Blanche Grosswald, TecNica Volunteer

Blanche Grosswald, TecNica Volunteer

Blanche Grosswald

Blanche Grosswald was a TecNica Volunteer and dear friend to many people involved in work in Nicaragua in the 1980’s.  She worked as a TecNica Volunteer in library automation in Managua during her two-week volunteer trip.

Eminently qualified to do such work, Blanche was employed at that time by the University of California Division of Library Automation in the UC Office of the President, and later by Research Libraries Group (RLG), the source of the RLIN scholarly databases, an early powerhouse in the field of academic research.  Blanche was a computer programmer who specialized in Subject Authority Control, a particularly complex and challenging element of the automation of subject searching for academic libraries.

Blanche at TecNica Meeting

At a TecNica meeting, with Jim Cone (left) and Terry Mitchell (right)

Blanche Grosswald was a professor of Social Work at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, from 2001-2003.  She received her B.A. degree from Columbia University/Barnard College and earned master’s degrees in Library Science and Computer Science from the University of Michigan.  She received a Masters of Social Work from San Francisco State University and was awarded her PhD in social work from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000.

Her research focused on Work and Family issues.  She published numerous articles in scientific and social work journals.  She was an active member of the American Public Health association.  She was also an active member of the National Association of Social Workers. At Rutgers, she contributed to interdisciplinary research at the Institute for Research on Women, the School of Policy, and the Center for Women and Work.

Blanche Grosswald’s life and work embodied the principles of social work.  She was engaged, passionate about her beliefs in human rights and autonomy, and a dedicated researcher and teacher.  Her family and friends established an annual lectureship at Rutgers to honor her memory.  Click here for information on the Blanche Grosswald Memorial Lecture at Rutgers.

Blanca of Berkeley
by Dale Lewis, January 1988

Blanca of BerkeleyBlanche Grosswald, TecNica Volunteer
Is gone
I miss her
Who else
Can I imagine
Ice cream with
As we walk
For hours
In the desert
Of Managua
No water
No ice
No mufflers
On trucks
And buses
She would say
As if she were
Placing her order
In an oasis
We were about
To stumble upon
Don’t you wish we had…
Dark green vegetables
I would interrupt
Broccoli became
My obsession
Now we are both
Where we can have
Everything we wanted then
Except the time
We had together
In Nicaragua