here are some people you meet in life whose influence on you far outweighs the time spent in their company. For me, Pat Engle was one of those people. Pat passed away on September 22.
She was a goddess in the Early Child Development field and her influence travelled as far as nutrition, and even, economics.
She was a Professor of Psychology and Child Development at Cal Poly University in California. For the nutrition readers, Pat's work was the link between food and health--she was a leader in "care".
Care is the provision in the household and the community of time, attention, and support to meet the physical,
mental, and social needs ofthe growing child and other
Pat spend 6 months as a visitor at IFPRI when I was there and we worked with Purnima Menon, a nutrition epidemiologist, on a paper that tried to introduce the concepts to those in the wider field (the linked paper was published in World Development) and for those in the field, tried to develop some approaches to assessing care.
Working with her sensitised me to the fact that relationships really mattered in development, and not everything of value could or should be measured. Her work carries on in a new field of well-being.
The things I loved about Pat? Her keen wit, her ability to reach across disciplines (child development was her interest--whoever could help was welcomed) and her complete lack of "guru ego". She was just a lovely person. She will be missed.
For details of her life and memorial services in New York and California and her Fund for Dissertation Fellowships for students in low and middle income countries, see here.
Listen to Pat speaking on the importance of ECD at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYj9BaFRfcw