Helen Burns Sharp’s distinguished career in urban planning and community development includes 16 years as principal planner at the Tennessee State Planning Office, three years as county planner for Cobb County, Georgia, and 18 years as community development director for the city of Albany, Oregon. After retirement she returned home to Chattanooga, but not to a life of quiet leisure. Instead she founded Accountability for Taxpayer Money (ATM), a grassroots movement lobbying for better transparency in local government’s tax break incentives, which reduce much-needed city and county revenue for important community priorities, including programs for underserved neighborhoods. Frequently quoted in local media, Helen is a shining example of civil discourse even while championing a cause. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a master’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin. Helen is a board member of the League of Women Voters of Chattanooga, the Unity Group of Chattanooga, the Riverfront Business and Residential Partnership, and the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. She was a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Rotary International, serving as Rotary Club president in 2007. She was married to the late Corry Sharp, with whom she shares four children and three grandchildren.
At the request of the Class of 1969, instead of recognizing one notable alumna from their class, the Class of 1969 will be recognized as a group.
Corinne Anderson Adams '69 read the The Class of 1969 Manifesto.
We are the notables—the members of the Class of 1969. We have built corporations, nonprofits, missions, families, and relationships; and we look beyond our résumés to consider what makes each of us notable today. We are businesswomen, architects, mothers, lawyers, scientists, community activists, doctors, artists, engineers, teachers, and lifelong learners. We are also wanderers, searchers, ponderers, and listeners. After 50 years we don’t know all the answers, but we do have some questions. What makes a woman notable? Fifty years beyond GPS, what matters most? Our lives have been filled with war, terrorism, health challenges, global upheaval, and noisy family turmoil. In the best of times, we have been caregivers, first responders, and leaders. In the worst of times, we have fallen apart to reap the rich rewards of patience, faith, and fresh starts. Our successes have led to big awards, promotions, leadership positions, and community accolades. Our failures have led us to new ways of thinking, self-compassion, respect, and connection to others. On this momentous anniversary, we reflect on our high school days and remember the good and the not-so-good, the deep emotions and insecurities of adolescence, and the teachers and classmates who deeply touched our lives. Whether we felt connected to each other during those long-ago years, we must admit that we are connected now. GPS is our common ground, our common thread—the place that has molded us all. Not one of us could stand alone as an award-ready example of who we are today. Every single one of us is a notable, a placeholder in our world for love and resilience. We are the notables—the Class of 1969.
Dr. Mary Katherine Lawrence is a clinical endocrinologist specializing in diabetes, thyroid disease, and osteoporosis. She is the clinical trial principal investigator in more than 50 clinical trials and the Chief of Medical Staff of Carteret Health Care in Morehead, North Carolina. Described by her patients as one of the kindest, most caring physicians, Mary Katherine also founded the Broad Street Clinic in 2003, serving as the Medical Director of the 501(c)3 nonprofit clinic treating the uninsured and underinsured in her area. With a grant from the Carteret Health Care Foundation, Mary Katherine also launched a BoneFit™ exercise and education program for individuals with osteoporosis, osteopenia and those at risk for bone fractures. Through speaking on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, she has raised and donated around one million dollars for the Carteret County Public schools to support music, art, drama, and mental health in public schools. She serves on the boards of the North Carolina Aquarium Society, Broad Street Clinic Foundation, Public Radio East, Crystal Coast Hospice House, and Carteret Health Care. Her awards are vast, including Tacoma Family Medicine Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year, North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteerism, Carteret County Woman of the Year, and Carteret County Doctor of the Year. She also won the GPS Lupton Award in 1995. Mary Katherine has three sons with her husband, Dr. Art Klose. In her free time she is a devotee of CrossFit, biking, and travel.
Dr. Laurel Hawthorne Carney is a full professor and researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester. Laurel and her team explore the intricacies of the human auditory system in an effort to help those with hearing loss, particularly in noisy backgrounds. Laurel received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and her master’s and doctoral degrees, also in electrical engineering, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania before going onto a distinguished career as a professor and researcher. In addition to writing 85 published studies, Laurel has won numerous accolades, including the 2015 William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience from the Acoustical Society of America. Laurel is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and has served as associate editor for three distinguished journals. She is currently a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Neurophysiology. Laurel also received the Lupton Award of Excellence in 1999. She lives with her husband, David Cameron in Geneva, New York.
Janet West Batanghari is a longtime resident of Jakarta, Indonesia. As editor for an Indonesian pediatrics journal, she travels around the country teaching physicians and scientists in academic medical centers how to write and publish scientific papers in English. She moved to Jakarta with her Indonesian husband Teddy, whom she met while earning her Ph.D. in molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Janet also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from UNC Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors. Before moving to Jakarta, she did a post-doctoral fellowship on Bordetella pertussis at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Janet is a tireless advocate for women, teenagers, and families throughout Indonesia, helping educate orphans in Jakarta through a sponsorship program she started with her husband 15 years ago. She is also a group leader for Bible Study Fellowship International, and has championed the Ayu Sewing Project in Malang, selling fair trade scarves made by indigent women. Janet calls motherhood her “claim to fame” and was a troop leader for Girl Scouts USA, which took her camping and hiking in the wilds of Indonesia. Her daughter Lydia is a junior at Biola University in Los Angeles, and her other daughter Julia is a senior in the IB diploma program in Jakarta.
