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Ethel Eva Bisbicos ’57

July 20, 2019, in State College, Pennsylvania, after a decades-long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Born in Groton, Massachusetts, Ethel majored in biology at Reed but completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Connecticut, where she also earned a master’s degree. She went on to receive a PhD in psychology from Penn State University.

“Of all the institutions in my background, Reed has had the most significant influence on my academic career,” Ethel said. “My experience at Reed influenced my teaching in fundamental and significant ways.”

Sharp wit, a wicked brilliance, and a gentle soul were hallmarks of Ethel’s personality; she was a trailblazer who was often the only woman in her science classes. This was also the case in a career that included doing technical drafting for Pratt & Whitney aircraft and working with computer engineers at Bell Labs. Her last position, before Alzheimer’s took over her brilliant mind, was teaching humanities and social science at Penn State. Passionate about criminal justice and human rights, she taught at Pennsylvania’s Rockview State Prison, and volunteered for the Democratic party, the ACLU, and dog rescues.

“The Reed experience gave both direction and focus toward the kind of person I wanted to become and became,” she said. “It reinforced my beliefs and helped immeasurably in my attempts and successes in living up to my own beliefs. Reed gave a poverty stricken person a chance to realize her potential in an era of rampant social, political, economic, and educational discrimination against females. At Reed, females were people.”

Preceded in death by ex-husband Henry Albinski, Ethel is survived by her daughters, Allison Albinski and Gillian Albinski, and her stepson Lawrence Albinski

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2020

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