Chad Harris is the 2015 recipient of the Dr. Dana G. Cable Outstanding Thanatology Student Award. While at Hood, Chad showcased the power of communication and education to build and strengthen bonds with the revival of the Thanatology program’s student newsletter. As a blog contributor, he uses his writing talent to help combat the stigma that death — one of the few universal human experiences — is a topic which should never be discussed.
Chad’s current research is focused heavily on the responsible use of communication in moments of public tragedy. He hopes to help educate media organizations and public-safety forces on how to interact with the grieving during tragedies to ensure that they are not harmed by the harsh spotlight of the 24-hour news cycle and endless social-media scrutiny.
Working with fellow Hood Thanatology students, Chad helped to organize and run Frederick’s first Death Cafe, a gathering at which people came together and shared their thoughts on a variety of issues surrounding death and dying. He is eager to participate in a second Death Cafe that will take place in Frederick later in 2015.