Joan Kinlan ’65
As a child, Dr. Joan Kinlan ’65 dreamed of becoming a doctor. Attending the College of Mount Saint Vincent was the first step towards this dream. Growing up in Yonkers, she has fond memories from her time as a “day-hop” commuter student, catching two buses to get to campus. Grateful for her “wonderful experience” at the Mount, Dr. Kinlan recently became a member of our Centennial Society, a group of donors who have chosen to support the College through planned giving.
Her career has a special focus working with deaf children and adolescents. She has served for more than for 20 years as a consultant for schools for the deaf, such as the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kinlan studied sign language at Gallaudet University and later served as a consultant to this university. Dr. Kinlan currently works in private practice as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Washington, D.C. Her distinguished career includes the position as head of the Psychiatry Unit for Incarcerated Children. She is a spokeswoman for the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is frequently quoted in the news as an expert on child and adolescent psychiatry.
Shortly after graduating from the Mount, she attended SUNY Downstate College of Medicine to study for her M.D. She completed residency training at the Children’s National Medical Center, Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester, and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
We recently spoke with Dr. Kinlan who remains as passionate about the Mount as ever.
Q: When you think of CMSV, what key words or phrases come to mind?
A beautiful campus right on the Hudson, an incredible library, so much fun, a fabulous experience!
Q: What do you remember most about your CMSV experience?
One of the things I remember first seeing when I came to the Mount is all these beautiful trees on campus. I also remember that we all got dressed up in our best gowns for a special program every week. There might be a special dance or special event in the arts or something amazing and I completely loved it. I loved all my teachers, especially the chemistry department that helped me get into a special summer program at Cooper Union.
Q: How did your experience at CMSV impact your career and/or life decisions?
Well, I wanted to be a doctor since the time I was 13. I chose the Mount because I knew that it prepared people who wanted to go to medical school. That was a big winner for me. On the day that I was accepted into medical school, I told Sister Kathleen Tracey and she hugged me and said, “You were worried that you wouldn’t get in but I knew you would have no problem.” That was the best feeling – knowing that your teachers felt that good about you.
Q: Is there an important special moment, person or occasion at CMSV that influenced your decision to make a planned gift?
I love Sister Kathleen. She is my idol. I named one of my daughters after her! I also think you have the most amazing chemistry department, although you have to realize I am biased, because I was a chemistry major! I also can’t tell you how much I love and respect your president, Dr. Flynn. I can’t tell you how much I love the Mount. I have gone back to every single reunion and I will continue to do so for many years.
Q: What inspires you to be so generous to CMSV and why is that important to you?
When I heard about the plans to update the science buildings, I wrote a check on the spot! I loved my experience at the Mount, especially in the science department and I wanted to contribute right away. [The Mount] is an amazing educator and you reach out to people all over. You help students get special opportunities and that is something that I feel very, very deeply in my heart.