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Ph.D. Student Jodie Lane Remembered


Jodie Lane

Jodie Lane

On a cold Friday night the week before TC's Spring classes were about to begin, Jodie Lane, a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program was walking her dogs near her home in the East Village. When her dogs suddenly began acting strangely, fighting with each other and howling inexplicably, Lane called for help and bent over the dogs to try to calm them. As she approached the dogs, she apparently realized that they were receiving an electric shock from a metal plate on the street. Lane also received the shock from the plate, and apparently was electrocuted when she also came into contact with a metal curb at the same time, according to news reports.

Lane was only 30 years old. She lived with her longtime boyfriend Alex Wilbourne, having come to New York from Texas 10 years ago to attend Sarah Lawrence College. She loved New York so much that she applied to Teachers College for her master's and Ph.D. work in the Clinical Psychology program, and she was one of eight accepted into the program out of 200 applicants.

On January 20th, Lane was memorialized by family and friends at Milbank Chapel. Her advisor, mentor and friend, Professor Barry Farber, with whom she worked on several research projects, including a study of psychologically meaningful rock ‘n roll lyrics, began his remarks with song lyrics. "A phrase from a song most of us know has been going through my head these past few days: ‘Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone.' Since that yesterday morning, I have received so many e-mail messages and phone calls…all expressing disbelief, all expressing their desire, indeed, need to honor Jodie's memory."

Farber was the first to speak of her smile, her tenacity, and the profound impact Lane had on him personally. Reading from the statement she submitted in applying to the program about her pleasurable memories of working with young children. He ended, as he began, with song lyrics, saying, "As the song goes, ‘I always thought I'd see you again.' Now, though, one last song fragment will have to do: ‘And now she's in me, always with me.' Jodie will be in all of us, lovingly, forever."

Farber also read a statement by Adjunct Professor Xavier Amandor, who reflected on Lane's way of saying "Yeppers" for "Yes."

"Jodie was someone who said ‘yes' a lot," Amandor wrote. "She said ‘yes' to challenges, ‘yes' to taking on responsibilities, and ‘yes' to joy."

Classmates reflected on how much she meant to them. "She had so much to give and she gave it," said Ben Adams, who said that he admired her so much he often acted in his own life based on the thought, "How would Jodie do it?"

Mario Smith said that Lane, despite anxieties and fears, simply did what needed to be done.

Marvin Frankel, her advisor from Sarah Lawrence, spoke of his joy in knowing Lane. "As a teacher, you realize you may play an important role in your student's life, but occasionally a student comes to play an important role in your life, but you may not realize it at the time."

Friend and former roommate, Lisa Henry Rose, read a poem about friendship, and friend Gayna Havens said, "In Jodie's presence, I liked myself better."

The most touching memories came from Lane's boyfriend, Alex Wilbourne, and her father, Roger Lane. Wilbourne spoke of his jealousy of Lane's dog, Reilly, of how they met walking their dogs and how Lane insisted they exchange phone numbers so "the dogs could play together." He called her the "love of his life," and finished his remarks with a quote from their favorite film, The Princess Bride. "I want to remember and believe that Jodie would quote to me, ‘Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile,' to which I would reply, ‘I would never doubt you.'"

Lane's father, Roger Lane, considered himself her first therapy client, saying she taught him to communicate at a higher level. "She helped me get in touch with the soft and emotional side of life," he said.

After hearing all that was said about his daughter at the memorial service, Lane reflected, "I realize Jodie was more than my eyes could see. She positively impacted many lives, not the least of which was mine.previous page