June 24, 2015


Dr. Carolyn Saarni

Dr. Carolyn Saarni

Last week I learned of the death of one of my grad school professors, Dr. Carolyn Saarni. In addition to being a world-renowned scholar and author specializing in developmental psychology, Carolyn was much beloved by us, her students. Personally, I admired her so deeply for the life that she crafted for herself: she had a beautiful home in Berkeley, was very close to her family, was fit and trim and healthy (until she contracted lymphoma, relatively recently), and bicycled and traveled all over the world, taking gorgeous photos with which she would grace her PowerPoint presentations for our enjoyment. She was dating and would make sly references to her love life during her lectures — always in a classy fashion. She was SO young and vibrant and full of life. She had just turned 70 three weeks ago. Carolyn was my professor through two really rough courses: Developmental and Clinical Issues with Children and Adolescents, and the Research and Design course which resulted in my master’s thesis. I was so fortunate to learn from her and to be touched by her lively spirit and love of adventure. I am deeply saddened that someone so keenly full of life was robbed of additional years that likely would have been just as vibrant and exciting. Thank you, Carolyn. Your memory lives on in the lives that you have changed.

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