ATEC - Episode 90: A Life of Meaning After Profound Loss ft. Jacqueline Genovese

Episode 90: A Life of Meaning After Profound Loss featuring Jacqueline Genovese

When she least expected it writer and teacher Jacqueline Genovese became a mother after her older sister made her guardian of her two children before she lost the battle with cancer. Jacqueline built a life for her new son and daughter and soon, a third child, while managing her career and nurturing her marriage. Over the next few years she would lose another sister and then her mother to cancer and her marriage would end.

As her children grew she became fascinated with the toll a life of service can take, especially for those in medicine and the military. Today she is Executive Director of the Medicine & the Muse Program at Stanford and teaches War Literature & Writing class for military affiliated students where she focuses on the intersection of literature and medicine and the power of writing to lift and support military veterans and help them process what they have been through. In this episode Jacqueline shares the story of adopting her sister’s young children, holding space for the trauma doctors and veterans experience, and what she’s learned about loving through loss.


Jacqueline Genovese holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing and a master’s degree in Medical Humanities. She leads a literature and medicine series at Stanford Hospital for physicians and at VA San Francisco for health professionals and teaches writing and literature for Stanford students who are veterans or military-affiliated. During COVID19 she teamed with Dr. Bryant Lin to create the Stanford Medicine Stuck@Home Concert series, and created the MedMuse 4 U weekly update. As Executive Director of the Medicine and the Muse Program in medical humanities and the arts at the Stanford School of Medicine, she develops, creates and coordinates multiple events, workshops and multidisciplinary education initiatives. She has presented at numerous conferences on her work at the intersection of literature, the military and medicine, including most recently at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Air Force Academy. Jacqueline received the Stanford School of Medicine Inspiring Change Leadership Award and an Award of Appreciation from the Stanford Undergraduate Veteran’s Association. She has received numerous awards for her work in publications and video, include a CASE Circle of Excellence Silver Medal Award and an IABC International Golden Quill Award. Jacqueline has worked in higher education administration in the areas of publications, communications, media relations and development operations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William and Mary, where she was inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. Jacqueline is the proud mom of three amazing young adults and Nana to an adorable grandson.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)