Member Spotlight: Dr. Mary Purdy

Mary Purdy

Name: Mary H. Purdy, Ph.D., BC-ANCDS
 Southern Connecticut State University (Professor Emeritus)

We love featuring our members and their clinical and research interests, but we also enjoy learning more about our members’ interests outside of the profession!  Read about ANCDS Archivist Mary Purdy’s passion for the national parks, and find out how many she’s visited!  If you are (or know of) a member with a unique interest or hobby, email us at [email protected] for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

1. Why did you decide to travel to the national parks?
I love nature and hiking!  My first visit to a national park was in high school, when our band took a bus from Evergreen Park, IL, to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  I’ll never forget when I got my first glimpse of the mountains — they were absolutely amazing, and I was hooked.  I sporadically visited a few more parks with my husband after college, but I didn’t begin to get serious about traveling to all the parks until we had kids.  I wanted them to have the opportunity to see the beauty of the country.  In 2010, we visited 7 parks in 3 weeks.  I’ve been ticking them off regularly since then.

2. How many national parks have you been to?
I have been to 42 of the 63 — soon to be 64 — parks.

Old Faithful

3. Which national park was your favorite and why?
It’s impossible to identify a favorite — they all have something unique to offer.  If I had to pick, I would say two of my favorites are Yellowstone and Glacier.  The diversity of Yellowstone is impressive, with the geysers and boiling mud pots in the south and the mountains and wildlife in the north. Glacier is simply spectacular and majestic.

Old Faithful

3. Which national park are you traveling to next?
We are taking a family trip to Hawaii this summer to see Hawaii's Volcanoes and Haleakala Parks.  I’m hoping to go to North Cascades and Olympic parks in Washington in the fall.

4. Are you still trying to tack on travel to conferences in your retirement?
I won’t be traveling to conferences as frequently now that I’m retired.  However, when I do, if there is a park within an 8-hour drive of the conference, I’ll certainly add it to the trip!


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