Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Pinterest Email

A Multifaceted Life

Carol-Jane (CJ) Segal-Isaacson

Carol-Jane (CJ) Segal-Isaacson, Ed.D., left, with a customer.


Carol-Jane (CJ) Segal-Isaacson, Ed.D., and her husband, Adam, crammed seven tables, four large jewelry cases and a mound of draperies into their Honda Fit one recent Sunday morning. Then they drove from Brooklyn to Greenwich Village to set up Dr. Segal-Isaacson’s jewelry booth at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. Adam headed home to be with Samantha, the couple’s 15-year-old daughter, until it was time to return and help pack things up.
For the past 10 years, Dr. Segal-Isaacson has led something of a double life. By day, the assistant professor of epidemiology & population health teaches nutrition science to Einstein medical students and collaborates on journal articles. Much of the rest of the time, she makes jewelry.
Sometimes her two worlds collide. “At a previous Washington Square exhibit,” she recalls, “I was all sweaty and grungy after setting up my booth and a young woman came by. Surprised to see me, she called out ‘Dr. Isaacson!’ Just the week before, I was teaching her nutrition and family medicine.”
Jewelry-making and her work at Einstein actually have much in common, she notes: “I don’t think there’s that much difference between art and science. Both require creativity and problem-solving skills.”
In addition to spending about 45 days a year exhibiting at craft fairs, Dr. Segal-Isaacson often makes pieces on commission. She’s certainly not in it for the money, estimating she nets about $2.50 an hour from her avocation. “When I sit down at my jewelry bench, I feel a tremendous peace,” she says. “It’s a Zen kind of thing.”
Dr. Segal-Isaacson first felt the urge to create jewelry when Samantha was five and they made a simple beaded necklace for Adam’s mother. “I found it frustrating to have to decide on the designs in the bead store,” says Dr. Segal-Isaacson. “I wanted to design things myself.” She jumped in with both hands, she says, when a friend started taking classes “and was making gorgeous stuff.”
Although she works mainly with gems and precious-metal wire, Dr. Segal-Isaacson also creates original cast-silver designs. And she’s still learning her craft. She is taking a class in gemstone setting and teaching jewelry-making from her home.
Connecting with her customers brings special enjoyment. “You put a piece of jewelry on someone, and you can see whether it works for or against that person,” says Dr. Segal-Isaacson. Is she reluctant to part with her handcrafted pieces? “Not really,” she says. “You have to keep things moving to make them sparkle.”
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Pinterest Email

The Issue at a Glance

Highlights
Research Notes
Motivations: Donors & Alumni
More From This Issue

More From Einstein

Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic
A Match Day Like No Other
Turning Discoveries Into Therapies
Three Students Win Marmur Award
Einstein’s First Women in Science Day
Latino Medical Students Host Conference

Content

Share

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Email

Past Issues

Download Magazine

Search

Subscribe