In Remembrance

The Emeritus Academy remembers those who have gone before.

In Remembrance

  • Gordon Aubrecht, Professor Emeritus
    Physics, Marion campus
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    Gordon Aubrecht

    Obituary from The Marion Star:

    Longtime Ohio State Marion physics professor, Dr. Gordon J. Aubrecht, II, 73, passed away at his home in Delaware Monday afternoon, Nov. 21. He'd been informed that he had untreatable cancer in late September. In an e-mail to faculty and staff, Dr. Aubrecht said he was shocked by the diagnosis, noting he'd only taken one sick day in his 43 years of teaching at Ohio State Marion. He received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1971.

    Aubrecht received Ohio State's Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2008.

    "Gordon was dedicated to his students and shared his love of physics with hundreds of them through his tenure here," said Ohio State Marion dean and director, Dr. Gregory S. Rose, "but he was also a scholar in all senses of the word, publishing numerous papers and writing a textbook titled "Energy" in 2005. We will miss his intellect and personal energy on this campus."

    A close friend, Dr. Brian McEnnis called Aubrecht "a driving force" and "a central figure" in shaping Ohio State's regional campuses. He helped set up a regional campus council that represented the interests of the regional campuses to Ohio State's central administration. McEnnis said it was Aubrecht who insisted that faculty on the regional campuses be held to the same standards of research and scholarship as those employed in Columbus.

    In addition to his teaching duties, Aubrecht was active in many organizations including the American Physical Society, the Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio, and the American Association of University Professors. In fact, at the time of his passing, he was the president of The Ohio State University Chapter of the AAUP. Fellow member Dr. Douglas Macbeth called him "a tireless defender of academic freedom and an energetic participant in University governance." Macbeth noted that "Gordon was passionate about physics and physics education. He shared his knowledge beyond the classroom in his role as a public intellectual."

    For many years, Aubrecht was involved in helping high school and middle school science teachers develop an inquiry-based model for science education. He was working on writing a book on the subject at the time of his death.

    Ohio State Marion has established a fund to name the physics lab in the new science and engineering building rising on the campus in honor of Aubrecht. Those interested in contributing may do so by sending a check to the Ohio State University at Marion Development Office, 1465 Mount Vernon Avenue, Marion, OH 43302 made out to the Ohio State University Foundation, fund number 315649. Online contributions may also be made at and designating fund 315649.

    Gordon Aubrecht’s Ph.D. is from Princeton University (where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow) in particle physics. Aubrecht has been a teacher of university-level physics for more than 40 years and has taught over 340 undergraduate and graduate courses. Aubrecht has run around 50 local, national, and international workshops for high school and college teachers and has published around a hundred scientific articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He resides in Delaware (Ohio) with his wife.

    Aubrecht does physics education research. He is interested in classroom assessment, student inquiry, and exposure of students to contemporary physics concepts. He has served on the steering committees of national/international conferences. He is a founding member of the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP); he is currently CPEP chair emeritus. CPEP produced spectacular classroom charts for particle, plasma, and nuclear physics, and cosmology.

    Aubrecht is author of the college-level physics textbook, Energy (3rd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2006) as well as author and / or editor of about a dozen other books.

    Aubrecht is a secretary of IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 14, and Executive Secretary of the InterAmerican Council on Physics Education. Aubrecht is a fellow of AAAS, AAPT, and APS. He has received the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation, the Hart Award of the Southern Ohio Section-AAPT, and the Maxwell Award from the Ohio Section-APS. He was named an American Physical Society Distinguished Referee for 2014.

    Aubrecht has been active in faculty governance before and after retirement. He has been member and/or chair of several Ohio State regular and ad hoc committees. He has been on the Regional Campus Faculty Council over 25 years, serving as chair or cochair many times. He was University Senator from the Marion Campus twice and most recently was OSU Senate Scribe. Aubrecht has been on the Board of the OSU Chapter of AAUP for three decades, currently serving as president, Committee A member, and newsletter editor. The Chapter presented him its Louis Nemzer Award in 2004. Aubrecht received the Distinguished Faculty Service award from Ohio State in 2008. Aubrecht was named Professor Emeritus in 2013.

  • David Goss, Professor Emeritus
    Mathematics, Columbus campus
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    David Goss passed away on April 5, 2017.

    David received his PhD in 1977 from Harvard where he worked with Barry Mazur.  He held positions at Princeton, Berkeley, and Brandeis before joining the OSU Mathematics faculty in 1982. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984, and to Professor in 1991.  Over his tenure at Ohio State, he served on many Departmental and University Committees, and guided the Department as Chair from 2006 to 2010. From 2011-12, he served on the Senate Fiscal Committee and was chair of the committee in 2012-13. He retired in 2013 and became Professor Emeritus. He was appointed to the Emeritus Academy thereafter.

