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TC Mourns the Passing of Ph.D. Student Jodie Lane

Talented and blessed with a "wonderful disposition," Jodie Lane, a fifth year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program, was well-liked by all who knew her, according to her mentor and friend Professor Barry Farber.  Lane, 30, was tragically killed Friday, January 16, while walking her dogs near her home in the East Village, by electrocution from exposed wiring and an apparent short circuit beneath a metal plate on the street.


As one of eight students in her class, chosen from more than 200 applicants, Lane came to Teachers College with an interest in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and was working on a book for children who suffered from the disorder.  "She was an excellent student, received virtually all A's in her classes, and demonstrated considerable expertise in both the research and clinical parts of the program," said Farber.  "She was well-respected and loved by virtually all who knew her-friends, faculty, supervisors, professional staff.  This is rare in our world, but she was a rare and wonderful woman who will truly be missed by all."


"Jodie was a gifted therapist, and particularly talented with children," added Farber.


Her classmates considered her a joyous person who was focused and hard-working.  Her friend Mario Smith responded to the news by saying, "I couldn't help but remember her with intense fondness and sadness. Jodie taught me to become more compassionate through her utter dedication to her work, her love for Reilly (her dog) and especially with her mulish stubbornness. Her departure from this world has left an indelible impression on me that will challenge me to serve others with the compassion and dedication she brought with her to all of life's transactions."


Lane had completed all her course work as well as her pre-dissertation research and had passed her required Research Exam.  She was currently completing the remainder of her internship at University Medical Center in New Jersey and finishing her dissertation on the possible subtypes of OCD disorders.   She would likely have received her degree in the fall of 2004. Lane received her Master's degree from Teachers College in May 2002.


In addition to her interest in OCD, she worked with Farber on therapist self-disclosure and on the healing effects of therapist warmth and positive regard for patients.  She presented this research at a professional conference and co-authored two professional articles on the subject of positive regard.  In addition, Farber and Lane were working on a book about psychologically meaningful rock ‘n roll lyrics. 


Lane, a Texas native, lived in New York City for 10 years.  Friends said her world centered on her longtime boyfriend, Alex Wilbourne, and their dogs, Meeko and Reilly.  Neighbors remembered her as someone who was always friendly, who would smile and joke with them and who enjoyed hosting parties with Wilbourne for the other tenants in their building. 


In addition to Wilbourne, Lane is survived by her parents Roger Lane, of Austin, Texas, and Karen Lane, of South Portland, Maine and her brother Jacob Lane.


The family and Teachers College are planning a memorial service in lieu of a funeral to be held at the College for members of the Teachers College community, on Thursday, January 22nd at 6 p.m. in the Milbank Chapel.  The family has also established a memorial fund in Lane's memory, and donations may made be made at: Jodie S. Lane Memorial Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, 10400 Research Blvd., Austin, TX  78759.

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