Doing good helps body and soul

By: Carol Sorgen

Ever experienced a “helper’s high?”The term was coined by psychologist Allan Luks, who discovered that the act of helping others releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals in our brain) the same way that vigorous exercise or meditation does.Also, as with exercise and medication, Luks concluded that this biochemical reaction from volunteering results in stress relief, which... READ MORE

Shades of gray keeps it rockin’

By: Barbara Ruben

Ken Hunter got hooked on playing guitar back in the fourth grade, when he and a classmate went on their first “tour” — to other classrooms to play and sing in Everly Brothers-type harmony. By age 10, they played on Falls Church-based WFAX radio. And even though as a kid Hunter was rejected from “Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour,” the Woodbridge, Va. resident is still playing... READ MORE

His job is preventing dementia

By: Robert Friedman

 “We have to start in our 40s, at least, if we want to have any hope of lowering the overall personal risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”That is the advice of Dr. William Mansbach, a geriatric neuropsychologist who lives and works in Columbia. Mansbach has a national reputation in the fight against the disease, and is a member of the Governor’s... READ MORE

They are hardly the retiring types

By: Carol Sorgen

“I don’t feel like someone who shouldn’t be working.” said Mike Gimbel, a 65-year-old resident of Timonium. “Retirement hasn’t even been a thought.” Gimbel is a substance abuse consultant. He says, “Work keeps me going, physically and emotionally. I like being active, as well as being a contributing member of society. There will always be people [for me] to... READ MORE

Helping immigrants feel at home

By: Barbara Ruben

When Vivien Hsueh arrived in Pennsylvania from Hong Kong with a full scholarship to Harcum Junior College in the early 1960s, she found herself one of the only Asians there, and 8,000 miles from anyone she knew. As she went on to study the nascent field of computer science, her choice was rarer still — a woman in a field nearly completely occupied by men. So Hsueh (pronounced... READ MORE

A global mission to help others

By: Robert Friedman

Ellicott City resident Sean Callahan has spent half his life — 28 of his 56 years — working in countries throughout the world for Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services (CRS). What accounts for his commitment to this organization? “Once you have had the opportunity to work with people — to offer them ways for respect and dignity in their lives — you feel something deep... READ MORE