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Class Notes and Alumni News

Honoring Dr. Adam Barkin ’91 and Dr. Beth Linas ’97: 2023 Ruth Gorham Award Recipients

By Molly Johnson, Communications Manager
Every year, Graland’s Alumni Board honors a member (or members) of the alumni community with the Ruth Gorham Award for their extraordinary contributions to the school. Ms. Gorham, the longest-serving teacher in the school’s history (62 years!), will always be remembered as a dedicated educator and mentor who nurtured the joy of learning in her students. For this reason, Graland is pleased to announce that this year’s award recipients are Dr. Adam Barkin ’91 and Dr. Beth Linas ’97. 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, each of these individuals served on Graland’s Medical Advisory Board and dedicated countless hours to ensuring that the community was safe, informed, and that in-person learning could continue for as many students as possible. Like many Graland teachers we know and love, Dr. Barkin and Dr. Linas are knowledgeable, supportive, curious, passionate, and dedicated to serving others. Ms. Gorham would be proud that these Graland alumni and medical professionals are the 2023 recipients of her award. 

About Dr. Adam Barkin ’91
After graduating from Graland in 1991, Dr. Adam Barkin attended Kent Denver and eventually Williams College in Massachusetts. Following his undergraduate studies, Dr. Barkin attended Vanderbilt Medical School and also completed a master’s degree in public health at Harvard. In 2006, Dr. Barkin moved to Denver with his wife Jill, where they currently reside with their children, Jacob ’24 and Eli ’26. Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Barkin served on Graland’s Medical Advisory Board. While on the board, he shared that he was “blown away by the knowledge, commitment and dedication of all the other board members who each brought a different perspective and foundation of knowledge which helped shape recommendations.” Currently, Dr. Barkin is the medical director of the emergency department and president-elect of the medical staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center. 

About Dr. Beth Linas ’97
Dr. Beth Linas graduated from Graland in 1997 and went on to attend East High School in Denver. Her undergraduate studies took place at Brandeis University, followed by doctoral work at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Linas was also named a policy fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology from 2015-2017. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Josh Levine. Dr. Linas served on Graland’s Medical Advisory Board starting in summer of 2020. She shared that this experience reminded her “that public health practice lies outside the classroom, beyond research and academic papers, and is most impactful when working directly with your community.” At this time, Dr. Linas is a research epidemiologist at RTI International.

A special thank you to all members of the Graland Medical Advisory Board. We have so much gratitude for your knowledge, courage, and dedication.

Q&A With Dr. Barkin and Dr. Linas

Q: What does receiving the Ruth Gorham Alumni Award mean to you?

Dr. Barkin:
“It is truly a great honor to receive this award. Graland holds a special place for myself and my family as both my brother and I attended Graland, and now my own two sons are Graland students. The Graland community—both current families and alumni—is a special group of caring, thoughtful, and intelligent people who value their school but also the world around them. To be recognized by this group means a tremendous amount to me.” 

Dr. Linas: “It is an honor to receive the Ruth Gorham Alumni Award. My Graland experiences in the classroom and on all the amazing school trips sparked my intellectual curiosity and laid the foundation for all my future academic endeavors. While at Graland, I fell in love with learning—particularly math and science—and I credit the school with sparking my interest in pursuing public health. Ruth Gorham was a formidable woman who strived to make Graland a welcoming home for learning, and I am grateful to be among the list of awardees.”

Q: How were you inspired during your time at Graland? 

Dr. Barkin: “I believe that Graland’s teachers are its strength and engine. This was the case when I was a student, and I still believe it to be true. Graland’s teachers have always been ever dedicated to innovative and engaging education for their students. A school is only as great as its teachers, and Graland has consistently recruited and retained some of the absolute best. There are too many to list, but it was the teachers who inspired me as a student to become a lifelong learner and really taught me that skill.”

Dr. Linas: “While at Graland, I was inspired by teachers who thought outside of the box. The variety of experiences, both in and outside of the classroom, inspired me to take academic risks and push myself. I was also inspired by my peers. Some of my closest friends today are people I met at Graland, and I am forever thankful to have them in my life.”
Q: What advice do you have for current Graland students? 

Dr. Barkin:
“Slow down! Life moves so quickly, and before you know it, you will be in high school or college. Enjoy each day and each step along the way. If that means not doing everything, then make that choice. I promise you will thank yourself if you take a few extra minutes to enjoy that beautiful sunset. Also, find things you are passionate about and invest in them – whether it is school, the arts, a sport, your family, travel, or anything else. But don’t let your passions own you – it is a fine balance. Finally, it is simple, but be a kind and decent person to all. You will likely be a leader in some aspect of your life – lead by example and show others how to be the best person you (and they) can be.” 

Dr. Linas: “Be open to new activities, sports, classes, friends, and adventures. Graland is a special place that exposes its students to learning beyond the classroom. Graland takes education seriously, but it also knows you can learn in a variety of manners and places - not many schools do this!” 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.