Shady Side Academy rising junior Karen Linares Mendoza has been named as a student member of the board of the Beckwith Institute, a health care institute dedicated to improving patient care. Mendoza will serve a two-year term and joins rising senior Nora Navid on the board for 2020-2021. Navid joined the board in 2019 and is entering the final year of her term.
Each year, two SSA Senior School students hold seats on the Beckwith Institute board alongside President Bart Griffith '93.
Mendoza's passion in medicine derives from her value of person to person attention and interaction. She is involved in the Service Learning Club at Shady Side, which has allowed her to participate in several volunteer opportunities to help others while creating a firsthand relationship with the people as well. Most recently, she organized and sewed masks that were donated in light of the mask shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last winter, she researched and produced an experiment that would challenge the question: How mental is physical pain? Her results provided many points of discussion that she hopes to continue to analyze as a leader of the Pre-Med Club in the following years. She enjoys running in cross country and track, and is also a member of the Jazz Band.
Shady Side alumnus and trustee emeritus G. Nicholas Beckwith III '63 is the co-founder of the Beckwith Institute along with his wife, Dorothy. Beckwith is also chairman of the UPMC Board of Directors. Former SSA President Tom Cangiano worked together with Beckwith several years ago to create this unique experiential leadership opportunity for SSA students with an interest in health care. Learn more about the Beckwith Institute.