To have good chemistry, I think you need to start with a good scientist. Sandra and Gareth Eaton have shared their passion with young scientists for 50 years, and for Gareth, the chemistry began the first time he saw Sandra in 1968. When you’re on the DU campus, it doesn’t take long before you see the Eatons. Every day the two of them walk the same path through the campus to work together. I remember asking someone a few days after my first day at DU who they were. Then, about a month later, I had the chance to meet them at the summer Commencement ceremony, where they served as marshals and where I was part of the procession. I immediately recognized them as the DU Couple (my name for them). As I was donning my regalia, Sandra had just the tool I needed—a safety pin—to make sure my stole fit as intended. It seemed like such a simple thing.
After reading the story about Sandra and Gareth’s long-term collaboration with a physician in Chicago, I realized that developing and supplying the right tools for the job is what they do. DU is fortunate to have many scientists doing good science, and in this issue, you’ll learn about how “Good Chemistry: A lifelong partnership benefits science and students,” is about more than a discipline.
This spring I started taking daily walks—around my neighborhood, on campus and elsewhere—anywhere and anytime I could spare to get some steps. I discovered that, as I went from 50,000 steps a week to nearly 300,000 steps a month after about 90 days of walking, I felt better, physically and mentally. With so much chaos and confusion in the world, taking time with myself and my steps has made a big difference in my health and outlook. In “The Innovator,” DU alumna Cherish Marquez (MFA ’20) uses digital art as her outlet, while Kiley Kraskouskas’ (BA ’00), with her degree in sociology and political science, has a hand in developing provocative documentaries. “Depth of Focus” illustrates how her works pursue social justice themes and tackle the day’s issues. Among her notable pieces are “The American Diplomat,” which aired on PBS’ American Experience earlier this year, and “The Free State of George Floyd.” The latter demonstrates the resolve of Minneapolis community members continuing to hold space at 38th and Chicago, now known as George Floyd Square, where the murder of Floyd took place on Memorial Day two years ago.
Being a highly sensitive person, I was deeply affected by the stories in this summer’s issue. When I read about Denver’s 27-acre Babi Yar park, which commemorates the tens of thousands of Jews executed at a ravine in Ukraine, I was moved to tears as I imagined their pain and anguish. And though horrified at the photo depicting the loss in last year’s Marshall fire, I remain inspired by the University’s Trauma and Disaster Recovery Clinic (TDRC), which addresses the needs of community members experiencing collective trauma.
So much of what so many people are experiencing in the world today seems to fit what TDRC co-lead Gwen Mitchell describes as “trauma that happens to large groups of individuals and can be transmitted across communities and transgenerationally.” Mitchell also said that “just as collective trauma can cause people to struggle, collective resilience can also happen.” The way to activate collective resilience is by connecting with other people. And finding ways to affect change. In addition to daily walks that are just for me, I’ve also begun to reach out to others who are committed to causes that interest me. I’m searching for, as Mitchell suggests, “reasons to be hopeful.” In what ways will you activate collective resilience in your community? I invite you to consider how you can do something just for you, too.