March 1852.
  • She wrote a variety of other tracts on prisoners. She is also the author of many memorials to legislative bodies on the subject of lunatic asylums and reports on philanthropic subjects.
  • For young readers:
    • Conversations on Common Things, or, Guide to Knowledge, with Questions (3rd ed.), Boston: Monroe & Francis, 1828 [1824].
    • Alice and Ruth.
    • Evening Hours.
  • and other books.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Dix >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

Who was Karl Williams?


Franz Karl Heinrich Wilmanns (27 July 1873 to 23 August 1945) was a Mexican-born German psychiatrist who founded the Heidelberg school of psychopathology.

In 1933, Wilmanns was fired from Heidelberg University for political reasons.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Wilmanns >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

What is General Paresis of the Insane?


General paresis, also known as general paralysis of the insane (GPI), paralytic dementia, or syphilitic paresis is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder, classified as an organic mental disorder and is caused by late-stage syphilis and the chronic meningoencephalitis and cerebral atrophy that are associated with this late stage of the disease when left untreated. GPI differs from mere paresis, as mere paresis can result from multiple other causes and usually does not affect cognitive function. Degenerative changes caused by GPI are associated primarily with the frontal and temporal lobar cortex. The disease affects approximately 7% of individuals infected with syphilis, and is far more common in third world countries where fewer options for timely treatment are available. It is more common among men.

GPI was originally considered to be a type of madness due to a dissolute character, when first identified in the early 19th century. The condition’s connection with syphilis was discovered in the late 1880s. Progressively, with the discovery of organic arsenicals such as Salvarsan and Neosalvarsan (1910s), the development of pyrotherapy (1920s; a method of raising body temperature or sustaining an elevated body temperature using a fever), and the widespread availability and use of penicillin in the treatment of syphilis (1940s), the condition was rendered avoidable and curable. Prior to this, GPI was inevitably fatal, and it accounted for as much as 25% of the primary diagnoses for residents in public psychiatric hospitals.

Brief History

While retrospective studies have found earlier instances of what may have been the same disorder, the first clearly identified examples of paresis among the insane were described in Paris after the Napoleonic Wars. General paresis of the insane was first described as a distinct disease in 1822 by Antoine Laurent Jesse Bayle. General paresis most often struck people (men far more frequently than women) between 20 and 40 years of age. By 1877, for example, the superintendent of an asylum for men in New York reported that in his institution this disorder accounted for more than 12% of admissions and more than 2% of deaths.

Originally, the cause was believed to be an inherent weakness of character or constitution. While Friedrich von Esmarch and the psychiatrist Peter Willers Jessen (junior) had asserted as early as 1857 that syphilis caused general paresis (progressive Paralyse), progress toward the general acceptance by the medical community of this idea was only accomplished later by the eminent 19th Century syphilographer Jean Alfred Fournier (1832—1914). In 1913 all doubt about the syphilitic nature of paresis was finally eliminated when Hideyo Noguchi and J. W. Moore demonstrated the syphilitic spirochaetes in the brains of paretics.

In 1917 Julius Wagner-Jauregg discovered that malaria therapy (in this case, medical induction of a fever) involving infecting paretic patients with malaria could halt the progression of general paresis. He won a Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1927. After World War II the use of penicillin to treat syphilis made general paresis a rarity: even patients manifesting early symptoms of actual general paresis were capable of full recovery with a course of penicillin. The disorder is now virtually unknown outside developing countries, and even there the epidemiology is substantially reduced.

