Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Graduation Speeches 2023

This spring is the first time since I can remember that I do not have any children, nieces, nephews, other close family, and friends graduating from high school or university. While most people I know would consider this a blessing, as a committed graduation junkie, I couldn’t stay away and

Graduation 2022

Most people gush with joy and pride when a loved one completes a course of study – whether high school, university, professional training, or even nursery school. But these same proud friends and family members grimace when they talk about attending the actual graduation ceremonies: too long, too hot, can’t

Women’s Stories Carried Forward

January 1. Typically a time for New Year resolutions and fresh promises to self and others. This year – maybe because my family recently lost one of its matriarchs, and perhaps because we are lucky enough to be celebrating my mom’s 90th birthday this coming Sunday –  I find myself

Aaron Tempkin (Tim) Beck, MD

Brilliant Thinker. Visionary Pioneer. Generous Mentor. Passionate Humanitarian. Tireless Scientist. These accolades are sometimes nothing more than hyperbole. In the case of Dr. Aaron (Tim) Beck, they don’t come close to capturing the extraordinary individual who died on Monday, 1 November 2021, at 100 years of age.  1. Brilliant Thinker.

Memory Making

Exactly three weeks ago today, my oldest son got married. Brendan and his bride, Hiromi, were beaming on this sunny, breezy afternoon in the garden, surrounded by friends and family who came to bear witness and celebrate. It was a day of memory making. I know some people think we

Mortarboards Fly High

It’s that time of year! And this graduation devotee is over the moon. Two of my nieces and a nephew graduated this year: Lauren from Auburn University. War Eagle! Adam and Allison from high school. Cap and gown. Pomp and circumstance. I choke up when the processional begins. I enthusiastically

The First Lady of Mental Health

The young man in the photo below with US First Lady Rosalynn Carter is my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Harold Pincus. This photo hangs adjacent to his office door. Over the years, I have passed it too many times to count. It has prompted many stories about mental health

Five Years of Five on Friday

I can hardly believe that I have been writing these weekly musings for five years. Our readership (you!) now numbers in the tens of thousands. In celebration of this milestone, we compiled all the past posts and created an online archive as part of a new website that will serve

Risk Forward

We might have imagined that with the vaccine rollout out, this topsy turvy world would feel more settled, but that is not how life goes. The pandemic has been a storm of uncertainty. We have spent more than a year wondering, worrying, waiting, wanting. And it continues: Is it really

Coats of Many Colors

I have a thing for coats, so you can imagine my delight on Inauguration Day. Coats of many colors were on full display. Coats negotiate the space between inside and out. On the exterior, coats shield us from the elements. On the interior, they nestle against our bodies so we

Graduation 2020: Squirm a Little

This week, throughout the United States, amidst the unprecedented pandemic of our day, academic commencements large and small have been taking place, virtually. In my own family – my twins, my daughter-in-law, my nephew, and the husbands of two of my nieces earned the right this year to don mortar


“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how,’” wrote Viktor Frankl in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Equally, the absence of ‘why’ can make unbearable almost any ‘how.’ We live in a world where it is easy to be busy. The challenge before us

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