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Faculty Profiles: John Culhane
Health Law Institute Director John Culhane is a law professor to “take before you die,” according to National Jurist.
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Making the Learning Experience Accessible to Students
“I’m thrilled to have one location for students to go for help with a variety of issues,” says Professor Susan Goldberg, the Associate Dean for the Office of Student Affairs on the Delaware campus, and a Professor who teaches in the areas of Bioethics and the law, Reproductive Rights, Health Law, and Torts. The Office of Student Affairs offers students course advice, scheduling help, referrals, bar programs, and more, all with the intention of making services “accessible to students and keeping everything under one roof in order to provide continuity,” and Professor Goldberg remarks that, “to be able to assist the students is very gratifying.”

Professor Goldberg relishes the opportunity to work in a number of different areas, and that desire led to her interest in bioethics. “I was looking for a counterpoint to Property Law, which I was teaching at the time,” she says of her start at Widener, “and I always had an interest in health law because it is constantly growing and changing. The cases and topics change almost every year.” Of bioethics, she notes, “It’s about the law, but it’s also about issues of ethics and philosophy. Science works on the principle that if we can do it, we must do it, but the law needs to look at whether or not it should be done and how it should be regulated.” She stresses that health law impacts everyone, saying, “All of us age, and all of us are effected by healthcare issues.”

“Everyone has an opinion, but you need to justify your opinion with the language of law and ethics,” Professor Goldberg tells her students. “Watching people come to understand the complexity of the issues is very rewarding, she notes, adding, “When you see that a student has grasped the concepts, it’s wonderful.” Observing, “It’s difficult to teach students to be lawyers,” she explains that professors need to “help students develop the tools to analyze the law, and then teach them how those concepts would apply to new situations they will encounter in the future."

“It’s wonderful to go into the community and see the work that former students are doing, and it’s very satisfying to know that I played a part in their education,” remarks Professor Goldberg. Of her work with the Office of Student Affairs, she adds, “I feel that I’m able to stay in touch with the students both administratively and academically, and that makes me stronger at both jobs. It’s been fun working in this office.”