Some notable cases of general paresis:

  • General Ranald S. Mackenzie was retired from the US Army in 1884 for “general paresis of the insane” 5 years before his death in 1889.
  • Theo Van Gogh, brother of painter Vincent van Gogh, died six months after Vincent in 1891 from “dementia parylitica” or what is now called syphilitic paresis.
  • The Chicago gangster Al Capone died of syphilitic paresis, having contracted syphilis in a brothel in 1919, and not having been properly treated for it in time to prevent his later onset of syphilitic paresis.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of the disease first appear from 10 to 30 years after infection. Incipient GPI is usually manifested by neurasthenic difficulties, such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, etc. As the disease progresses, mental deterioration and personality changes occur. Typical symptoms include loss of social inhibitions, asocial behaviour, gradual impairment of judgment, concentration and short-term memory, euphoria, mania, depression, or apathy. Subtle shivering, minor defects in speech and Argyll Robertson pupil may become noticeable.

Delusions, common as the illness progresses, tend to be poorly systematized and absurd. They can be grandiose, melancholic, or paranoid. These delusions include ideas of great wealth, immortality, thousands of lovers, unfathomable power, apocalypsis, nihilism, self-guilt, self-blame, or bizarre hypochondriacal complaints. Later, the patient experiences dysarthria, intention tremors, hyperreflexia, myoclonic jerks, confusion, seizures and severe muscular deterioration. Eventually, the paretic dies bedridden, cachectic and completely disoriented, frequently in a state of status epilepticus.


The diagnosis could be differentiated from other known psychoses and dementias by a characteristic abnormality in eye pupil reflexes (Argyll Robertson pupil), and, eventually, the development of muscular reflex abnormalities, seizures, memory impairment (dementia) and other signs of relatively pervasive neurocerebral deterioration. Definitive diagnosis is based on the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid and tests for syphilis.


Although there were recorded cases of remission of the symptoms, especially if they had not passed beyond the stage of psychosis, these individuals almost invariably experienced relapse within a few months to a few years. Otherwise, the patient was seldom able to return home because of the complexity, severity and unmanageability of the evolving symptom picture. Eventually, the patient would become completely incapacitated, bed ridden, and would die, the process taking about three to five years on average.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_paresis_of_the_insane >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

On This Day … 26 February [2023]

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 1969 – Karl Jaspers, German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher (b. 1883)

Emile Coue

Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (26 February 1857 to 02 July 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.

Considered by Charles Baudouin to represent a second Nancy School, Coué treated many patients in groups and free of charge.

Sandie Shaw

Sandie Shaw, MBE (born Sandra Ann Goodrich; 26 February 1947) is a retired English singer. One of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, she had three UK number one singles with “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” (1964), “Long Live Love” (1965) and “Puppet on a String” (1967). With the latter, she became the first British entry to win the Eurovision Song Contest. She returned to the UK Top 40, for the first time in 15 years, with her 1984 cover of the Smiths song “Hand in Glove”. Shaw retired from the music industry in 2013.

Concentrating on a new career as a psychotherapist, Shaw opened the Arts Clinic in 1997 with her husband, to provide psychological healthcare and creative development to those in the creative industries.[6]: 387  The clinic is now styled Barefoot Therapy: The Arts Clinic and continues to provide psychological support for those in the fields of entertainment, media and sports. In 1998 she was invited to join the Royal Society of Musicians as an Honorary Professor of Music.

Karl Jaspers

Karl Theodor Jaspers (23 February 1883 to 26 February 1969) was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept the label.

On This Day … 24 February [2023]

People (Births)

  • 1900 – Irmgard Bartenieff, German-American dancer and physical therapist, leading pioneer of dance therapy (d. 1981)

Irmgard Bartenieff

Irmgard Bartenieff (24 February 1900 to 27 August 1981) was a dance theorist, dancer, choreographer, physical therapist, and a leading pioneer of dance therapy. A student of Rudolf Laban, she pursued cross-cultural dance analysis, and generated a new vision of possibilities for human movement and movement training. From her experiences applying Laban’s concepts of dynamism, three-dimensional movement and mobilisation to the rehabilitation of people affected by polio in the 1940s, she went on to develop her own set of movement methods and exercises, known as Bartenieff Fundamentals.

