Elmira Native and EC Student to be Featured on NBC Nightly News

February 10 2016
Category: Alumni


An NBC Nightly News crew was on campus filming an interview with Elmira College Continuing Education student, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel, as part of a story that takes a look at the Framingham Heart Study that reveals remaining active ­– both physically and mentally – is not just good for heart health, but also may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  The feature (unless preempted) aired, February 10, at 6:30 p.m., on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. 

Cynthia, diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s precursor amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aCMI), serves on the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association National Early-Stage Advisory Group.  The Early-Stage Advisory Group members help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and reduce stigma associated with the disease by sharing their personal stories and experience living with dementia. They also advocate for increased research funding and provide input to the Association about programs and materials designed to meet the growing needs of early-stage individuals.

“I enrolled at Elmira College in 2011, the year I was diagnosed with amnestic mild cognitive impairment,” says Cynthia.  “I approached the Continuing Ed office and was welcomed with open arms.  I am currently auditing my 28th class at EC. I love the college and I am so very grateful to EC for this amazing opportunity, in life long learning.  Being a student at EC has been a game changer for me.  I truly believe that by engaging in classroom discussions and activities (combined with my physical activities and other wellness practices) that I am slowing down my cognitive decline.”

Cynthia is extremely active in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association serving on the Speakers? Bureau, leading a Persons with Dementia support group, chairing the Southern Tier Connections programs (and more) as she raises awareness and support for individuals and families living with a diagnosis.  

A graduate of the first class of women at Rutgers College in 1976, Cynthia then received her Masters in Divinity at New Brunswick Theological Seminary (in New Jersey) in 1996 and her Doctorate in Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary in 2003. Cynthia served in parish ministry for 15 years before her diagnosis of aMCI.  Additionally, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica and helped start a school for special needs students.   

UPDATE, 2/11/16: A full version of the story featuring Cynthia can be found online at nbcnews.com.