In Memoriam

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Sharon E.J. Mussen ’93

A picture of Sharon Mussen

Sharon E.J. Mussen ’93, December 5, 2010, in Berkeley, California, following a long illness. Sharon wrote the thesis "Ethiopian Jews, Persistent Identity System: The Conflicted Religious Assimilation of the Beta Israel into Israel" during a six-month study abroad program at Jerusalem University in Israel, and received a BA from Reed in anthropology. After that, she worked for Janus, a program providing shelter and counseling for troubled youth in Portland. From there, she went to Smith College, completing an MSW, with internships and research focused on young unwed mothers. Following time in Ecuador, where she went to learn Spanish and to learn about a new culture, she moved to the Bay Area to be near her parents. At the Center for Family Counseling in Oakland, California, she worked with families and children and initiated a program for the public schools that would provide counseling and support for parents. Sharon was a budding artist, who enjoyed working with metal and wire. She also loved hiking and being outdoors. In her public obituary, we read that Sharon's nonjudgmental devotion to friends and her love of animals were unwavering. “She filled our lives with hope and taught us to find meaning, beauty and joy in the unobvious.” Survivors include her parents and sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2011

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