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Wilson College Sesquicentennial and World Sickle Cell Day

Written by Benjamin Pontz, Associate Producer | Jun 19, 2019 4:00 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk, Wednesday, June 19, 2019:

Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that causes red blood cells to take on an abnormal sickle shape, which can result in a range of health challenges including severe pain, clogged arteries and a heightened risk of stroke. The disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans and is particularly common among those with African, Arab, Asian, Black, Caucasian, Greek, Indian, Italian, or Latino ancestry. 

June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day. The South Central Pennsylvania Sickle Cell Council will host an open house celebration Wednesday at its Harrisburg office in recognition of the anniversary.

Appearing on Smart Talk to help raise awareness about the disease and to discuss ongoing work to learn more about the disease is Joseph Robinson, executive director of the South-Central PA Sickle Cell Council, Dr. Gwendolyn Poles, president of the Board of the South-Central Sickle Cell Council and a retired physician and who lives with sickle cell disease, Dr. Gayle Smink, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at Penn State Hershey and director of the children's Sickle Cell Anemia program at Penn State Hershey.

Read more about Sickle Cell Disease in an article written by Dr. Gwendolyn Poles here.

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Joseph Robinson (L) and Dr. Gwendolyn Poles (R)

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Dr. Gayle M. Smink, Penn State Health

Also, Wilson College is celebrating 150 years this year. On March 24, 1869, Wilson College was granted its original charter and became the first United States college for women to be endowed by a woman, Sarah Wilson. Over the ensuing 150 years, Wilson College has strived to deliver high-quality education to women, including a focus on single mothers that has led to national recognition from the National Center for Single Mothers in Higher Education.

In 2014, the institution became fully coed, a move that sparked controversy but that college leaders viewed as a necessity for an institution facing enrollment challenges and significant financial debt. 

Joining Smart Talk to discuss Wilson's sesquicentennial celebration and some of the institution's current challenges and opportunities is Barbara Mistick, president of Wilson College.

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Wilson College President Dr. Barbara Mistick

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Wilson College Commencement 2019. Photo courtesy of Wilson College/Facebook

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