September16, 2001, Newsday, Ann Judge; Travel Was Her Career, and Life, by Deborah Barfield,
Washington -- It was Ann Judge's job -- even her mission -- to somehow get National Geographic Society photographers to some of the most remote places in the world.
"They can't do what they do if they can't get there," said Kent Kobersteen, director of photography at National Geographic magazine, describing complicated itineraries to backwater destinations from Africa to China. "She took all of this in stride. And she made it happen. She is a pro, a real pro."For the Hempstead native, traveling was a passion she turned into a career. Friends are sure Judge, a graduate of West Hempstead High School, was excited about Tuesday's field trip to California with three teachers and three 11-year-old students.
It was Judge's last mission.
Her American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked Tuesday morning by terrorists who crashed the airliner into the Pentagon, killing all 64 aboard and scores of others in the military building across the Potomac River from the White House.
The group was on a field trip sponsored by National Geographic to Santa Barbara, where they were to participate in a marine research project. The society is planning a memorial service Thursday for Judge, 49, of Great Falls, Va., and co-worker Joe Ferguson, director of the Geography Education Outreach program.
Last week, bouquets of flowers, some from strangers, streamed into National Geographic. At the entrance sat a bouquet of yellow roses between pictures of a smiling Judge and another of Ferguson. Scores of people had signed books offering their condolences.
"She was a good one, that's for sure," said friend and co-worker Susan Smith. Smith, who described Judge as funny and full of vigor, said her friend loved to party and dance. Judge prided herself on her garden of wildflowers and impatiens.
But it was her love of travel that she turned into a career at National Geographic, moving up the ranks over 22 years to eventually head the society's travel department four years ago.
Co-workers described Judge as friendly and animated. She often could be spotted outside the building with a red plastic cup of Diet Coke and a Marlboro.
Many of Judge's co-workers learned of her doomed flight when they returned to work Wednesday. "It's so ironic she should go this way - traveling," said Kobersteen, who knew Judge for 18 years. "We're going to miss her."
Judge, who was born in New York City, graduated from West Hempstead High School in 1969 and later from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was president of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Judge and her husband, Geoffrey James, also a native of West Hempstead, moved to the Washington area where she began her career as a travel office assistant at National Geographic.
She also is survived by her mother, Ruth Campana of Mooresville, N.C.; her sister, Ellen Campana Weaver of Chantilly, Va.; and her brother Michael Campana of Albuquerque, N.M. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Va.
Donations in Judge's name can be sent to the Society's Geography Education Outreach program or the American Cancer Society.
-- Deborah Barfield (Newsday)
September 14, 2001, Chicago Tribune,
Three Washington, D.C. schoolchildren, three teachers and two employees of the National Geographic Society were aboard American Airlines Flight 77 on their way to a field trip to the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif.
The pupils, all 11-year-olds who lived in the largely concrete confines of the city, had been thrilled about the journey. Sponsored by the society, the trip was to include long hikes on the beach, kayaking and marine wildlife monitoring.
Two of the children, Rodney Dickens and Bernard Brown, were 5th graders. The third, Asia Cottom, was in the 6th grade.
The children had been traveling with their teachers, James Debeuneure, 58; Sarah Clark, 65; and Hilda Taylor.
Leading up the trip were two longtime National Geographic Society employees, according to a statement released Thursday by the society's Washington-based offices.
Ann Judge, 49, was a 22-year veteran of the society and the director of its travel office. According to the society's statement, Judge "launched countless National Geographic photographers and writers on countless assignments to the world's remote corners." Joe Ferguson, 39, directed the society's education outreach since 1987.