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Honoring a life’s work

Couple donates unique puzzles in the name of late wife, retired CDC director


From left to right: Mark Whitney, CDC Director Kathleen McDonnell, Barb Whitney.

Kids in the OSU Child Development Center (CDC) have two new games to play with that serve as much more than just toys – they’re reminders of two women who made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children.

Barb Whitney, former CDC teacher, and husband Mark Whitney purchased and donated two puzzles in the name of Mark’s late wife, Carla, who formerly taught at the CDC, and Joanne Sorte, who recently retired after serving as director of the CDC for 24 years.

Puzzle-Synergies3The puzzles, made of old license plates, are designed to help children learn their ABCs and 123s – both important to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten.

“They’re just amazing puzzles, and the kids love them,” says CDC Director Kathleen McDonnell. “It’s so great to have them donated in honor of two wonderful women who have made such a positive impact in the lives of children.”

“Carla engaged the student teachers, the little ones and parents, and she really showed her enjoyment and commitment to the work,” says CDC Family Services Coordinator Wendy McKenna. “If there’s anybody who could put together the puzzle of a classroom, she would be the first one to get it done.”

The CDC is housed in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.