Undergraduates in Drew’s RISE program are not the only beneficiaries of William Campbell’s mentorship. Campbell joined the faculty at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies in 1990 and began to teach in the newly established Medical Humanities Program in 1996.
Sherrilyn M. Sethi G’10,’12 teaches at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and attributes her successful career to Campbell.
“In the traditional Southeast Asian philosophy of Sikhism, a guru is characterized as not only a teacher, but as the wise guide actively walking along with his or her student providing guidance, reassurance and knowledge,” Sethi says. “Professor Campbell personifies this in every way.”
She remembers finding her life’s passion in his classroom as Campbell “scribbled away on the chalkboards—watching as the tapestry of history unfolded all around me.”
When he got to Andreas Vesalius, a noted figure in medical history, “I remember my pen in my hand, but I don’t remember writing down a single word besides a name and date. What I do remember, though, is that my academic life was never the same again.”
“For a student like me, Professor Campbell’s advising style was like something out of a fairy tale,” she says. “Dr. Campbell never seemed to doubt my passion, resolve or work throughout the time we worked together. His praise was so uplifting and his critiques so astute.”
So resolute was Campbell’s faith in her, Sethi says, it was inevitable she would develop that same faith in herself.
“Today,” she says, “I see his influence in every aspect of my disciplined work ethic.”