News of the College Novemberspring2006

Four Retire After Long Service

dell rhodes image
Dell Rhodes
in 1995

Two distinguished members of the faculty and two long-serving members of the teaching staff have retired.

Professor of Psychology Dell Rhodes is now officially emerita, and will teach one course in 2006–07. Rhodes joined Reed in 1975. She served as associate dean of students in 1990–91, and was also the faculty force behind the post-thesis-parade dinner that kicks off Renn Fayre. She has published extensively in the fields of neuroscience, psychophysiology, and experimental psychology.

“Dell Rhodes is irreplaceable,” said Associate Professor Kathryn Oleson, chair of psychology. “She sets extremely high standards for her students, the psychology department, Reed, and herself, and then she brings to bear her passion for research and for teaching her students, her profound brilliance, and her unparalleled industriousness. She’s an incredible role model and also a dear friend.”

Professor of linguistics and anthropology John Haviland has retired. His fields of expertise include the Mayan languages of Chiapas, Mexico, and the languages of aboriginal peoples in Australia, for which research he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. “A scholar of international reputation and a brilliant teacher, John made an enormous contribution to the quality of the academic program,” said Dean of the Faculty Peter Steinberger. “He helped put Reed on the map in terms of linguistics. We have an enviable reputation for producing students who go on to do excellent work in graduate programs, and much of this is attributable to the powerful influence that John exercised over so many of his students.”

After 17 years supervising Watzek Sports Center, Ann Casey retired early this summer. Casey’s presence on campus was larger than life, from her full-throated laugh—“you can hear it anywhere,” said dance professor Pat Wong—to her enforcement of Reed’s physical education requirement. “She did her best throughout students’ four years to help them complete the requirement,” said Wong. “But if they didn’t, she held the line.”

Casey credited Reed with “unbelievable foresight” in not dropping its phys ed requirement. “I’m sure it was tempting to abandon it,” she said, “but there is no doubt in my mind that a well-balanced person—academically, emotionally, physically, spiritually—will reach their potential.” Sports center aquatics supervisor Frank Zornado said of Casey: “She treated everyone the same, whether you were in your first year as janitor, or your tenth year as president of the college.”

And Max Muller has retired as technical director and designer in the theatre department, also after 17 years of service. In granting him an award for employee excellence, President Colin Diver said Muller embodied “the elusive but necessary balance between artistic vision and practical execution. . . . His students speak highly of his mentorship, his helpful hints, his uncanny ability to sense when something is going wrong, then gently but firmly avert a crisis.” Diver said that there has never been an accident involving a Reed student under Muller’s supervision, a record he called “almost unheard of in this line of work in a college environment.”