Remembering Her Life with Life
The UCF College of Medicine team gathered July 29 to celebrate the life of Cynthia Kahn, head of public services at the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library until her untimely death in June.
Members of Cynthia’s family joined Cynthia’s colleagues in the atrium of the medical education building and then moved out to the Tavistock Green, where a citrus tree had been planted in her memory.
“We want to thank you for sharing Cynthia with us,” Dr. Deborah German, dean of the College of Medicine and UCF’s vice president for medical affairs, told the Kahn family.
Dr. Julia Pet-Armacost, associate dean for planning and knowledge management, whose department includes the library, called Cynthia a “bright light” who loved medical history but also embraced new technology as a way to provide medical information to the masses. “Information was Cynthia’s passion,” Dr. Pet-Armacost said, “and she wanted to share it with the world.”
Library Director Nadine Dexter told attendees that Cynthia had “worked a miracle” in securing “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine,” a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine that shows how medicine began in Harry Potter’s time and has developed into what we know today. The exhibit has a three-year waiting list but Cynthia was able to secure it for the UCF College of Medicine in her first three weeks on the job.
The Library staff presented the family with a sunflower wind chime in hopes that the sound will remind the Kahns of Cynthia’s spirit. The sunflower was chosen because it represents the warmth of the sun on the state of Florida.
In placing a plaque with Cynthia’s name on the fruit-bearing citrus tree, Dr. German said the college wanted to “remember her life with life.”