Bartenieff incorporated Laban’s spatial concepts into the mechanical anatomical activity of physical therapy, in order to enhance maximal functioning. In physical therapy, that meant thinking in terms of movement in space, rather than by strengthening muscle groups alone. The introduction of spatial concepts required an awareness of intent on the part of the patient as well, that activated the patient’s will and thus connected the patient’s independent participation to his or her own recovery. “There is no such thing as pure “physical therapy” or pure “mental” therapy. They are continuously interrelated.”

Bartenieff’s presentation of herself was quiet and, according to herself, she did not feel comfortable marketing her skills and knowledge. Not until June 1981, a few months before she died, did her name appear in the institute’s title: Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS), a change initiated by the Board of Directors in her honour.

Dance Therapy

Dance/movement therapy (DMT) in US/ Australia or dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) in the UK is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body. As a modality of the creative arts therapies, DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion.

An Overview of Claybury Hospital


Claybury Hospital was a psychiatric hospital in Woodford Bridge, London. It was built to a design by the English architect George Thomas Hine who was a prolific Victorian architect of hospital buildings. It was opened in 1893 making it the Fifth Middlesex County Asylum. Historic England identified the hospital as being “the most important asylum built in England after 1875”.

Since the closure of the hospital, the site was redeveloped as housing and a gymnasium under the name Repton Park. The hospital block, tower, and chapel, which is now a swimming complex, were designated as a Grade II listed building in 1990.

Brief History

The Project

The building of Claybury Hospital was commissioned by the Middlesex Court of Magistrates in 1887 and would eventually become the fifth Middlesex County Asylum. It was built to a design by the English architect George Thomas Hine who was a prolific, late-Victorian architect of mainly hospital buildings and asylums for the mentally insane. It was the first asylum to successfully use the echelon plan upon which all later asylums were based.

The site was situated on the brow of a hill and was surrounded by 50 acres (200,000 m2) of ancient woodland and 95 acres (380,000 m2) of open parkland, ponds, pasture and historic gardens. These had been designed in 1789 by the landscape architect Humphry Repton.

Early Years

In 1889 the uncompleted building passed to the newly created London County Council which opened it in 1893 as the Claybury Lunatic Asylum.

By 1896, the hospital had 2,500 patients. The first Medical Superintendent and directing genius was Robert Armstrong-Jones. By the first decade of the twentieth century, Claybury had become a major centre of psychiatric learning. It was internationally admired for its research, its pioneering work in introducing new forms of treatment and the high standard of care provided for the mentally ill. Armstrong-Jones was knighted in 1917 for his exceptional work at Claybury and his general service to psychiatry.

Armstrong-Jones held progressive views on community care, advocating in 1906 that city hospitals should have out-patient departments where patients could seek help for mental symptoms without loss of liberty. Each asylum should be a centre for clinical instruction where all medical practitioners could refresh their understanding of insanity. People showing early signs of insanity should be free to seek advice and if necessary be admitted on a voluntary basis and not have to wait until they became certifiable. The first voluntary patients could not admitted until 1930 when the Mental Treatment Act was passed.

In 1895, the London County Council appointed Frederick Mott as director for their new research laboratory at Claybury. Over the next 19 years he carried out vast research, documented in his Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry published between 1903 and 1922. He was knighted in 1919 and is particularly remembered for helping to establish that ‘general paralysis of the insane (GPI) was due to syphilis.

Helen Boyle was appointed as an Assistant Medical Officer in 1895, one of the first women to be employed as a doctor in an asylum. She became a pioneer of early treatment for the mentally ill and went on to found the Lady Chichester Hospital. In 1939 she became the first female president of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association (now the Royal College of Psychiatrists). In Pryor’s words: “The work of this ‘lady doctor’ formed part of the pale new dawn of community care for the mentally ill.”

