Cynthia Ellen Northrop graduated from Columbia Union College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. She continued adding to her education by attending the University of Maryland and receiving a master’s degree in community health nursing. It was in this capacity as a public health nurse that Cynthia developed a deep interest in child abuse and laws dealing with this issue. Because of this interest, she went to law school and graduated in 1979 with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore Law School.
Cynthia’s impact on the nursing and law professions is significant. As an attorney and a nurse, Cynthia established the American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) in 1982, and served as the president and as a member of the TAANA Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition, she co-authored a book entitled “Legal Issues in Writing,” which won two Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing. She also served as the author of the legal columns in both Nursing Outlook and Nursing journals.
Cynthia presented more than 250 lectures and workshops in her nursing career and received many awards and honors for her work. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Nurse Attorneys and the Creative Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association.
In 1989, Cynthia died of colon cancer at the age of 39. Her husband, Harvey Dzodin, and her friends established the Cynthia Ellen Northrop Scholarship as a tribute to the professionalism and commitment to nursing that Cynthia exhibited. The scholarship benefits students who demonstrate scholastic achievement and commitment to the nursing profession, and gives them the opportunity to follow Cynthia’s example of success through service. In 1989, she was posthumously honored with Columbia Union College’s Alumnus of the Year award.