GTU Announces 2014 Alumna of the Year: Dr. Suzanne Holland

The GTU is delighted to announce its 2014 Alumna of the Year award recipient, Dr. Suzanne Holland (PhD, '97). Dr. Holland is the John B. Magee Professor of Science and Values at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she has taught in the department of religion since 1997. She is also founder and director of the University of Puget Sound's Bioethics Program, teaches in the Gender and Queer Studies program, and was recipient of the school's President's Teaching Award in 2008.
Holland's research focuses on the intersection between religion, ethics, medicine, and new genetic technologies, with an emphasis on issues of justice and feminist bioethics. She is co-author of Achieving Justice in Genomic Translation: Re-Thinking the Pathway to Benefit (2011), and also cowrote the first book published on stem-cell ethics, The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy (2001). An internationally recognized leader in her field, Holland is often sought in shaping issues around policy and bioethics.

Dr. Holland earned her doctorate in Religion and Society/Ethics from the GTU in 1997. Her leadership experience includes ten years as director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State and three years as director of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Holland is cofounder of the American Academy of Religion's Bioethics and Religion Group, and served as chair of the religion department at the University of Puget Sound for seven years.

Holland's upcoming book, Technologies of Desire, explores the ways in which Westerners, especially Americans, use biotechnologies of the body to fulfill fundamental human desires--desires for children, for better bodies, for avoiding old age and death. In this work, Holland considers the way in which marketing and advertising create a hyper-culture of desire that blurs the distinction between wants and needs.

In announcing the award, GTU President Riess Potterveld noted, “Dr. Holland excels as a scholar and a teacher, known for her ability to fuse rigorous academic work and the real-life issues that are roiling national debates and the Halls of Congress. Her ability to hold theory to reality and carefully analyze the intersection represents the best of what the GTU seeks to cultivate in its scholars. We are delighted to honor her as the GTU’s 2014 Alum of the year.”

Dr. Holland will receive her award on Saturday, November 22, at the GTU Alumni Reception during the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego.