Dr. Moira Dolan ’80

Class Year

1980

Title

Physician and writer

Current Information

Who made an impact on you at Monmouth and how?
Dr. Ben Shawver, then professor emeritus of the Chemistry and English departments, became a close friend and mentor. Ben and I shared meals, toiled side by side in the organic garden in his back yard, consulted each other on family concerns, and swapped many many books and articles on subjects from ancient Egyptology to current events. On my last visit to Ben some 10 years after graduating, we discussed the variety of colors in the fall leaves I’d brought to show him, and he laughed about how he’d been so excited to taste ‘boughten’ bread when he first visited a town bakery as an Iowa farm boy. He could not quite place me, but through the fog of dementia he emphatically stated, ‘I know you are a true friend’. Ben always encouraged me to be curious and to never stop educating myself, which are two hallmarks of the liberal arts education I experienced at Monmouth College.
Dr. Jeremy McNamara of the English department made me want to strive for competence. I cannot say exactly how that came about through studying literature and getting red marks all over my essays, but I consider it one of the greatest assets of my Monmouth experience. It continues to this day with Dr. McNamara’s recent complementary review of my new book.
Do you have any advice for the senior class?
Your concerns right now might be focused on getting a job, paying down debt and amassing material goods. None of those are bad things. While that is all occurring, I would advise that to be happy in life, your core activities in life should be toward bettering the lot of your community, your country, and your world. You should never underestimate the positive effect you can have on the welfare of the human race and its dependents.
What is the coolest thing you’ve done in your career?
The coolest things I’ve done in my career is medical writing, being a public radio show host, and testifying on bad drugs and bad doctors at the FDA, in lawsuits, and at state legislatures.