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Dean Morton Commencement

About the Dean: Five facts about Sally C. Morton

The second dean / 

Sally Morton is the second woman trailblazer in her family. Her mother, physician Kate Morton, was the first woman to serve in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine dean's office during the early 1970s. In 1978, Kate was named president of New York Medical College. "Both my parents were role models, but my mother in particular was a very strong example of success. I'm a pale impression of the real Dr. Morton," said Morton.

The maybe career / 

For a time, Dean Morton wanted to be physician, as was her mother, Kate. "When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a doctor like my mother," said Dean Morton. "As I got into high school, I wanted to do something different from my parents. They were very supportive at me striking out in a different direction." As her statistician career moved toward the field of healthcare as a biostatistician, Morton formed a deeper professional connection to her parents. "Working in health has allowed me to have many conversations with them, and my father in the middle of his career, went back to school and got a degree in epidemiology. So, we actually came quite close in terms of our disciplines."

The competitor / 

Morton began to swim competitively while in graduate school at Stanford. She joined a Masters team and completed open-water swims up and down the California coast and in Hawaii, including the Escape from Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Waikiki Roughwater swims.

The family / 

Morton and her husband, Kurt Kearcher, have a daughter in high school, two grown sons, and three grandchildren. "I'm very proud of being a parent. I think that's the hardest job. I'm still trying to figure it out."

The book / 

Morton and Constantine Gatsonis, a Brown University biostatistician, co-edited "Methods in Comparative Effectiveness Research", examining a research method in which experts compare active interventions—such as Tylenol versus Advil— rather than comparing Tylenol to a placebo. Published in February, the book not only describes technical data, methodology, and other statistical factors, but has a focus on ethics and concerns for patients, families, and caretakers.