Belmont Village Senior Living Residents Share Incredible Stories, Impart Wisdom and Highlight Role Models Who Inspired Them
Belmont Village Senior Living is proud to recognize, honor and uplift women of all ages in celebration of Women’s History Month (March) and International Women’s Day (March 8). Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living, said her organization is proud of the incredible women who make Belmont Village unique from those in key leadership roles to those who call the community home.
“This month allows us to spotlight the incredible women in our communities and showcase the stories chronicling their powerful and impactful lives. In keeping with this month’s theme, we’re proud to help tell their stories because their stories help us tell our own,” says Will. “These women have broken barriers and paved the way for us all, and their remarkable stories demonstrate how far we’ve come, as well as how far we have yet to go.”
In recognition of the trailblazing, inspiring, and pivotal roles women play in all of their 33 communities nationwide as well as the accomplishments of women at large across the globe, Belmont Village is proud to feature just some of the stories of many of the distinguished female members of the Belmont Village family: They include pioneers in women’s rights, science, medicine, politics, and film.
Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, 94, Memphis, Tennessee
Dr. Elizabeth (Fondal) Neufeld fled France with her family in 1940 to the United States with her family, days before the frontier was sealed, to avoid Nazi persecution. She went on to become one of the world’s most widely recognized geneticists for her work in determining the biochemical basis of a group of inherited disorders called Lysosomal Storage Diseases. This work led to ‘enzyme replacement’ treatments for many of these diseases. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkley in 1956 and was later elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1977. Neufeld has been awarded the Wolf Prize, the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, sometimes seen as possible precursors of the Nobel Prize, and in 1994 was a Recipient of the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton. She did much of her pioneering research at NIH from 1963-1984 and served as Chair of Biological Chemistry at UCLA School of Medicine from 1984-2004.
Suzanne Malone, 90, San Jose, California
Suzanne Malone studied theater and advertising in college before starting a career in the television industry. She served as a local advertising representative for Paramount Pictures in Utah, where she talked movie theaters into carrying various films. Suzanne was also the first to create a commercial via Kinescope in an era where most content was still broadcast live. Before video tape was invented Kinescope was the technology used to record and share television programming. Her commercial ultimately aired on NBC, forever changing the way we consume television ads today. Later after relocating to San Jose, Suzanne continued to stay active in the arts, was appointed arts commissioner by Mayor Susan Hammer and volunteered for more than a decade for Tapestry Talent, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funding for arts programs in underserved schools. She’s most proud of her role in helping to establish six art landmarks in San Jose including her favorite of Olympic figure skater Peggy Flemming.
Hanna Semba, 95, of Chicago, Illinois
When Hannah was 15 her family was imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. She graduated high school within the camp. Once she was released, Hannah did a lot of volunteer work to educate others about her experience. She spoke at schools and gave interviews, though it was a difficult topic. At age 95 Hannah returned to her high school and received an honorary diploma and was surprised with a graduation ceremony.
Carolyn Merchant, 86, of Albany, California
Carolyn Merchant earned her PhD, History of Science in 1967, and is a Professor of the Graduate School at University of California, Berkely. Her work and landmark book, The Death of nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, has shaped the fields of history and women’s studies since it was published more than 40 years ago. As a scholar, Professor Merchant has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a Fulbright scholar, a two-time fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a fellow at the National Humanities Center. Her advice to women and girls: “Have confidence in yourself – you can do anything you set out to do.”
Cynthia Citron, 88, Hollywood, California
Cynthia attended UCLA at just 16 years old and graduated from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and anthropology. She is the co-founder of Earthwatch, a scientific research expedition company, and for 35 years, she worked in the public relations and journalism field, and as an assistant to the Minister of Tourism in Ethiopia. She has lived and worked in every continent except Antarctica. A noted author, her first book “As I Remember It” chronicles her adventures in the Philippines, Spain, South Africa, India, Norway, Ethiopia, Boston, Hartford, New York, Brazil, and California—and she is currently working on her second book.
Anjali Morris, M.D., 86, Albany, California
Dr. Morris attended medical school in India and served as a pediatrician for over 40 years, working in Pune, India and at Kaiser Oakland. Her formidable contributions include opening the Anjali Morris Foundation and Autism Center India, as well as opening clinics in Thailand, Cambodia and Africa. She also spent a part of her career working with Tibetan refugee children through the Dali Lama, and her work contributed to the end of dyslexia in children. Her advice to women and girls: “Work hard for what you want and be persistent until it’s accomplished.”
“It’s clear that women have made significant contributions to society in various fields. By recognizing and celebrating these achievements, we can inspire future generations of women to pursue their dreams and make their mark on the world,” added Will.
About Belmont Village Senior Living
Founded in Houston in 1997, Belmont Village is an integrated developer, owner, and operator of 33 highest quality independent, assisted living, and award-winning memory care communities for older adults across eight states in the U.S. and Mexico. With more than 4,000 employees, Belmont Village communities are renowned for their distinctive design; high standards of life safety; quality of care; and leading-edge, award-winning programs. Belmont Village is certified as a Great Place to Work® and has been ranked since 2018 as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s 50 Best Workplaces for Aging Services. Learn more about Belmont Village at www.belmontvillage.com and on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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