5,000 and counting…

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CSM Psychology Professor Connects Mind and Body

What began as an extra credit assignment for a psychology course has impacted more than 5,000 students at the College of Southern Maryland. The National Museum of Health and Medicine has been recognized by the college for its partnership with Lelia Allen, a psychology professor at CSM, who has been sending her students to tour the museum as part of their course curriculum. Timothy Keating, dean of CSM's arts and sciences, joined Allen in presenting Adrianne Noe, director of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, with a certificate of appreciation in a private ceremony April 3.

In 1989, Allen began sending her psychology students to the museum to help them understand the correlation between medicine, science and mental health. “It's important for students to understand that what impacts the body also impacts the mind,” Allen said.

Initially the students were required to have a tour guide sign a brochure as proof of their attendance. Recognizing that a large number of visitors were coming due to Allen, the museum eventually contacted her and created the “museum tour certificate” for her students. Each student goes to the museum on their personal time and after completing the two-hour tour receives a signed certificate.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine was establishedduring the Civil War as the Army Medical Museum to collect “specimens of morbid anatomy” to study the effects of wounds, illnesses and other surgical procedures. In 1974 it was renamed the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The museum's newest exhibit is titled Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics with an opening reception scheduled for April 25. The museum is an element of the Armed Forces institute of Pathology and is housed on the campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, located at 6900 Georgia Avenue and Elder Street NW AFIP, Building 54.

For information on the National Museum of Health and Medicine, call 202-782-2220 or visit www.nmhm.washingtondc.museum. For information on CSM, call 301-934-2251 or 301-870-3008 or visit www.csmd.edu.