R. S-M. - Lady, you are the bomb! Yes, I say it like that because since college, you used to throw you passion parties AND do your work. Honestly, I don't know how you managed both but it just showed that you have always been superwoman that does not take sh&t from anyone. I needed that in my life - I need you in my life because you are the primary woman who will knock some sense into this hard head of mine. You did what you wanted - how you wanted - and got what you wanted. So even if you may not agree with all I do and/or say, I need you. It hurts when you tell me something that I don't want to hear, but who would tell me otherwise? I love you to the moon and back. Because I originally thought that you can only love those who agree with you. Not true at all - I think you love those who disagree with you too. I know you did not have it easy but you fought. And know that when you get tired of fighting, I will be right by your side. I will comfort you when I have to, and if I have to return the favor, and knock some sense into your hard head as well - so be it! We ride or die WOMAN!

E. M. S-T. - I am blessed - truly blessed that I had the opportunity to know you better when I decided to come to the US for my education. You were living in Brooklyn when I was born in our native home and all I knew at that time that you were the 'Granny away.' I was too young to know my other three grandparents well enough so I made it my duty to get closer to you. You attended my undergraduate commencement ceremony and my doctoral graduation dinner. Even though I was away for five years for graduate school, you always told me to concentrate on school and not worry about you. That I did but I needed to return to New York because I felt I did not have much time left. And so from 2010 to 2015, I came to your bedside as you told me stories about your life. I came to witness that your STRENGTH was Herculean. I firmly saw that you sacrificed your life so your children could lead a better life. You did not have the opportunity to educate yourself so you believed in education, and that conviction remained steadfast and thus, your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understood the importance. Even though education was crucial to you, there was an even stronger message you communicated: love others as much as you love yourself. I did not understand what you meant by this early on because (1) I did not have a close relationship with God and (2) I did not love myself. But I, your grand-child observed you speak about how you helped others, and prayed for others, and how much JOY that brought you. And when these people - some of whom you did not even know felt pain - your PAIN was palpable. You listened to EWTN 24 hours a day and prayed the rosary and sang hymns you learned more than 80 years ago. And your faith was unbreakable - no matter what happened - no matter what obstacles you faced - your faith endured and brought miracles. I saw those miracles and I believed. I believed I am fearfully and wonderfully made. So thank you soulfully Granny for loving myself, in effect robustly loving the One that made all of us.

B. T. - My professor (Dr. Smith) alerted me that a new student would be visiting. You came to my place, and as soon as I met you, it suddenly felt like a relationship of a lifetime. We had a rewarding conversation and you ultimately decided to attend the institution. Six years later, you had your doctoral degree and a tenure track assistant position in line. I knew you would do it the moment I had met you. There was no doubt in my mind that your determination, love for psychology and research, and critical reason would help you through. And not only that, your empathy comes alive with persons that you meet. It is never delayed and it actively drives you in your current teaching and research program. Most importantly, you are unpretentious. Even as you carry all your accomplishments, people will only know of your brilliance when you speak. I admire and love you for your humility and astuteness and will for the rest of my life.

Quarterly Quote

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

"I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously." ~ Alan Rickman

"We categorized, labeled, and measured ourselves and then made a niche to match. The niche became our boundary, so that our aim became filling niches instead of fulfilling our lives." ~ Virgina Satir