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Updated 10:00 AM March 27, 2006




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  Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
'A Beautiful Mind' author part of mental health campaign

The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies will kick off an initiative focused on health and wellness by bringing the author of the best-selling book that inspired the movie "A Beautiful Mind" to campus 7 p.m. March 30 in Rackham Auditorium.
(Photo courtesy Royce Carlton Inc.)

Sylvia Nasar, a journalism professor and former New York Times economics reporter, will lecture on mental health for graduate and professional students. She will discuss communication, community, recognition and coping. Earlier in the day, Nasar will lead a discussion about media coverage of mental health issues and consequences for people who may need treatment.

"A Beautiful Mind" is a biography of mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash, who suffered from schizophrenia. It was made into a 2001 feature film starring Academy Award nominee Russell Crowe as Nash. The film by Ron Howard took home top academy honors for best picture, director, supporting actress and screenplay.

The book won a National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Nasar currently is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at Columbia University.

"There had not been a paragraph written on Nash, and no one who knew him wanted to put schizophrenia on the record because he had already suffered so much," Nasar told the Columbia News. "In many ways these were the first prints in the snow, and the greatest thing that could happen to a reporter. It was an extremely rewarding experience not just telling a rise and fall story, but the fall and rise of an intellectual giant."

The lecture is free and open to the public.

The three-year Rackham campaign will include opportunities for graduate and professional students to improve nutrition, increase exercise, explore personal and professional development, gain control over unhealthy habits, and connect with peers at social and cultural activities.

"Balance within and among these is essential to your success in graduate school and throughout your professional career," Janet Weiss, Rackham dean and vice provost for academic affairs, wrote in a letter to students posted on the school's Web site. "Our goal in Rackham is to have you achieve your dreams, and your overall well-being is one crucial key to that success."

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