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Arts and Sciences
Photo by
John Davis
Art has long offered Ellen Kellner a break from the rigors of her scientific pursuits. She's been a painter and a sculptor, and when she came to Baltimore in 2005 to begin taking the prerequisite courses she'd need to enroll in the School of Nursing's accelerated BS program, she focused on stained glass.

"It's very therapeutic, grinding the glass and getting the shape you want," she says. "It can be difficult, sensitive, and it really takes patience."

Before coming to Baltimore, Kellner, who holds a PhD in microbiology from Emory University, was doing postdoctoral work at the University of Arizona, studying Coccidioides posadasii, the fungus that causes valley fever. She decided to leave research science and pursue nursing because she wanted to work more directly with patients.

Making stained glass fits her scientist's nature. "You sort of get something in your mind's eye, then it's a problem you have to solve. It's a puzzle," she describes. Once you've sketched that idea onto paper, you break it down into parts that can be translated into glass pieces. You tape the individual pieces of the pattern onto glass, score the glass, then break it. Then you use a grinder to smooth the edges, line the pieces with copper foil, and solder them together. It is meticulous work. "I'm really detail-oriented. I like precision and symmetry," Kellner says. "In nursing, you can save somebody's life by being detail-oriented. At school, they've really driven that point home."
—Catherine Pierre

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