(Most years) GNSI presents a Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting Banquet. The Guild’s activities are almost entirely run by a group of active volunteers, and their generous contributions over time have enabled the Guild to become an effective and beneficial organization to our members. And, this year the Guild chose to recognize a very active volunteer whose work for us has just taken a new path: Gretchen Halpert, our new president!
Gretchen earned a degree in Botany from Connecticut College in 1981, then attended the University of New Haven Graduate School to study biological illustration. She subsequently completed a certificate in Scientific and Technical Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design/CE in 1986.
Gretchen was employed as a medical research scientist at Yale University and Rhode Island Hospital for 24 years, and co-authored articles on prostate cancer and liver stem cells. She left the research field in April of 2006 to concentrate on illustration and is currently contributing illustrations for an anatomy book. Gretchen also teaches illustration in the Natural Science Certificate program at RISD/CE; in the biology department at Wheaton College, and in the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University. All of Gretchen’s students learn about GNSI and are encouraged to become members. “I have no qualms about actively promoting the Guild because I think it’s the best organization of its kind and comprised of the warmest and most generous people.”
Gretchen joined the GNSI in 1987 and has been an active member ever since. She has coordinated two summer workshops, helped with a number of annual meetings, served as housing coordinator for the first Bar Harbor meeting and cochaired last year’s Bar Harbor meeting with Dick Rauh. Because she wanted to see Guild members more than once a year, Gretchen organized the New England group into an official chapter and served as president for 5 years. For the past year, she has been on the executive board as president-elect and looks forward to serving on the board for at least three more years!