Amy Edgar Sklansky’s first children’s book, From the Doghouse: Poems to Chew On, was published by Henry Holt in 2002. Since then, she has written 10 more original children’s books, working with publishers such as Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Knopf. Her most recent title, These Little Piggies Go to the Beach, was published in 2018. Her works include picture books, poetry collections, and board books. She has also written dozens of other children’s books under her pen name, Amy Edgar, or as a ghostwriter. Amy has been a contributing writer or text editor on several adult books published by National Geographic. She has also visited close to 100 elementary schools and libraries in person or virtually. Amy graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia where she earned her BA in English with a concentration in American Studies. Upon graduating, she attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course. Before beginning her writing career, Amy spent five years as an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books in New York, followed by five years as an editor for the children’s book illustration agency, Studio Goodwin Sturges, in Boston. Amy lives in St. Louis with her husband and two children.
The GPS yearbook predicted Lela Miller Moore would one day work at The New York Times, and that is where she has been for almost 15 years. She currently reports for The Times’ Reader Center as an audience writer, a beat she helped create. Lela interviews readers about a wide variety of topics—from politics to sports to parenting—which gives additional context to Times reporting and, in turn, helps explain Times reporting to its audience. Previously, she worked as a comment moderator for several years, helping establish what is widely regarded as one of the best, most civil communities on the internet, and with The Times’ Opinion page on the paper’s first paywall experiment, TimesSelect. Lela volunteers with high school journalists in her neighborhood who publish the Ditmas Examiner, a hyperlocal reporting project, helping them learn writing and research skills and working with them to edit their pieces. Lela graduated cum laude from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies, where she received the award for the best senior thesis in that major (written about the civil rights movement in Chattanooga). She also holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner, Steven Aglione, their son, Ned, and their cat Eloise.
Marissa Shrum has been listed as one of AdWeek’s 2016 Creative 100 and Business Insider’s 30 Most Creative Women in Advertising. For the past 15 years, she has helped companies such as Target, Microsoft, Impossible Foods, Google, and NBC with their marketing strategies, corporate social responsibility, experiential marketing, and social media and influencer community building. Working at the intersection of creativity and social change, her mission is to leverage business intelligence and creativity to make the world more joyful and just.
Marissa graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. She has received fellowships from Harvard’s Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy, the Starting Bloc Fellowship for Social Innovation, and Vanderbilt’s E. Bronson Ingram Scholarship for Entrepreneurship and Social Change. She is an avid mentor, investor and ally for a number of artists and social media creators. Her goal this year is to continue her own creative journey in the production of her first independent film.
Taylor Warren joined the World Health Organization this February as a technical officer in Geneva, Switzerland. In this new role she supports operational readiness; getting countries ready for emergency response. Before that she worked in the public health field in the African nations of Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Kenya, Darfur, South Sudan, and Nigeria. After earning her master’s degree in public health in forced migration from Columbia University, Taylor spent a year with Catholic Charities, working in infection prevention and control and supporting Ebola response in Guinea and Liberia. She then spent three years as a field epidemiologist for Médecins Sans Frontières (France’s Doctors without Borders), working with responses to measles, malaria, cholera, and Ebola, as well as developing training modules for incoming epidemiologists. While at Columbia, Taylor served as a teaching assistant and consultant intern for Catholic Relief Services. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in political science/history from Furman University. Her humanitarian work began soon after graduation when she became a health and youth development Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Taylor is fluent in French and knows Kinyarwanda (the official language of Rwanda).
*2019 Recipient of Margaret Rawlings Lupton Award of Excellence
Chelsey A. Smith is a bioengineering Ph.D. student at Rice University, helping design low cost, point-of-care diagnostics for cervical cancer and malaria under the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum. As GPS Valedictorian, Chelsey went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University; a recipient of the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship all four years. Today she is helping develop paper-based technologies to improve access to cervical cancer screening, with collaborations and clinical trials in Mozambique, El Salvador, Brazil, and the Texas Medical Center in the United States. Through her graduate program Chelsey has had the opportunity to present at the National Cancer Institute; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and at the 12th Stop Cervical, Breast, and Prostate Cancers in Africa Conference, with several of the First Ladies of Africa in attendance. She is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. While at Vanderbilt, Chelsey performed research in Dr. Todd Giorgio’s Laboratory for Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine and studied the effect of health literacy on perioperative outcomes at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology under Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld.
While studying computer science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Anna Carroll did internships with Intel and eBay to build her career in technology and product. As a research assistant, she also assisted a postdoctoral fellow in conducting a published study on the development of 3D visual perception in infants. Anna was recently selected for the highly competitive Kleiner Perkins Product Fellowship at Silicon Valley’s most established venture capital firm. Vault.com named this opportunity the number two internship program in the country, and Anna is one of only six Product Fellows. She is passionately interested in cryptocurrencies and recently left her role as a product manager at Doordash to join a startup at the forefront of the blockchain space. She is now building decentralized lending products as the first product engineer—and the first female employee—at Dharma Labs. While at GPS, Anna founded the Corina Field Carroll Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization in memory of Dr. Corina Field Carroll, beloved mother and pediatrician. The fund has raised over $30,000 to help child abuse victims in Hamilton County, and has helped develop a nationwide software initiative that connects the public with reporting services for child abuse. Anna lives in San Francisco and spends her free time exploring alternative art practices and reading.