Jen Gaudio is very protective of museum artifacts. As curator of the museum at the Coast Guard Academy, she sometimes taught using historical medals, “and they go missing very easily, so I constantly would have to count them,” she said.
Gaudio recalled that after she went on leave for brain surgery in 2015, due to her Parkinson’s disease, she realized she didn’t count the medals. She talked her roommate at the time into driving her in to count the medals, “got busted” and got a talking-to about coming in to work before she was medically cleared.
Parkinson’s has forced Gaudio, 50, into an early retirement after 13 years as curator. The museum’s longest-serving permanent curator, she stopped working in January and is having a retirement ceremony next week.