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Paul Hanges

I have worked with and been friends with Gelfand (aka Michele) for approximately 20 years. It is impossible to concisely state the impact she had on the program as well as on me. I have tons of fond memories of her. Many of these memories revolved around food and, in particular, eggs. She would call people a “good egg” if they would go out of their way to help others. There was another period when Michele was trying to improve the nutritional value of her diet. She would bring in hard boiled eggs to the office each day for her breakfast. However, I don’t think she ever ate one of the eggs. Instead, she would give the eggs away to students and other faculty every day. I also fondly remember her Aunt Ruth’s visit to the program. Aunt Ruth was very special to Michele. She convinced her Aunt Ruth to visit the program by telling her that everyone wanted to taste her chopped liver recipe. Doubtful that this was true, Aunt Ruth made the dish anyway. I remember Michele proudly introducing Aunt Ruth to the faculty and students. And true to advertising, Aunt Ruth’s chopped liver was great.

But beyond food, of course, I remember the hard work and fun that Gelfand and I had co-creating and co-teaching a graduate seminar on cognition and negotiation. The semester quickly passed and soon it was the end of the semester. We both decided to hold the last session at a local College Park establishment. We were going to discuss the final set of readings over drinks and snacks, but we never discussed a single article. Instead, we had laughs, great conversation, food, drinks, and even cigars.

Of course, her impact on the program is immeasurable. I remember when there were about 20 graduate students enrolled and we were the only two faculty members left in the program. Those were difficult times but we both had fun working together to recreate and rebuild the program. The energy that she had and shared with her students, the faculty and the entire program was truly incredible and invaluable. Gelfand is truly a great friend and colleague. I will miss working and chatting with her on a regular basis.

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