Silent Spring Institute

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Newest Board Members Bring Passion and Dedication to Health

Silent Spring Institute recently welcomed two new members—Ellen Calmas and Ellie Goldberg—to its Board of Directors.

Ellen Calmas, a long-time supporter of Silent Spring Institute, is the chair of the Friends of Silent Spring Institute, which she founded in ellen2004 to build a circle of advocates dedicated to identifying the links between breast cancer and the environment while learning how to reduce risk in their lives.

Calmas, the executive vice president of Neighborhood Pay Services, a financial service provider for the multifamily housing industry, is also a dedicated supporter of many health, community service, and cultural organizations, including the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she chairs the Women’s Cancers Advisory Committee.  She served on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

“Ellen Calmas has been a devoted supporter of Silent Spring Institute almost from the start,” says Julia Brody, PhD, executive director of Silent Spring Institute. “When we honored her with the Rachel Carson Advocacy Award in 2007, it was to celebrate her unwavering commitment to expand our outreach and educational capabilities. We’re grateful that she’s once again lending her talents to help fulfill our mission of science in the service of women’s health.”

Ellie Goldberg, MEd, is an education and environmental health advocate who has long campaigned for healthy children, safe schools, and elliesustainable communities. In 1989 she founded Healthy Kids to promote a better understanding of the health and educational needs of students with asthma and other chronic health conditions. She also created Lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion, a campaign dedicated to eliminating chemical hazards and unhealthy school conditions, and What Would Rachel Say?, a blog dedicated to the legacy of Rachel Carson.

Goldberg serves on the board of Clean Water Action/Massachusetts, the governing council of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, the advisory board of the National Healthy Schools Network, and the board of the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association.

“For decades now Ellie Goldberg has been a tireless advocate for healthy children, the environment, and our collective future,” says Brody. “We’re delighted to welcome her to our board.”


An Environmental Policy Expert Joins the Research Team

Rachel Danford, MS, a scientist who specializes in research on environmental attitudes and community involvement in environmental rachelscience, recently joined the Silent Spring Institute staff as a research assistant.

As part of the Institute’s Household Exposure Study team, Danford focuses on ethical and effective ways to conduct community-based participatory research, including reporting individual exposure results to participants in studies that measure personal exposures.

Danford has previously coordinated citizen science research in urban ecology, conducted survey research in environmental attitudes and behavior, and worked with the Urban Ecology Institute and the Franklin Park Zoo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Brown University and a master’s degree in environmental conservation and policy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, from which she is slated to receive her doctorate, also in environmental conservation and policy, in 2013.

“Over the past several years we’ve learned that information on personal exposure levels can have a powerful effect on environmental study participants, helping them understand that health-related contaminants can come from unexpected sources in everyday products,” says Julia Brody, PhD, executive director of Silent Spring Institute. “With both her academic training and practical work experience, Rachel will enrich our research on the best ways to inform participants about their individual exposure results.”