Published in TC Today - Volume 37, No. 1
Ernst Z. Rothkopf
Ernst Z. Rothkopf, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Education Emeritus, died in July at age 87. Rothkopf, who had fled Nazi-occupied Austria as a boy, worked at the U.S. Air Force Personnel and Training Research Center, where he helped invent teaching machines and programmed instruction. He subsequently headed the Learning and Instructional Research Department at Bell Labs, studying “mathagenic” activities that promoted students’ ability to process instructive stimuli. At TC, Rothkopf explored the ways that people learn from written text and championed the idea of a national programming language, with a uniform interface for different data, for teachers of core subjects.
Shirley S. Passow
Shirley S. Passow, wife of the late TC Emeritus Professor A. Harry Passow and mother of two TC graduates, died in May. Shirley Passow briefly taught English in Erie County, New York, and subsequently became an urban planner and then an attorney who rose to become Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey. Passow, who with her husband was dedicated to improving race relations, generously supported TC’s Annual Fund and a scholarship established in her husband’s honor. With her son, alumnus Michael Passow, she was also a member of the College’s Grace Dodge Society.
Carroll F. Johnson
TC alumnus and former faculty member Carroll F. Johnson, who presided over the integration of the White Plains, New York, school district – the first U.S. school system to voluntarily institute a racial desegregation plan – died in October at age 99. Johnson, who attended a one-room school in Georgia, was a nationally revered figure whose 1964 integration plan served as a model for desegregation efforts nationwide. As an adviser to school districts across the country, Johnson devised a process that ensured community members a voice in superintendent hiring decisions. During the 1960s and ’70s, he also spoke widely on how to handle student unrest, particularly in response to racial issues.
TC alumnus Irvin Faust, a highly accomplished novelist and short story writer who also served as an influential college guidance counselor in Long Island’s schools, passed away in July at the age of 88. Among Faust’s best-known works are his 1965 short story collection, Roar Lion Roar (which drew its title from Columbia University’s fight song), and the novels The Steagle (1966), Willy Remembers (1971) and John Dandy (1994). Faust loved working with students and said that the experience had a great impact on his writing. He earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate from TC.
Jane Franck, director for 25 years of what was then TC’s Milbank Memorial Library, died in May at age 91. Franck significantly added to the library’s depth and influence, purchasing resources for the library’s art collection and establishing its Special Collections Department. Franck presided over the installation of the library’s first computers in 1985, led the first inventory of the library’s entire collection, and forged a partnership that established seven Internet information centers in Kosovo. In 1994, Franck established the Julie Louise Franck Fellowship, an endowed fellowship in special education named for her daughter, a TC alumna who had passed away the year before at age 37.
Professor Emeritus Seymour Rigrodsky, who served as chair of TC’s Department of Speech Pathology, Language and Audiology, passed away earlier this year. He was 82. Rigrodsky, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooklyn College and his Ph.D. from Purdue University, was steadfastly committed to helping developmentally disabled children and adults. He served as a consultant to several institutions and veterans hospitals in New York City. Prior to joining TC’s faculty, he taught at the Vineland Training School in New Jersey and the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
Ulysses Byas (M.A. ’52), a nationally recognized champion for black schools, passed away in early August at age 88. Byas twice dropped out of high school in Georgia but eventually earned a master’s degree at TC and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. In 1957, as principal of an all-black school in Gainseville, Georgia, he convinced the white public that black schools needed more funding and better resources. Later, as superintendent in Macon, Georgia, he was among the first African-Americans to head a racially mixed district. He later served as superintendent of schools in Roosevelt, New York, where a school was named for him.