Border States

There is a heart-wrenching moment in Patrick Jamieson C’97 GEd’99 Gr’03’s memoir Mind Race in which he describes how, in the course of one of his six hospitalizations for bipolar disorder as an adolescent, his parents arrived at the hospital to be told that he had been “transferred to the locked unit ‘upstairs’ for potentially dangerous behavior” and risk of escape. Reproducing the hospital’s notes, he writes in part: Parents express anger, frustration and feelings of abandonment by medical staff/system.

That nexus of feelings—and throw in helplessness, fear, and confusion, as well—may be lessened significantly as a result of an ambitious project spearheaded by Patrick’s mother, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the former dean of the Annenberg School. With funding from the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, Jamieson and her principal collaborators, Martin E.P. Seligman Gr’67, professor of psychology and founder of the positive-psychology movement, and Dwight Evans, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, have launched Penn’s Adolescent Mental Health Initiative (AMHI), aimed at filling the yawning gaps in knowledge about preventing and treating adolescent mental health disorders.

As senior editor Samuel Hughes details in “Youth, Interrupted,” that effort has involved bringing together more than 100 leading scholars at the University and from around the globe to participate in seven commissions organized around specific disorders to create a definitive research volume as well as one series of resource books for parents and another of first-person accounts for teens.

Mind Race is one of these, and Patrick Jamieson, now 33 and the father of two, serves as editor of both series. Jamieson, who is associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Adolescent Risk Communication Institute, also manages a teen mental-health website, CopeCareDeal (www.copecaredeal.org), which offers advice on everyday stresses, warning signs of more serious issues, and information on mental illnesses that can affect teenagers.

Also in this issue, the explosion of Internet content that has resulted from the expansion of broadband technology, advancing software, and the proliferation of gadgets like digital cameras and high-tech cellphones has created a new revolution on the Web—or at least a new business model. That’s according to the several Penn alumni involved in “Web 2.0” endeavors interviewed by former associate editor Susan Frith for “Web, Take Two.”

Back when the 20th century was new and Amazon principally denoted the river and region, William Curtis Farabee was sent to South America by the Penn Museum to lead an ethnographic and archaeological exploration of the area. His expedition yielded valuable insights on indigenous peoples and a wealth of cultural materials, but its hardships would contribute to his early death. In the most harrowing part of his journey, Farabee and five companions spent weeks exploring nearly uncharted regions before emerging from the bush “gaunt, fever-ridden, clothes in tatters.” Frequent contributor Beebe Bahrami Gr’95 considers his life and legacy in “The Ethnologist Sets Out.”

Finally, a welcome to our new readers—all 70,000 of them. The Gazette’s regular circulation has been approximately 170,000 lately, but for the past few years Penn Alumni has been experimenting with sending out one or two issues annually to a circulation of about 240,000. With this issue, that larger group, encompassing virtually the entire alumni population, will receive the Gazette on a continuing basis. Please let us know what you think of the magazine, and be sure to send us your own news to share with friends and classmates.

 —John Prendergast C’80

 

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