The E-News site has been inactive since February 2011 and may contain outdated information and/or broken links. For current and up-to-date Tufts news and information, please visit Tufts Now at
Tufts University e-news

Search  GO >

this site people
Tufts University Logo Bottom Search Bottom  
left side photo

Tufts Grad: "I'm a Survivor!"

Tufts Grad: "I'm a Survivor!"Linda Spencer is among 16 Americans selected to compete in latest installment of CBS' hit reality show "Survivor". Shaba National Reserve, Kenya.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [09.28.01] Linda Spencer and CBS's "Survivor III" are both focused on the same goal -- knocking off their competitors one by one. While the network already has a track records of success -- the last two seasons of the reality show have dominated the public's attention and the Nielson ratings -- Spencer is a relative newcomer to the intense competition. But that won't stop the Tufts grad from trying when she makes her debut with the Survivor Fall Class of 2001.

When the show debuts on Oct. 11, national audiences will watch the contestants tough it out in the Shaba National Reserve in Kenya -- which "earned notoriety as the place where 'Born Free' author Joy Adamson was murdered in 1980," reported the New York Daily News.

"They hope to create exciting television by throwing the competitors into the middle of an African game park with few possessions aside from a spear with their name on it (literally), the clothes they're wearing, a map indicating the nearest water source and as many sundry survival items as they can grab," reported the newspaper.

Forty four years old, Spencer may be the most equipped contestant on the show -- she has already spent two summers in rural African villages with no electricity or running water.

And Spencer -- who earned her master's in education from Tufts -- should have a good "lay of the land." Before taking her current post in Harvard's Office of Career Services, Spencer worked as director of "African Adventures" at an overseas adventure travel company.

That experience may prove handy for her, as she tries to outlast the other 15 contestants on the show.

But Spencer has stared down bigger challenges and proved that she is a true survivor.

"In December 1999, Spencer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent a thyroidectomy the following January," reported CBS News. "She received radioactive iodine treatments in May 2000, and is now completely cancer free. In September 2000, a mere eight months after being diagnosed with cancer, she successfully reached the summit of Mount Rainier."

Spencer also completed an 85-mile race from Athens to Atlanta, and has traveled to 28 countries.

The reality, of course, is that the hardest part is already over for Spencer. In an extremely well-guarded site on the Kenyan reserve, CBS completed the taping of Survivor III this summer.

And most of the contestants already know their fates -- with the exception of the show's finalists, who won't find out if they won the $1 million prize until the series' "live" finale.

But that doesn't mean the competition is over.

CBS has already put its massive marketing efforts into motion in the hopes that the third installment of its hit series will be the last one standing at the end of the fall season.

For the results of that survival competition, you'll just have to stay tuned.

Related Stories
Related Links
Featured Profile