The asylum was renamed Claybury Mental Hospital in 1930 and simplified to Claybury Hospital in 1959

A Patient Experience in the 1930s

The English artist, Thomas Hennell, published an account of his personal experience of schizophrenia in his book, The Witnesses, in 1938. Sectioned and detained at St John’s Hospital, Stone, Buckinghamshire in 1935, he was then moved to the Maudsley Hospital in London, and finally, to Claybury. He disliked his treatment at the first two, and satirised the Maudsley psychiatrists, but he enjoyed the humane therapy at Claybury (though there is a signed drawing by him in the Tate of staff stealing from a patient in Claybury). In the course of his illness he produced several pictures that depicted his mental state. Before leaving Claybury in 1938, the medical superintendent, Guy Barham, agreed to him painting a large mural covering three walls of the canteen. A photograph of this painting was rediscovered circa 2015. He became an official war artist during World War II.

Post-War Years

Claybury became part of the National Health Service in 1948. The introduction of new drugs, the phenothiazines in 1955 and 1956, and the anti-depressant drugs in 1959, dramatically altered the treatment of the major psychoses, reducing the severity and duration of many conditions and creating a setting where normalisation could flourish.

From the mid-1950s Claybury again attracted widespread attention as, led by consultants Denis Martin and John Pippard, it pioneered a controversial therapeutic community approach to an entire institution of over 2,700 people. In 1968, Martin described the development of Claybury’s therapeutic community in Adventure in Psychiatry. In 1972 a collection of essays by staff members and edited by Elizabeth Shoenberg were published under the title, A Hospital Looks at Itself:

The three pronged attack of therapeutic community techniques, use of new drugs and minimal use of the physical treatments, led to a reduction of the patient population from 2,332 in 1950 to 1,537 in 1970. However, lack of community care resulted in the ‘revolving door syndrome’ with over half admissions being re-admissions.

From the late 1940s it became increasingly difficult to recruit student nurses and other support staff from the UK. Many, with little English, were recruited from Europe and given English language tuition. In 1962, Enoch Powell, then Minister of Health, proposed that hospitals should seek recruits from the West Indies and Pakistan. By 1968 there were 47 nationalities represented at Claybury with different ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds, all part of the therapeutic community diversity.

Developments in Community Care

Enoch Powell had predicted in 1961 that all psychiatric hospitals would be closed within 15 years. In reality, the first, Banstead, closed in 1986. In 1983 the North East Thames Regional Health Authority (NETRHA) committed itself to a 10-year plan for the re-provision of care currently provided by Friern and Claybury hospitals. The number of patients on Claybury’s statuary books at the year end in 1980 was 1,057 and in 1990 was 429.

For some long-stay patients, thoroughly institutionalised, Claybury had been both home and local village for decades, in some cases for over 40 years. The challenge to manage their rehabilitation in a new environment, that they had never experienced and might well treat them with suspicion, was immense. In 1988 the Health and Social Services Research Unit at South Bank Polytechnic published a research paper detailing the post-discharge experience of a group of former long-stay Claybury patients.


To mark its centenary in 1993, the Forest Healthcare Trust published a comprehensive and well documented history of the hospital entitled, Claybury, A Century of Caring, written by Eric Pryor who had been a member of the nursing staff since 1948.

With the Care in the Community Programme and the planned decline in patient numbers, the Claybury site faced a difficult future. The NHS pressed for extensive demolition and maximum new build, whereas the Local Planning Authority and English Heritage argued for maximum retention of the historic buildings and restriction of new build to the existing footprint, in accordance with the Green Belt allocation in the Unitary Development Plan. The hospital was closed in 1997.

Historic England identified the hospital as being “the most important asylum built in England after 1875… [it was] the first asylum to successfully use the echelon plan, upon which all later asylums were based.” The hospital block was designated as a Grade II listed building in 1990, as was the stable block, which is located to the north west of the main building.

Repton Park

After the hospital was shut down in 1997 it was converted into gated housing by Crest Nicholson (working closely with English Heritage and the London Wildlife Trust) and renamed Repton Park.

