Congratulations letter from M. Elizabeth Halloran to Dr. Levins

Congratulations letter from M. Elizabeth Halloran to Dr. Levins

Richard Levins
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Dear Dick,
Congratulations on the big celebration of your life and work at Harvard this month. It has been a long time since we talked, but your kind and gentle demeanor is always fresh in my mind.

You have always been wise and understanding. Whenever I hear about complex systems, which have become quite fashionable, my thoughts turn to you, and I wonder what you would think.

You are often in my thoughts, in particular, when I think of my time at the Harvard School of Public Health. I arrived in September 1984 from West Berlin to do my Master’s in Tropical Public Health and found my way into modeling malaria vaccines with Claudio Struchiner.  In spring of 1985, my husband was excluded from the USA under the McCarren-Walters Act, a remnant of the McCarthy era. Somewhere during that time, I got to know you. You were of course supportive of me through all of this. After a year of battling that, I decided to apply for the doctoral program. You were willing to take me on in what at that time was Population Sciences. At that time, I had not thought to study biostatistics, but soon went more solidly in that direction. I have always appreciated your moral and political support during the tough time.

A group of us from Harvard also organized a trip to Nicaragua to study the eects of the war on the health of the population. This endeavor was of great interest to you.
My very best wishes to you for a wonderful celebration among friends and colleagues. You are an inspiration to us all.

Warm regards,

M. Elizabeth Halloran MD MPH DSc
Professor of Biostatistics
Director, Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Director, Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling of Infectious Diseases
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, Seattle