Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Department of History at Columbia University - Socio-Medical Sciences

Before beginning a professional career as a program development consultant, Robert Whirry attended the University of California Santa Cruz where he received a bachelor of arts degree in literature and legal studies. Robert Whirry also attended Columbia University in New York City, New York, where he was a PhD Candidate in history.

The doctoral program in the Department of History at Columbia University is well-known as an important history center with more than 100 years of tradition and research information, helping to prepare history students to become educators and contributing scholars in the field. The department of history includes several different fields of study, such as international and global history, early modern Europe, and socio-medical sciences.

The field of socio-medical sciences divides studies between the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH). The program is designed to train teachers and researchers in how to apply the theories of social science with social factors regarding health care needs and systems. Students of socio-medical sciences often find careers in schools as health professionals or in social science departments as well as becoming researchers or analysts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Anita Bryant's Playboy Interview

A self-employed consultant, Robert Whirry has been drafting grant proposals and overseeing program development for over four decades. He has a specific professional focus in projects that benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS. In addition to his accomplishments in this field, Robert Whirry has found success in the entertainment industry as the coauthor and executive producer of Anita Bryant's Playboy Interview.

Mr. Whirry wrote Anita Bryant's Playboy Interview with John Copeland, and the pair debuted the play at the 2015 LA Fringe Festival. The play is based on a memorable eight-day interview of singer Anita Bryant by Playboy Magazine’s Ken Kelley in 1978. This interview was particularly provocative at the time due to Ms. Bryant’s ongoing campaign to repeal gay rights in Dade County, Florida.

Anita Bryant's Playboy Interview recreates the titular interview on stage, both placing the event in historical context while simultaneously relating the event to the present day. The work enjoyed a theatrical revival in 2016.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Yoga Positions for Back Pain

For more than three decades, Robert Whirry has provided grant writing services and offered his consulting expertise to numerous nonprofit organizations. Operating from his own firm in Los Angeles, California, he has worked with clients such as the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Los Angeles County Division of HIV and STD Programs. In his leisure time, Robert Whirry enjoys staying fit through an active yoga practice. 

For some individuals, nagging lower back pain can become a problem that interferes with many activities. Fortunately, there are some easy yoga poses one can perform to strengthen the back and help alleviate pain.

The cat/cow pose is a very simple movement that helps limber up the spine and engages the back muscles. Starting on all fours with a flat back, go back and forth between arching the back with the head up and rounding it with head down toward the floor. 

Downward facing dog is another pose that will provide a stretch for the back while promoting overall core strength. From a table position, bring the hips up and position the body until it’s in a “V” shape, with the head hanging down and the neck relaxed. 

Finally, child’s pose is an easy rest position that works the entire back from hips to shoulders. Starting from table position, move back until your glutes are on top of your heels while keeping the arms out in front of you.

If you have never practiced yoga before, it is recommended that you begin by working with a trained practitioner who can help you master proper form.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yoga Poses for Beginners

For more than three decades, Robert Whirry has worked as a freelance program development consultant in Los Angeles, California, where he has provided key input on the state’s HIV prevention measures. Outside of his professional life, Robert Whirry maintains an active yoga practice.

Yoga helps practitioners to develop a sense of inner connection and promotes physical flexibility, and in more vigorous practices, it can lead to improved cardiovascular health. Those just starting out should work to master basic poses before moving on to the more difficult ones. Two fundamental yoga poses are mountain pose and cobra pose.

Mountain pose is one of the core poses and is part of many different types of yoga. To perform this pose, stand up straight, place the feet next to one another, and let the shoulders drop away from the ears. On a deep inhale, bring the arms above the head, palms inward facing one another, and reach upwards. 

For Cobra pose, start by lying face down. The legs should be stretched out long with the top of each foot pressing into the mat. With the hands spread beneath the shoulders, press down with them and engage the glutes as you flex the hips downward, pushing your upper body upward to face forward.

Beginners are always advised to work with a trained yoga instructor to ensure proper posture and form.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Three Dishes Featuring Heirloom Tomatoes

A freelance program development consultant since 1985, Robert Whirry has authored reports such as the State of California's Comprehensive HIV Prevention and HIV Care Plans and the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in America. When he isn't researching and developing grants or reports, Robert Whirry enjoys cooking. He hosts an annual five-course heirloom tomato party for as many as 125 guests.

Heirloom tomatoes range in size, shape, and color and can be used to supplement a variety of dishes. Below are three examples.

1. Classic caprese salad: A great starter for any meal, prepare the salad by alternating tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and whole basil leaves on a plate. Whisk together white wine, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and drizzle over cheese and tomatoes.

2. Grilled heirloom tomato and pesto pizza: Begin by baking flattened pizza dough directly on a grill for three or four minutes before transferring it to a baking sheet. Spread pesto, tomato slices, and goat cheese over the dough and place back onto the grill for another three minutes.

3. Cabernet portabella burgers: Boil Cabernet Sauvignon and minced shallots for 15 minutes before stirring in butter and sugar. Brush tops of the portabella mushrooms with the Cabernet mixture and cook on an indoor grill for 15 minutes, flipping twice. Place between hamburger buns and top with the heirloom tomatoes and arugula.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Hollywood Fringe Festival

Robert Whirry is a self-employed grant writer and program developer with over 25 years of experience assisting health care and human services organizations such as the California HIV/AIDS Research Program and Asian American Drug Abuse Program. Based in Los Angeles, Robert Whirry co-authored Anita Bryant's Playboy Interview, a play that debuted as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF).

Held annually in June, HFF promotes complete freedom of expression through the arts and features projects highlighting diverse and cutting-edge viewpoints. Genres included at HFF range from family programming and performance art to circus and comedy acts. All projects are self-produced by the artists and 100 percent of the festival's revenue goes back to both the artists and venues. More than $1.8 million has been generated since the first festival in 2010. 

In addition to independent artistic projects, the festival features educational events and an award ceremony. Interested viewers can access footage from previous festivals through FringeTV, the nonprofit organization's YouTube channel. The 2017 festival takes place on June 8-25.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sponsoring an Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival


For more than 25 years, Robert Whirry has helped nonprofit groups and government agencies develop and improve health and human services programs as a self-employed consultant. Also active in the theater, Robert Whirry cowrote the play Anita Bryant’s Playboy Interview, which ran at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Rooted in the fringe performing arts tradition dating back to 1940s Scotland, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an open-access annual festival serving as a venue for hundreds of performing arts groups and individuals from Los Angeles and around the world. Unlike many performance art festivals, the Hollywood Fringe Festival gives back 100 percent of its revenue to the performers. Since 2010, this amount has totaled more than $1.3 million.

One of the unique aspects of fringe festivals is the large number of awards given out to participants. Many of these awards are proposed and sponsored by local organizations and are a great way for companies to show their support for local arts. In order to sponsor an award for the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival, an organization must be an LLC, LLP, or other form of incorporated body. Additionally, sponsoring organizations must have a representative in attendance at the festival to present the award, which does not need to include financial remuneration.

The deadline for proposing an award for the 2017 festival is May 1, 2017. For more information on award guidelines, please visit