The hospital chapel was converted into a swimming pool and health centre for the use of Repton Park residents. Former residents of Repton Park include singers V V Brown and Simon Webbe and actress Patsy Palmer. Properties have also attracted professional footballers from Arsenal and Spurs.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claybury_Hospital >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

An Overview of Cassel Hospital


The Cassel Hospital is a psychiatric facility in a Grade II listed building at 1 Ham Common, Richmond, Ham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is run by the West London NHS Trust.

Brief History

The Hospital

The hospital was founded and endowed by Ernest Cassel in England in 1919. It was initially for the treatment of “shell shock” victims (aka combat stress reaction). Originally at Swaylands in Penshurst, Kent, it moved to Stoke-on-Trent during the Second World War. In 1948 it relocated to its present site at No. 1 Ham Common, Ham.

The Building

The present hospital was originally a late 18th-century house known as Morgan House after its owner, philanthropist and writer, John Minter Morgan. Morgan died in 1854 and is buried in nearby St Andrew’s Church, Ham. In 1863 it became home to the newly married Duc de Chartres. In 1879 it became West Heath Girls’ School. The school moved to its present site in Sevenoaks, Kent in the 1930s, and the building became the Lawrence Hall Hotel until its purchase by the Cassel Foundation in 1947. The building was Grade II listed in 1950.


The hospital developed approaches informed by psychoanalytic thinking alongside medicinal interventions, techniques of group and individual psychotherapy. It was here that Tom Main along with Doreen Wedell pioneered the concept of a therapeutic community in the late 1940s. Together they pioneered & developed the concept of psychosocial nursing. By promoting and being proud of the role of the nurse – rather than try to imitate therapists; working alongside the patient in everyday activities, Weddell & Main developed a whole new way of working that reduced dependence upon services and fostered patient’s working collaboratively. Nurses were supported and taught to understand their reparative need, to challenge their sense of omnipotence and to rely on the patient group as the most useful resource. In 1948 Eileen Skellern came for her training and joined the staff in 1949.

The hospital formally established a research department in 1995 and has collaborative relationships with University College London, Imperial College and the Centre for the Economics of Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. It is now a psychotherapeutic community which provides day, residential, and outreach services for young people and adults with severe and enduring personality disorders.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassel_Hospital >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

On This Day … 21 February [2023]


People (Births)

  • 1892 – Harry Stack Sullivan, American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst (d. 1949)
  • 1914 – Jean Tatlock, American psychiatrist and physician (d. 1944)
  • 1961 – Elliot Hirshman, American psychologist and academic

Harry Stack Sullivan

Herbert “Harry” Stack Sullivan (21 February 1892 to 14 January 1949, Paris, France) was an American Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who held that “personality can never be isolated from the complex interpersonal relationships in which [a] person lives” and that “[t]he field of psychiatry is the field of interpersonal relations under any and all circumstances in which [such] relations exist”. Having studied therapists Sigmund Freud, Adolf Meyer, and William Alanson White, he devoted years of clinical and research work to helping people with psychotic illness.

Jean Tatlock

Jean Frances Tatlock (21 February 1914 to 04 January 1944) was an American psychiatrist and physician. She was a member of the Communist Party of the United States of America and was a reporter and writer for the party’s publication Western Worker. She is also known for her romantic relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II.

The daughter of John Strong Perry Tatlock, a prominent Old English philologist and an expert on Geoffrey Chaucer, Tatlock was a graduate of Vassar College and the Stanford Medical School, where she studied to become a psychiatrist. Tatlock began seeing Oppenheimer in 1936, when she was a graduate student at Stanford and Oppenheimer was a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. As a result of their relationship and her membership of the Communist Party, she was placed under surveillance by the FBI and her phone was tapped.

She suffered from clinical depression and died by suicide on 04 January 1944.

Elliot Hirshman

Elliot Lee Hirshman (born 21 February 1961) is an American psychologist and academic who is the president of Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Maryland since 03 July 2017. Prior to Stevenson University he served as president at San Diego State University and served as the provost and senior vice president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.