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Nan Little, Ph.D.

Nan Little, People with Parkinson's Advisory Council

Nan Little, Ph.D.
Seattle, WA

“Working with PDF, I hope to get the word out that all of us with Parkinson’s can find an activity that works for us. I was never a great athlete, but after my diagnosis I cycled across Iowa twice and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.”

Dr. Little is a retired anthropologist from the University of Washington. 

As former Director of the Sciences and Tribes Educational Partnership at the University of Washington, she developed programs with Native American tribes, teachers and families to encourage and enable students to go to college well prepared in math and science.  Prior to this, Dr. Little was Director of International Programs at the Metrocenter YMCA.

Dr. Little was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008. She soon became active with the Parkinson’s community, particularly in programs and studies related to exercise. For example, prior to her diagnosis, Dr. Little had never climbed a mountain or cycled across a state.  Yet, she and her husband have helped to expand the Pedaling for Parkinson's program initiated by Jay Alberts, Ph.D., of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.  Their contribution, Pedaling for Parkinson's at the Y, is run through YMCAs in several states.

In 2011, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of people living with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.  In 2012, she trekked to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal.  She is currently planning her next climbing expedition to Machu Picchu.

Ms. Little earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Next PPAC Member: Linda M. Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph.