Helping Students UNDERSTAND Why Things HAPPEN
When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, a nun gave Edith Bolick a silkscreen print bearing one of Kennedy's quotes: "Each time a man stands for an ideal or strikes out against injustice, or acts to improve the lot of others, he sends forth a ripple of hope."
That statement became central to Dr. Bolick's life. This associate dean and sociology professor at Catawba College has made a commitment to helping others. "If you act in ways that lift people up and improve your life as well as theirs, it makes a difference," she says, "and little differences add up."
Called "the soul of equanimity," Bolick is universally admired on campus. She received the Trustee Award for outstanding contribution to the college in 1998.
She gives each individual the gift of her complete attention, listening without judgment. Her background in sociology has influenced that approach to listening. She knows that people are shaped by all sorts of forces, both biological and environmental.
Sociology became her passion when she was an undergraduate. "Going to college in the '60s, when society was in a state of upheaval, made me want to understand why things happen the way they do," she says. "It drew me to my discipline."
Now she tries to engender that same passion in her sociology majors. Dr. Bolick also tries to help non-majors understand how society works and how it influences people. "I hope they become less judgmental and more objective," she says. "I hope they look at all the forces that influence people and influence their own lives, too."