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Bostonia: The Alumni Magazine of Boston University

Fall 2011 Table of Contents


Boston University Faculty Members Remembered

Ephraim Friedman
A former School of Medicine dean, on June 18, 2011, at 81.

Friedman earned a bachelor’s in zoology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a medical degree from the University of California School of Medicine. He served as a captain with the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1958.

He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

In 1965, he became a professor and chair of the MED ophthalmology department and was ophthalmologist in chief at what was then University Hospital. When he became dean of MED in 1971, at the age of 41, he was the youngest dean of a U.S. medical school, according to the Boston Globe.

As MED dean, Friedman supported a program called Introduction to Medicine, which gave first-year students time for electives in fields like community medicine, psychiatry, and surgery, according to the book Generations: A History of Boston University School of Medicine, 1848–1998. He was at the helm when the city of Boston’s department of health and hospitals voted to grant the school sole responsibility for professional staffing of what was then Boston City Hospital, now Boston Medical Center, as well as the city’s neighborhood health clinics.

Friedman served as MED dean until 1974, when he left to become dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He later became president of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He also was a surgeon and a researcher, studying the causes of age-related macular degeneration.

Despite his professional achievements, his first love was sculpting, his wife, Dagmar, told the Globe.

Friedman began sculpting as a child and throughout his life took classes from a variety of artists, including Nancy Schön (DGE’48), whose most famous work is the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the Boston Public Garden.

“He was not some kind of amateur,” Schön told the Globe. “He could have done this professionally.”

Betty Milhendler
School of Social Work professor emerita, on December 7, 2010,
at 87.

Milhendler graduated from Ohio University in 1945 and joined the School of Social Work in 1962. With a focus on social work practice and casework, she was an assistant professor from 1962 to 1969 and an associate professor from 1969 until her retirement in 1983, when she was named a professor emerita.

“Betty was a remarkably energetic woman who delighted in talking with her colleagues and teaching students,” says SSW Dean Gail Steketee. “She especially enjoyed the benefits of dance and helped others understand this in the context of social work. We will miss her very much.”

After her retirement from BU, Milhendler joined the Prometheus Dance Elders Ensemble. The ensemble, made up of dancers between the ages of 55 and 85, is a paid professional dance group that performs throughout Massachusetts. ~Jennifer Ehrlich (COM’11)

Catherine W. Tinkham
School of Nursing professor emerita, on May 21, 2011, at 95.

Tinkham was a public health nursing consultant for institutions, hospitals, and health departments across the United States and in countries such as Liberia, Senegal, and Cameroon.

She was born on April 16, 1916, in Boston. After receiving a diploma from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in New Bedford in 1937, she earned a public health nursing certificate from Simmons College and a master’s in public health nursing from the University of Michigan.

She joined the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps Reserve as an ensign in 1940 and by 1954 had earned the rank of lieutenant commander.

During her nursing career, Tinkham worked for Brockton Hospital, the Brockton Visiting Nurse Association, the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C., the Cambridge Visiting Nurse Association, and the Wayne County health department in Michigan.

She joined the BU faculty as an instructor in 1956 and went on to hold a variety of positions, including coordinator of the community health nursing program, interim chair of the community health department, advisor to international students, and a professor and nursing coordinator of the Strengthening Health Delivery Systems in Central and West Africa Project. The project enabled her to travel several times to Africa as a consultant and an educator, among other roles.

Tinkham coauthored Community Health Nursing: Evolution and Process (Appleton & Lange, 1972) with Eleanor Voorhies. She was a member of several professional organizations, including the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, and the Boston University Women’s Council. In 1993, the Massachusetts Nurses Foundation established the annual Catherine W. Tinkham Scholarship in honor of her commitment to the foundation and to the future of nursing.

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