    David's research was in algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry, where he made extensive contributions to the arithmetic theory of function fields, publishing some 40 academic papers and a book. He had three doctoral students.

    He became an editor of the Journal of Number Theory in 1988 and then served as Editor-in-Chief of that journal for over fifteen years. In 2012, he was named to be a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

    David's warmth and energy contributed greatly to the life of the Mathematics Department and the University. He will be missed.

  • Donald Harris, Professor Emeritus
    Music, Columbus campus
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    Donald's lifelong journey peacefully ended surrounded by family and dearest friends on March 29, 2016. Donald Harris was an American composer born April 7, 1931, in St. Paul, Minnesota to the late Barney and Hattie Harris. Donald served as an administrator at the New England Conservatory of Music (1967-77) and as Dean of the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford (1977-88), before becoming Dean of the College of the Arts and professor of music at The Ohio State University (1988-1997). After a thirty-year career as a senior-level administrator in higher education and the arts, he stepped down as Dean and rejoined the OSU faculty in composition. Harris earned his bachelors and master's degrees in composition from The University of Michigan, where he was a student of Ross Lee Finney. He continued his studies with Lukas Foss, Boris Blacher, Nadia Boulanger and Max Deutsch. From 1954 until 1968, Harris lived in Paris where, among other things, he was music consultant to the United States Information Service and produced the city's first postwar Festival of Contemporary American Music.

    Harris has received numerous commissions, including the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Radio France, and the Cleveland Orchestra, to name a few. He is co-editor of the W. W. Norton publication of the correspondence between Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg, for which he received an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award (1989). He was honored with an award in composition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1991). A documentary about Harris entitled "Sonata 1957" was produced by Daniel Beliavsky in 2011. It explores Harris' development in mid-20th-century Paris, when pre-war musical thought bridged with post-war experimentation. Donald was honored by The King Arts Complex with a Legends & Legacies award in October 2011. He received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from OSU in June 2012. Harris is past president of The International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) and served on the boards of BalletMet, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Martin Luther King Center. He was currently serving on the board of The Johnstone Fund for New Music. Harris was twice honored with the OSU School of Music's Distinguished Service Award "in recognition of the trailblazing contributions and the dedicated service provided to the music profession and the arts community as a composer, professor and arts administrator."

    Aside from all the accolades and awards bestowed upon Donald, he will be remembered by most as a genuine, kind man who was a mentor to many. Donald is survived by his loving wife Marilyn; sons Daniel Yves (Tracy) and Jeremy William (Aileen); daughters Leanne Moulton of Amherst, MA, and Kristine (Bob) Phillips of Stratford, CT; grandchildren Marc, Spencer, Sophia and Amelia Harris, Aubrey Mae Moulton, and Carrie Phillips; great-granddaughter Marleigh Hope; brother L.R. "Buddy" (Natalie) Harris of Palm Springs, CA. and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brother, Jim Harris.

  • Gary Steigman, Professor Emeritus
    Physics, Columbus campus
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    Gary Steigman

    Gary Steigman received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the City College of New York and his PhD in Theoretical Physics from New York University. After postdoctoral research positions at Cambridge University and Caltech he joined the faculty of the Astronomy Department at Yale University before moving on to a research faculty position with the Bartol Research Foundation of the Franklin Institute. In 1986 Steigman left Bartol to accept a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and Professor of Astronomy at The Ohio State University. In 1992 he was a winner of the OSU Distinguished Scholar Award and in 2005 Steigman was named an OSU Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Professor Steigman has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1980-1986), a Humboldt Senior Scientist Awardee at the Max Planck Institute and the University of Munich (1991), and held Visiting Professorships at Stanford University (1979), the University of Chicago (1983), and at the University of Sao Paulo (2008). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1991) and in 2004 Steigman won the William A. Fowler Award of the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society.

    After 26 years at The Ohio State University, Professor Steigman retired (from teaching and faculty meetings, but not from research!) in 2012. Since then he has been an OSU Emeritus Professor and, more recently, Academy Professor, having been elected a member of the Emeritus Academy in 2015.

    Steigman’s research on Particle-Astrophysics and Cosmology uses the Universe and its constituents to probe the fundamental interactions of particle physics at the highest energies and the smallest scales. Studying of the evolution of the Universe and of the exotic objects in it has enabled him to constrain models of physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics in a manner that is complementary to the constraints inferred from current and future accelerator experiments. In Steigman’s research he has often used the combination of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis and the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation to simultaneously probe cosmology and to constrain non-standard models of particle physics and of cosmology.

    Professor Steigman continues to serve OSU as well as the larger research community. He serves on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. Building on his personal connections with physicists and astronomers in Brazil, Steigman continues to serve on the Faculty Advisory Council for the OSU Gateway Initiative in Brazil.